Sheet ripping and the gospel

POSTED ON 2013-04-04
  by Cathy Drobnick

Jason Swanson's most recent trip to see the Siawi people was a powerful reminder of the work of Christ.

Jason Swanson quotes 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 as he writes to summarize his recent visit to the Siawi people: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

“We should never forget the work of Christ. We should be rehearsing, rethinking and reaffirming the gospel. Christ’s work is complete. We do serve a risen Saviour, but we should never stop contemplating His saving work of redemption accomplished on the cross,” Jason writes.

“My last trip to visit the Siawis was a good reminder of what Jesus accomplished on the cross … a good glimpse into the work our Lord is accomplishing through the preaching of His Word as He builds His church.”

Jason was accompanied by three young German men who are interns. Jason watched and listened with growing wonder as the Siawi people reached out to share their lives and relate to the three young men, Mattias, Edgard and Thomas. Opening their homes to extend Siawi hospitality, the people generously served things like cooked grub worms, pig meat, pumpkin, greens and fish that had “hundreds of bones,” Jason shares.

Each night, Jason and his German friends hiked to the village to eat with a different Siawi family. “We would gather around the fire and just talk,” writes Jason. “Seeing how the Siawis can be a little shy, I asked one of them each night to share their testimony. … It was neat to hear so many testifying to how God had saved them and what it meant to them to finally understand and believe the gospel.”

Jason adds that frequently these testimonies referred back to a skit the missionaries had done years earlier. They had hung a sheet to symbolize the curtain in the Tabernacle that once set apart the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place.

The Siawi believers repeatedly expressed how, during the skit, that sheet had been ripped in two and this showed them clearly that Christ has removed all barriers to knowing God.

“Christ has opened the way to God,” the believers shared again and again.

“I had no idea that skit had firmly cemented things for so many people,” Jason writes. “I was given the opportunity to rejoice in God’s saving work each night as different ones shared how the Lord had made the gospel clear to them.”

Jason is hopeful and confident that God’s faithful work among the Siawi people will continue. And he is personally rejoicing in the good news about Christ’s finished work on the cross.

“The Lord used these times to give me more of an appreciation for His gospel. … We should be rehearsing, rethinking and reaffirming the gospel,” Jason says.

“We should never forget the work of Christ.”

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