In his book Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey shares how Nelson Mandela, after coming into power as president of South Africa, took drastic measures to heal his apartheid-torn nation.
Mandela appointed Archbishop Desmond Tutu to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission’s hearings were designed to bring together accusers with those who had allegedly committed atrocities in the hopes of an eventual mending of the relationships. Mandela insisted that if a guilty party would face his accuser and admit his wrongdoing, he would be released scot-free. To many, this seemed unjust, even outrageous, but Mandela knew that this was what his nation needed for true reconciliation.
What’s So Amazing About Grace?
In many cases the effects of Mandela’s policy were extraordinary. Yancey writes of one such situation:
“At one hearing, a policeman named van de Broek recounted an incident when he and other officers shot an eighteen-year-old boy and burned the body, turning it on the fire like a piece of barbecue meat in order to destroy the evidence. Eight years later van de Broek returned to the same house and seized the boy’s father. The wife was forced to watch as policemen bound her husband on a woodpile, poured gasoline over his body, and ignited it. The courtroom grew hushed as the elderly woman who had lost first her son and then her husband was given a chance to respond. ‘What do you want from Mr. van de Broek?’ the judge asked. She said she wanted van de Broek to go to the place where they burned her husband’s body and gather up the dust so she could give him a decent burial. His head down, the policeman nodded agreement. Then she added a further request, ‘Mr. van de Broek took all my family away from me, and I still have a lot of love to give. Twice a month, I would like for him to come to the ghetto and spend a day with me so I can be a mother to him. And I would like Mr. van de Broek to know that he is forgiven by God, and that I forgive him too. I would like to embrace him so he can know my forgiveness is real.’ Spontaneously, some in the courtroom began singing ‘Amazing Grace’ as the elderly woman made her way to the witness stand, but van de Broek did not hear the hymn. He had fainted, overwhelmed.” (Yancey 2003, pgs 222-224)
This lady’s forgiveness caused van de Broek to literally fold into a faint as he heard her words of outrageous grace. Similarly, every one of us has sinned greatly against God. Our sins took God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, all the way to the cross, where He was left to die an excruciating death for our sins. Powerfully, Jesus revolted against all adversity, offering Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Though we (like van de Broek) deserve the worst of all punishments, Jesus (like Mandela) says that if we will only admit our guilt and own our sin, we can be forgiven.
Your Invitation Awaits
Check it out, friends. A worldwide invitation of reconciliation and redemption has been offered to people ready to acknowledge Christ Jesus as Lord. If anyone ever asks, is there anything more shocking than the punishment we deserve? Is there anything more shocking than God’s justice being poured out on sinners? Is there anything more shocking than hell itself? Yes. It’s called grace!
Other Recommended Resources On This Topic
How Can Jesus Be the Only Way? (mp4 Download) by Frank Turek
Was Jesus Intolerant? (DVD) and (Mp4 Download) by Frank Turek
Jesus vs. The Culture by Dr. Frank Turek DVD, Mp4 Download, and Mp3
Person of Interest: Why Jesus Still Matters in a World that Rejects the Bible by J. Warner Wallace (Paperback), (Investigator’s Guide)
Jesus, You and the Essentials of Christianity by Frank Turek (INSTRUCTOR Study Guide), (STUDENT Study Guide), and (DVD)
Bobby serves as lead pastor of Image Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is well known for his YouTube ministry called, One Minute Apologist, which now goes by the name Christianity Still Makes Sense. He also serves as the Co-Host of Pastors’ Perspective, a nationally syndicated call-in radio show on KWVE in Southern California. Bobby earned his Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, his Doctor of Ministry in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from the University of Birmingham (England) where he was supervised under David Cheetham and Yujin Nagasawa. Bobby’s also written several books including: The Fifth Gospel, Doubting Toward Faith, Does God Exist, and Fifty-One other Questions About God and the Bible and the forthcoming Christianity Still Makes Sense to be published by Tyndale in April 2024. He’s married to his lovely wife Heather and together they have two grown kids: Haley and Dawson.