Day 2 in The Holy Land led us to the home office of Maoz Israel, an organization created to support and champion the surprisingly small Messianic Jewish population here in this country. But this encounter wasn’t just deeply profound because of its spiritual significance.
Maoz Israel’s founder and leader Ari Sorko-Ram is a former French rugby star turned NFL wide receiver (for the then St. Louis Cardinals) turned police officer turned actor. As a sheriff in Southern California, he was once called in to consult for a Hollywood film. They liked him so much they put him in the movie! He now has over 150 television and movie credits to his name, including a show I never missed as a 7 year old boy: CHiPs.
Did all you men over 35 hear me? This guy rode alongside Ponch and John people! The California Highway Patrol! I used to watch every episode on a motorcycle manufactured out of couch cushions!
But once I finally got the hollywood stars out of my eyes, it was Ari’s personal story that left me wanting his autograph. “You were a devout Jew, what convinced you that Jesus is the Messiah?” I asked.
“Reading the Torah,” he replied (referencing the first 5 books of the Old Testament).
Shocked that the Old Testament law alone could open anyone to the redemption of Christ, we had to inquire more.
“As I read the book of Exodus, I lost all hope. There are nine laws that, if broken, are without atonement. If I cursed my parents, I was cutoff forever. If I broke the Sabbath, I was cutoff forever. And then the catch all – if I did anything I knew to be wrong, I was cutoff forever. No sacrifice, no offering I could give, nothing I could do would make it right. It destroyed me. I was done for.”
And then God revealed this truth:
The law did not come to make us holy, it came to make us guilty.
The debt is too large. The guilt is too great. The holiness of God is absolutely unattainable. The rules God laid out for our lives weren’t given to provide a path for our efforts to bring us back to Him, they were given so that we would have no choice but to realize our utter depravity. That our only hope must come from outside ourselves. The payment must equal the debt, and only Jesus life is worth enough.
You’re seriously screwed. You can’t fix it. And that, my friends, is some seriously good news.
CHiPs is cool, but Yeshua is the Messiah. Jesus is your answer.