SIN AND THE CROSS
H. R. ROBINSON
(Word Count 1.438)
Sounds….screams in the night - then moaning. Cries for help. Running feet. Police sirens. Tires screeching… Loud voices, “Where did he/she go?” “Which way did he/she go?”
Satan, in his many guises, is at again. Some poor, unsuspecting citizen has been attacked; or, some “buddy,” has been shot and killed. This story gets old. Day after day, we read about it. Robbing, killing, rape, atrocious offenses; sin-sick souls doing Satan’s bidding. And, day after day, people are becoming more and more afraid to leave their homes after dark - and even sometimes during the day. No one is safe! What a frightening reality!
Author Bram Stoker created the fictional vampire, “Dracula,” and since the late thirties, Stoker’s protagonist has been characterized on the movie screen many times. There was a time in my life when I spent a lot of time reading and going to the movies. I liked action movies that had such stars as Chuck Norris, but horror stories were my favorite, and vampires, I liked them best! But, always, I wanted the good guy to win. I made it a point to see every movie portrayal of this fictitious destroyer of men’s souls - from Bela Lugosa to Boris Karloff, to Christopher Lee and other later actors.
But, in all the vampire movies there was a good guy, and in many of the movies, the good guy’s name was Van Helsing. He was the one with the cross. In every ending the vampire was bested, cornered by the cross. The good guy, Van Helsing, would then beat him down and drive a wooden stake into his hateful heart, and the vampire king would disintegrate before our very eyes.
Today, when I think of this ending, I’m reminded of another ending, an ending that has been declared, prophesied and foretold in the Book of Revelations. The ending I’m referring to is the one where the foe is cast into the lake of fire. The one where the doom has been signed and sealed. The doom of the master of destruction - Satan’s doom! For now, though, we have to fight this tempter of men’s souls with God’s Word.
Story has it that wherever the vampire strikes, it leaves another vampire in its place - another monster to roam, searching the night, seeking innocent pray to feed on - innocent and unsuspecting prey who, once bitten, become involuntary inductees into his army of evil.
We are taught that sin begets sin. A perfect example of this is the forbidden, addictive crack-cocaine and all the other mind-deadening drugs that Satan uses to lure his victims. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying sin is limited to drug addiction . We know that Satan uses many guises. Drugs is just one of the many. And, they are just what their name exemplifies - they are drugs. Think about what the word means.
When the tiny white crystals of this deadly powder enters into the nostrils, bursts into the brain cells, and invade the senses of some bewitched, and confused person, another addict is born. This addict then makes his/her way to find another like him - others who too have been fooled by this deadly, poisonous lure of Satan. They introduce others, and the army begins to grow.
Because, as the vampire story goes, sunlight burns them up, vampires must have somewhere to sleep in the daylight hours. Thus, it’s always at night that they parch the atmosphere with their evil. And, unlike their master, the new recruits have no place, or rather no “coffin” of their own to contain them in the daylight hours, so they must hide wherever they can from the sunlight which is so deadly to them.
As you read this story, I want you to think about something: SUNlight was deadly to the vampire; SON-light is life to the sinner.
Crack cocaine addicts can be caught in the same predicament as the fictional vampire. Very often they too have nowhere to sleep - nowhere to lay their heads. They have become so abusive, both verbally and physically, to parents, relatives and friends, that they’re afraid to let them live in the same house with them.
If they don’t get help, they become so hooked on the drugs that they’ll do anything to support their habit, which means they’ll steal from anybody, and they’ll steal anything that isn’t nailed to the floor. They simply cannot be trusted! They’re like scavengers - grabbing whatever, whenever, and wherever they can - living solely for their habit. The hunger consumes them!
Vampire lore tells us the vampire has unlimited strength. It tells us it can burn holes through a human with it’s eyes. We also read that the vampire is ageless; that it is called the undead. But, with all these formidable attributes, there is One whose attributes are even more formidable. He, too, is ageless. He, too, is undead, for He rose from the dead! He is Jesus Christ, Who, when He had risen, declared, “All power has been given to me both in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28).
In reference to Jesus’ crucixion, we sing the song, “There Is Power In The Blood.” Bram Stoker, creator of the vampire Dracula also used the blood to show power. His story was based on that very fact. First he used the blood for evil, then he turned it around to kill the evil with it.!
Jesus shed His blood at Calvary. He hung on a cross, and this Cross, this horrid piece of wood, became sacred because of His blood. It is the power of the Cross that is the nemesis for all sin. The fictional vampire couldn’t even look upon it!
Here lies the same end for the addict. To quote a friend, “Drug addiction is a package deal. With the drugs come sex, and with the sex come horrible diseases! Diseases that can and do cripple, blind, and even kill! What then, is the solution?
The crack cocaine addict (and all who are addicted to sinful atrocities) must develop a thirst for righteousness - the righteousness of God. In Matthew 5:6, Jesus tells us, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.”
“The hunger of a man’s soul must be satisfied. God will answer the heart that cries. God will answer the soul that asks. Christ Jesus comes to us with divine assurance and invites us, when we are hungry to pray, to believe, to take from the Lord that which our soul covets and our hearts ask for.’ (1)
Every person must hunger to have the righteousness of God in his spirit, in his soul, in his body, in all his affairs, in everything he does. When he does, he will be filled.
Stoker points out that the vampire’s blood is evil, poisonous to all who would take of it - and it would have all to drink its tainted blood. The blood of Jesus Christ is precious. It cleanses, and not just once - it cleanses over and over! 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us, and the blood of His Son cleanses us from all unrighteousness…..”
The blood of Jesus is the only cure for the sinner, but the only way the sinner can receive this precious blood is to come by the way of the Cross. How do they get to the Cross? We have to lead them there. It’s all up to us. We have to tell them about Jesus. We have to tell them how He gave His life for us. Most important, we have to tell them that - above all - Jesus saves! But, more than tell them, we must show them! We must get their attention! We have to let them see that our commitment to Jesus Christ is real! They must see it in our talk and in our walk!
Stocker’s Dracula is a work of fiction, but the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is real! We must use our faith in His death, burial and resurrection to make the sinner understand. We must make them understand that just as Jesus Chris is real, and just as His way is the only way - so is their inevitable death real, if they “neglect so great a salvation,” (Hebrews 2:3).
I quote from a book on sermons by John G. Lake, “Let the throne life, and the throne love, and the throne power and the throne spirit and the Holy Ghost in heaven possess you and you will be a new man in Christ Jesus!” (2)
With this new life comes a new kind of hunger - a hunger for righteousness. Jesus tells us when this hunger occurs, the hungry one will most assuredly be blessed!
Note: Postscrips (1) and (2) are both quotes from Sermons by the late John G. Lake.