From Francois and Lydia Du Toit
During our honeymoon in January, 1979, in the Blyderiver Canyons in Mpumalanga, South Africa, Lydia and I met a nature conservation officer who told us of a fascinating incident when they released a Black Eagle just the previous week; this bird, with a wingspan of more than two meters, had been in the Pretoria Zoo for ten years! She told us how excited they were when the eagle finally arrived in its wooden crate. This was the day for its release! But their excitement soon turned to frustration when, after opening the cage, the bird refused to fly. Ten years of caged life seemed to have trapped its mind in an invisible enclosure. How could they get the eagle to realize that it was indeed free? No amount of prompting and prodding seemed to help. Then, after some hours the bird suddenly looked up, and in the distance they heard the call of another eagle; immediately the zoo-eagle took off in flight!
This dramatic story left a deep impression on my mind. I knew that in the light of Paul’s revelation of the good news, we are left with one urgent priority, which is to announce to the nations with bold confidence the truth about their original identity and mirror-reflect the integrity of their redeemed innocence. No flying lessons are required when truth is realized!
This gives such clarity and content to the fact that Jesus came to the planet not to upgrade the cage of Judaism or any other religion by starting a new one called Christianity; but to be the incarnate voice of the likeness and image of God in human form! He came to reveal and redeem the image of God in us! His mission was to mirror the blueprint of our design, not as an example for us but of us! (Col 1:15, 2:9, 10).
In God’s faith humanity is associated in Christ even before the foundation of the world. Jesus died humanity’s death and when the stone was rolled away, we were raised together with him! Every human life is fully represented in him (Hosea 6:2).
If the gospel is not the voice of the free eagle, it is not the gospel.
(The beautifully illustrated Eagle Story is available on Kindle and print)