Saturday, May 27, 2017

Brian Epstein died for you? Truth or lie?

This artwork has been appearing all over the city of Liverpool this weekend. When I saw it at first I was rather shocked, being a Christian I can't think of anyone who died for me, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. I do appreciate that there have been people who have died for our freedom, such as soldiers who died in the world wars, and given their lives for us but in a personal sense I don't know anyone who died for me apart from the Lord Jesus.
At first I thought I was being a little naive to assume that the statement had any parallel with Christianity. But to my amazement I read the under noted commentary which appeared in the Liverpool Echo.

"The artwork consists of a series of billboards dedicated to the role he (Brian Epstein) played within the band.
One of the billboards includes the quote ‘Brian Epstein Died for You’, speaking about the quote, artist Jeremy Deller said: “The phrase, ‘Brian Epstein Died for You’, though short, carries with it ideas of belief and self-sacrifice, two strong aspects of Christianity and indeed most mainstream religions.
'It could be argued that popular music itself is a belief system, and the phrase ‘Brian Epstein Died for You’, has great meaning to its devotees, as he was such a key figure in its development.'" 1
What do you make of it? You can see when you read this piece in the Liverpool Echo that the writer is claiming some similarities between what Brian Epstein did for music and Jesus Christ did for humanity. That is down right ridiculous apart from being blasphemous. 
Let me outline what Christians believe about the death of Jesus Christ. I should add at this stage that Christians do not believe that the redeeming death of Jesus Christ was the end but they believe in his resurrection from among the dead based on the scripture in First Corinthians chapter 15 verse 3.
Christians believe unequivocally that Christ died for our sins. They believe that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. The Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death 2. The Bible also teaches that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God 3. From these two facts we discover that we are all sinners and stand guilty before God. I should clarify at this stage that death as described in these passages in the Bible is not just a physical state but a moral state. The Bible teaches that we are all dead in trespasses and sins 4.
These facts if understood correctly describe a very dangerous situation for every human being. We are vulnerable because we are flawed and because we have sin in our character. That sin damages us presently but more seriously it has a long-term affect as in it separates us from our Creator, God. God holds us responsible for how we live, what we believe, what we say and what we are. 
God doesn't leave it there. He intervened by sending His Son personally into this world to deal with the great issue of sin and mortality. The Bible says we needed a righteous, perfect, holy being who was not only able but willing to account for human sin and sins. And that's where the Lord Jesus Christ comes into the picture. He, not Brian Epstein, died for our sins. Jesus was holy, harmless and undefiled 5. He bore our sins in his body to the tree. The claims of the Bible and the belief of Christians is that we turn to God He will forgive, cleanse and bless us with salvation. 
There is no time to waste - take this seriously and repent and believe the gospel 6.

1. Liverpool Echo, 24th May 2017. 
2. Romans 6:23
3. Romans 3:23
4. Ephesians 2:1
5. Hebrews 7:26
6. Mark 1:15

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