Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 23 Number 3 March 2021
Page 13

Hold Him Fast

Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorterAlmost everyone knows something about the apostle Judas. He is the one who arranged to have Jesus arrested and tried. He did this for 30 pieces of silver, which he later tried to return. We are told in Matthew 26:47-48 that he kissed Jesus as a signal to those sent by the chief priests. Whoever he kissed was the one they were to arrest.

It is such a sad thing and yet a marvelous thing. It is tremendously sad that Jesus was arrested, tried and killed even though he was completely innocent, but it is a wonderful and marvelous thing that He did for us. It is only through His sacrifice that we have hope of living in Heaven.

I noticed something in verse forty-eight recently that had never caught my attention. Judas said that whoever he kissed, the arresting men should “hold him fast.” The Greek word translated “hold fast” means to obtain, take hold of, take charge of, hold without letting go, seize and seize with authority. It is the same word used in Colossians 2:18-19 where Paul told those in Colossae that they should let no man influence them to give up Christ, “not holding the Head.” Paul said we should hold the Head fast.

Judas, who betrayed Jesus, told others to hold Him fast. How ironic and how sad. Instead of spiritually holding on to Jesus, Judas chose to tell others to physically hold Jesus fast. Instead of spiritually holding fast to Jesus, Judas chose to release his grip. He betrayed Jesus. Spiritually, he turned his back on our Lord. Physically, he chose to hold fast to the silver he was offered for the betrayal. He eventually felt sorry for what he had done, but it was too late. He flung the silver down just as he had flung Christ from his grasp.

Don’t be like Judas. Be like the Colossians who were instructed to hold Jesus fast. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

The Electric Eel – God’s Taser

David Everson

David EversonThe electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) is indeed an amazing creation. God in His infinite wisdom came close with the creation of this fish to stretching the limits of man’s imagination with the abilities He designed into this animal. Let’s take a look at the new, recent discoveries about the electric eel.

As a predator in the waterways of South America, it is capable of unleashing a potent electrical jolt to zap its prey helpless. However, this zap is not used merely to stun other fish as has been thought for many years. Its abilities go far beyond just a mere stunning discharge. Indeed, the Master Designer gave eels abilities far beyond something that crude. Let’s look at the electric eel and marvel at the Designer’s handiwork.

For people not familiar with electric eels, they have serpentine bodies with flattened heads and can reach lengths of 6 to 8 feet. They are native to the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. They possess electric organs with specialized cells called electrocytes that serve as the biological batteries that can generate and discharge up to 600 volts to subdue prey and defend against their predators. This God-given ability is amazing, but it is nothing in light of the studies about their use and control of this electrical ability.

New studies have shown that eels use electrical generating ability to exert a form of remote control over their victims, causing fish that may be hiding to twitch when a small electrical discharge is emitted. This, then, exposes the location of fish for easy hunting, or induces an involuntary muscle contraction that may incapacitate the prey.

Studies show how the electrical discharges remotely activate the prey’s neurons, or nerve cells, that control the muscles. As the eel hunts, it periodically gives off two high-voltage pulses separated by a very brief pause. This causes a massive involuntary twitch in nearby hidden prey, and the eels, who are hypersensitive to water movements, can detect this motion caused by the twitch, learning the other fish’s location. The eel can or will deliver a full blast of a longer, high-voltage shock to immobilize prey by massive involuntary muscle contractions. It is much like a discharged taser; this paralyzes muscles, thus enabling an easy capture by the eel. One scientist has said about electric eels, “Although they are not known to kill people, they are capable of incapacitating humans, horses and obviously fish during their electric discharge.”

In addition to taking control of the muscles of its prey and then “tasering” them, the electric eel can also use its abilities to navigate through the rivers in which it lives. As the eel swims, it periodically gives off a low-voltage pulse that seems to work as sort of a radar system for navigating dark and murky water.

We see the Master Designer has created amazing abilities in a lowly fish that modern man has just discovered in the past 20 years. God created eels with these traits with living cells and not mechanical equipment. Let us be in awe and give praise to Him who created all things for His pleasure.

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