Summary: "I’m 49, but I’ve never lived a single day. Only now will I start living." Iraqi man’s comment on the toppling of Saddam Hussein

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Resurrection - 2003

It will be difficult to forget the jubilant scenes of the people of Baghdad celebrating in the streets this past week as they were liberated from the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein

„X The world stopped to watch as Iraqi men scaled the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad’s Firdos Square and draped a rope around its neck

„X In scenes reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall, another pounded away at the statue’s pedestal with a sledgehammer

„X Finally in a defiant act of symbolism, an American tank rescue vehicle with a heavy chain tugged on this symbol of oppression and it came crashing to the ground

„X It was a defining moment in the war and suddenly in the words of one reporter, ¡§the Iraqi people were breathing free air for the first time."

„X The exhilaration of liberation was expressed pointedly by the man with the sledgehammer who said, "I’m 49, but I¡¦ve never lived a single day. Only now will I start living."

Freedom is wonderful thing, something we all crave for, something some men will even give their lives for

„X Deep down we know we were created in the Bible¡¦s words, to "live as free men." (1 Peter 2:16)

„X Yet in our quiet moments, we know, even in this country with its social, political and economic freedoms, we are not truly free are we

„X Because not all bondages are the external tyrannies of a despotic leader like Saddam Hussein

„X The greatest bondage of all are the ones we carry around within ourselves ¡V the internal tyrannies

„X tyrannies that plague every human heart

o the nagging regrets and shame of those things we have done in the past we¡¦re not very proud of

o our powerful dark side that too often controls our emotional and hurts those closest to us

o our addictions to those things that hurt ourselves and others

o and that never too far away, fear of death that keeps us from ever feeling totally secure

Today, Christians around the world gather to celebrate another symbol ¡V an empty tomb - the tomb of Jesus Christ

„X Three days earlier, Jesus allowed himself to be hoisted up on a cross to stand there as a symbol of all oppression and tyranny

„X ¡§Wait a minute, I though Jesus represented ¡§love and peace¡¨

„X He does, but for a brief moment on the cross, Jesus the Son of God allowed Himself to become the symbol of all that is evil in the world

„X Just as Saddam Hussein is symbolic of the oppression of the Iraqi people, Jesus Christ on that fateful day not just symbolically, but literally, took on Himself the sins that oppress the whole world

„X This is how the apostle Paul puts it, 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

„X He became the great garbage can into which every sin ever committed was dumped

„X The good news is, when he died, ever one of those sins died with Him

„X The good news is when you and I acknowledge Him as our Savior, our sins are forgiven

„X The good news is when our sins are forgiven, we experience true liberty

„X Not just freedom from external tyranny, but freedom from internal tyranny ¡V the worst kind of tyranny that robs all mankind of our true freedom

„X You see man¡¦s real problem is not external tyranny, its internal tyranny, the human heart

„X George W Bush thinks he is going to solve the problems of Iraq by removing the external tyranny

„X But it is only a temporary fix as other men like Saddam Hussein will soon pop up in his place, maybe not in Iraq, but in some other part of the world

„X God¡¦s agenda is totally different to George W¡¦s ¡V He addresses the presence of evil in this world at its source ¡V the human heart ¡V we are slaves to the internal tyrant

„X He is slowly but surely changing the world by changing one heart at a time

„X Every time someone somewhere accepts Jesus Christ as his personal savior, a new heart is born. God puts his heart of love in every true believer

„X Can we imagine for one moment what our world would be like if every man, women and child accepted this new heart from God

„X Think about it. If everyone had a new heart from God so that the internal tyranny is removed, what automatically happens to the external tyranny?

„X Let me put it this way - What would happen to the Iraqi people if Saddam Hussein were given a new heart of love from God?

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