Dear Muslim friends,
I am always intrigued by your Feast of the Sacrifice – Eid al-Adha. Like you, my Muslim friends, I am in awe of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son out of unlimited obedience to God. That is clearly worth remembering and having a celebration. . .every year!
Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .to be curious or to marvel. . .how many people. . .like these Pakistanis on their way to Lahore, Pakistan. . .traveled long, hard distances to celebrate Eid with their loved ones?
Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many lambs, goats, cows, and camels. . .were sacrificed across the Muslim world in these three days?
Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslim men like these today at the Vasi Ullah mosque in Allahabad, India want to obey God as fully as Ibrahim did?
How many Muslim women like these yesterday in Ahmadabad, India. . .want to obey God as fully as Ibrahim did?
I wonder. . .how fully do I want to obey God?
Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslims teach their children how to pray? Like this girl in Bali, Indonesia or this boy in Pristina, Kosovo?
I wonder. . .how well did I teach my sons to pray?
Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslims around the world prayed with the intensity of this Kashmiri Muslim man today in Srinagar, India?
I wonder. . .how much intensity did I pray with today?
Eid al-Adha makes me wonder about these words from the Qur’an about God rescuing Ibrahim’s son by providing a lamb in substitute for him: “And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice” (Qur’an, sura 37, aya 107).
Similarly, as a follower of Jesus, Eid al-Adha always makes me wonder about these special words spoken about Jesus in the Injeel:
It makes me wonder. . .to be curious, to marvel. . .how could this one man. . .from an obscure village in Palestine. . .be “the lamb of God”. . .that takes away the sin of the world? Amazing! It was through his sacrifice for, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (the Book of Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 22).
What love! What a “momentous sacrifice” – for each of us!
This I try to remember and celebrate. . .today. . .and every day.
It makes me wonder. . .
Dear Muslim Friends,
I fully understand that Eid al-Adha is not about a substitutionary sacrifice for sins. Yes, I am fully aware that this concept is not in Islam. Nevertheless, I am filled with wonder and awe at how the Qur’an speaks of the ransom of a lamb to rescue Ibrahim’s son from certain death and how the Bible speaks of the ransom of Jesus as a lamb to rescue each of us from certain death – the punishment for our sins.
Ransom. What an incredible word.
Ransom. The price paid to free/rescue/deliver/release a helpless person from captivity or punishment.
Ransom. It speaks of great, great love.
“God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began.” (the first letter of Peter, chapter 1, verses 18-20, NLT. Peter was an original follower of Jesus and a crucified martyr for him).