The Greatest Exchange

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At last, some 50+ days after Israeli people were cruelly abducted from their homes, some of those poor hostages who were held in Gaza have been returned to their loved ones, back home in Israel. Mothers and their innocent children, elderly people and a few more.

They were being dribbled out a few at a time in order to extend the ceasefire for as long as possible. Some would feel that this was desirable, and were hoping that perhaps it might lead to end the war for good. But every day the ceasefire was in operation gave another day for Hamas terrorists to regroup. They were of course making sure they had as many days as possible so they could rise again on another mission of terror!

Let us never forget what happened on October 7th and the reason why Israel has been engaged in the relentless effort to disarm this terror group for good.

Unfortunately Hamas broke the agreement and fighting has begun once again before any more of the Hostages have been released. Events change so quickly and the situation for these poor people is so uncertain.

But as they were being released one little group after another each day, I thought of what Hamas wanted in exchange. Three of their prisoners for each hostage released! Yes, you did read that correctly!

This seems a seriously unfair exchange to me!

Let me see now; for an innocent child who’s only crime is being a Jew, Hamas was demanding the release of three prisoners who were incarcerated for acts or potential acts of terrorism already! These people of course went right back to where they were before they were arrested, back to their terror group vowing to shed more innocent blood!

It might be of interest to some to learn that the leader of the atrocities on October 7th was a former released prisoner in another unfair exchange that happened some time ago! Who knows where these latest released prisoners will end up. I shudder to think!

Under intense pressure Israel was having to refrain from warfare while the terror group was making all of the demands and changing the terms each day. There was word of them suggesting that all males between 17 - 70 years of age have the potential of being service men and therefore a ‘higher price’ may be demanded for their release. Alternatively, in exchange for a permanent ceasefire all of the abductees would be released. I am not sure any of those demands would have been met, but now as fighting has been resumed the whole situation has dramatically altered.

I will leave that up to your imagination what would happen if either of those impossible options were taken up.

But isn’t that so typical of the enemy of our souls? His mission is to ‘steal, kill, and destroy’. We see his trade mark everywhere we look! However, while we see a trail of devastation he has left wherever he has been moving, he is not the one who calls the shots!

Almighty God has the masterplan
 to deliver people in the grasp of the enemy.

There was an exchange that took place long ago, the greatest exchange ever. It involved a great sacrifice. First it meant that the Son of God would have to leave heaven and come to live on earth. There in the city of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, He was born to a virgin in very humble circumstances.

He lived and moved among people just like you and me, and all those who saw Him were looking at God in a human body. Everything He did and said was just what what God His Father would do. He was the answer to every human need, but they did not want Him and ultimately He was crucified on a cruel Roman cross outside the city walls of Jerusalem.

That of course sounds like a sad story of rejection of the loveliest Person that ever lived, but this was not the ultimate end of the story. He never came to do His best and allow wicked hands to do away with Him. Period! This is what the devil would have wanted, but He came with a purpose, and fulfilled it there on the cross!

There in the place of wretched sinners like you and me, He gave Himself to satisfy God’s righteous claims against our dreadful sin. The ‘innocent One’ died in the place of a world of lost sinners!

Not just One innocent Man for three wretches,
 but One sinless Man for the whole world!

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God,
being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
1 Peter 3: 18

Although the exchanges were taking place, there was no real satisfactory conclusion to this deal, and it looks like the enemy has the upper hand, and we look to God that He will bring all of the living hostages safely home, while allowing Israel to put an end to this horrible terror group before they move further out terrorising other people and other countries.

Although everything is all so uncertain in the case between Israel and Hamas, it is definitely not so in the exchange that took place in order to redeem lost souls back to God for His salvation.

God does not only give to those who trust in Him the promise of a home in heaven, but the potential of a victorious life here and now. Victory over the sin that once bound us, and the liberty to serve the most wonderful of all Masters.

If the ‘thief’ came “to steal, to kill, and to destroy”, and we by the grace of God through faith have been delivered from his deadly hold on us, we have the promise and the comfort of knowing that ‘He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.’ (See John 10: 10).

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
John 8: 36

Because the sinless Saviour died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God, the Just, is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
C. L. Bancroft

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