For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 1:13-14 NIV).
Teleutaesantos de tou Harowdou... — they're just four simple words, but their reality changed everything!
Jesus has been born (Matthew 1:18-25). Herod has had little Bethlehem boys killed to try to exterminate the prophet's promised King and Messiah that he saw as a potential rival (Matthew 2:16-18). Joseph and Mary had to escape to Egypt* to save their now baby boy and one day Savior, Jesus (Matthew 2:13-15).
But Herod's time ended... — is a literal way to translate these words, but usually this euphemism is translated, "But when Herod died..." (Matthew 2:19). I like the euphemism better!
But Herod's time ended... The mighty Herod, known as Herod the Great, supported by the mighty power of the Roman system, Herod the great builder, Herod the maniacal king who killed his own children to protect his throne, this Herod is finished...
at an end...
Teleutaesantos de tou Harowdou!
Four simple words remind us that every human personification of evil is mortal and temporary.
Evil's grip on government, religion, politics, and daily life will one day loosen and end.
Every Herod will return to dust.
Not everyone who prays for the days of evil to pass will see the day for which they long in their lifetime. That day, however, will certainly come. Not every heart which yearns for freedom from tyranny and abuse will live to celebrate the fall of their tormentors, but that day will certainly dawn.
So these four words speak hope — But Herod's time ended... This hope is even more elaborately and vividly confirmed by our Bible's last book, The Revelation of Jesus to John. These four words point us to that same hope simply and eloquently.
They speak hope to those caught in a grip that seems impossible to loosen.
They speak hope to those caught by evil powers so dark that they cannot see the light at the end a dark tunnel of violence and evil.
Embedded in the very beginning of Jesus' story we are reminded of many truths. And these four words give us truth to sustain us in the darkest of times:
One day, every Herod, will have his time come to an end.
Until that day...
- Let's hold on to our hope.
- Let's pray for those who are trapped by their modern day Herods.
- Let's use our voice to speak out for those caught in oppression and use our influence politically to bring this violence to an end.
- Let's look for the Light coming on the horizon of history to cast out all darkness and bring us in full freedom and fulfillment into His kingdom of light.
* Final Note:
I have found that many followers of Jesus have forgotten that Egypt offered a place of safety for Jesus when he was a toddler and while he grew into a boy. During these past months, believers in Christ have suffered in Egypt and the Egyptian people have faced great hardships as they have struggled through both political and religious hardships and violence. Even worse tragedies on a widespread scale have been going in Syria. And unfortunately, there are many places in sub-Saharan Africa, like the Congo, where atrocities are occurring today.
So I pray these violence-torn people can know the power of these four words: But Herod's time ended...I pray that they can know the truth of these words in their lifetimes.
I also encourage us, Jesus' followers, to pray for those caught in the vice of modern day "Herods" who are willing to kill their own people to preserve their stranglehold on power. Let's join Jesus in praying, "Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven," longingly expecting the day when every Herod of any kind finds his days have ended.