All Things Made New

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Revelations 21:5

The Conversion of Saul

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel; 16 I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.  – Acts 9

Saul’s Roman name was Paul. So, then, we can say that Christ sent Paul-the converted Saul, and now most ardent disciple of Christ-to end Saul’s persecution of His Church. Christ’s disciple Ananias, as is true of the Church’s ordained  priests, acts as a conduit of Christ. Christ’s healing power works through him. Saul’s hatred had blinded him to the truth of Christ and was made manifest in physical blindness. To be healed as he was by a divine invasion required a period of suffering before the renewal. As one must suffer a dentist’s procedure before enjoying the relief from the pain of a deep cavity. To restore love from hatred is no easy task. As Christ lay in repose for three days until His resurrection so, too, Saul spent three days in blindness. Saul’s suffering through this act of conversion ends when his sight returns as the scales fall from His eyes. Reminding all again of Christ’s proclamation: “I am the light of the world.” Saul’s eyes not only open to the light of the sun, but also to the light of the Son of God. Those blind to the truth, through Him, are now made to see. And Saul/Paul by this divine invasion is now and always an exalted example of Christ’s promise; “See, I make all things new.”

As Saul’s hatred put to death many early Christians, so, too, did the hatred of humanity put to death Christianity’s founder and creator of all good things. On Good Friday the world was covered in darkness by the act of deicide. So, also, were Saul’s eyes darkened for doing the same to Christ’s Church. However, Easter Sunday comes forth like a window shade being raised to flood a gloomy room with sunlight. The darkness in the world, as was true of the darkness in Saul’s heart, was forever pushed aside by the Son-light radiating from the Light-Of-The-World; who makes all things new.

 

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About Alan A. Malizia: Contagious Optimism! Co-Author

Retired mathematics teacher and high school athletics coach. Honors: 1988 Ct. Coach of the Year for H.S. Girls Voleyball and 2007 Inducted into the Ct. Women's Volleyball Hall of Fame. Since retiring have written two books; "The Little Red Chair," an autobiography about my life experience as a polio survivor and "A View From The Quiet Corner," a selection of poems and reflections. Presently I am a contributing author for the "Life Carrots" series primarily authored by Dave Mezzapelle of Goliathjobs.com.
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