After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., the Romans turned their attention to stamping out the last of the rebels holding out at the fortresses of Herodium and Machaerus as well as in the “Forest of Jardes” (which has not yet been identified). The last remaining site occupied by the Jewish rebels was at Herod’s desert fortress-palace on the cliff-top of Masada. Led by Roman general Flavius Silva, the Legio X Fretensis—a veteran military unit—began the siege operation against the rebels in 72 or 73 C.E.
The spiritual heart of the Jewish nation was being destroyed and many of their leaders were dead. Those Jews left in positions of authority or leadership were either appointed by the Romans or influenced by the need to comply in order to survive. Only five survived and they were women and children. The Jews at Masada had chosen to kill themselves rather than surrender to Roman Rule. You can read more about this at www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/masada.html.
Those outside the Christian community seldom mention the persecution of Christians throughout the world. The sad fact is that this is not all that new but seems to have become more prevalent in recent years and of course the rapid sharing of information in this world of global communication has increased the level of awareness within the faith. We Christians here in the USA enjoy a religious freedom that we have become comfortable with and take for granted. We are like those frogs dumped into a pot of water, which is then slowly brought up to a boil, by the time they realize they are in trouble it is to late. The Jewish nation was no match for the military might of the Roman Empire but I would suggest a much more serious problem that I am sure led to their demise. They had turned from God and sin and disobedience to Gods commands had become commonplace among the Jewish Leaders and the people. They had preverted God’s will and no longer sought to live a holy life, setting aside that which was written for those things and practices they coveted.
Masada was the last stand so to speak of Jews who would not yield to Roman Law and subjugation which leads me to an explanation of this blog title. We Christians are facing our “Masada” and like those frogs we contently lie in the water unaware that it will soon contribute to a crisis of faith. The issues facing Christianity today do not belong to just one denomination, for we all are part of the family of God, and we all are guilty. The issues are many but have one common thread. It is the willingness to interpret the word of God to meet the ever-changing morals of today’s society. Think about this. The only difference between a Christian and a non-believer is we go to church and they don’t. We go to many of the same places, watch the same movies, like to accumulate stuff and in most ways there is very little difference between us. We have been called out, we are to live Holy lives, we are to be different. I encourage each of you who read this to take the time to read and study God’s word and Law. Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit through prayer and study and the only thing I will say in the way of instruction is simply this. When you study, study and read both Old and New Testament. We must stop yielding to the Ceaser’s of this day in order to increase membership, marginalizing our Christian values because they make others uncomfortable and allowing ourselves to feel uncomfortable because our faith calls us to be different. jkc