January 11, 2017
Volume 22, Number 2
The 74-year-old man who was arrested in Thailand on Wednesday had been on the run for ten years. Accused of murdering a man in Japan, he had fled to a province just north of Bangkok, and had kept a low profile ever since. Someone saw him playing checkers recently and took photos of his full-body tattoos. The photos circulated online, and police recognized him because of those tattoos.
Tattoos are much more common in America, as you likely know. In Japan they are still considered a mark of less desirables. In the Associated Press story which reports this man’s arrest, it is also noted that “tattooed guests are often refused entry to public baths and swimming pools.” Whether such guests are actually connected with gangs may not be the case, but the common perception in Japan is that they may be.
An identifying mark appears early in the history of people on earth. Cain, the first son born to Adam and Eve, killed his brother Abel in a fit of rage. As a result God consigned him to be “a fugitive and a vagabond” for the remainder of his life (Genesis 4:12). Never would he be able to consider any place as home.
Cain envisioned the consequences of living among strangers, and feared that “it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me” (Genesis 4:14). “And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him” (Genesis 4:15). In this case the identifying mark would be Cain’s one hope of survival.
Another desirable mark is mentioned in Revelation 7:3. Before powerful winds were unleashed to do destructive things to the earth, an angel proclaimed: “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Having this seal (mark) would be protection from the impending danger.
The most famous of identifying signs in the Bible are likely those found in Exodus 12. As God prepared the tenth plague upon Egypt, the one that would finally force Pharaoh to let God’s people go, He told Moses to have all Israelite families to kill a lamb and paint its blood on the doorposts and lintels of their houses. Why do such a thing?
“For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night … And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:12,13). Having the mark of the lamb’s blood was critical!
Paul looked back to this Passover event when he wrote, “… For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). It is His blood alone that will redeem us from our sins (1 Peter 1:18,19), and that will mark us as those who are protected by God. Having the mark of the Lamb’s blood is critical for us!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2018, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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