Dear Muslim friends,
It is the season of Christmas here in America where I live – a season to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus from the Virgin Mary. Today, many are listening to joyful songs about that first Christmas, the day of Jesus’ birth. Truly, what love God must have had to send His beloved Prophet Jesus down to us – to this sad, sick, sinful world!
But today I’m not personally thinking that much about Christmas or singing Christmas songs. For some reason I cannot stop watching and listening to the YouTube song above. I cannot stop thinking about another day in the life of Jesus while he was on the earth. It was a Friday. Christians often call it “Good Friday” (because of the unbelievable good that came from it). I am thinking about that awful day of Jesus’ suffering, first in a place called the Garden of Gethsemane where he prayed in terrible agony that God would spare him from the cross. He was totally willing to die for the sins of the world but the horror of those sins being laid upon his pure, sinless soul was too much for him to bear. The Injeel tells us that he even sweat drops of blood in his agony as he prayed to Almighty God in heaven (The Injeel: Luke 22:44). But his final decision was one he knew he had to make as he prayed in complete surrender, “Not my will, but Your will be done” (The Injeel: Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42).
I stand amazed this morning at the love of Jesus for every lost sinner who ever lived or will ever live. I stand amazed that he would be willing to suffer so much for those who deserve so little (actually, nothing). This includes you and it includes me.
It is not only Good Friday that is on my mind today but also you, my dear Muslim friends – and Muslims all around the world. I know you don’t believe that Jesus died on the cross. I know what your book says about that. But with all my heart I pray that you will see that the love of God is so great for you – that the mercy and compassion of God is so great for you – that he sent His Prophet Jesus to die in your place, for your sins (The Injeel: John 3:16). He sent him to pay the penalty that you and I (and all people) deserve: hellfire. . .forever.
Oh, if only you could see the Man of Sorrows – Jesus, Isa al Masih – if only you could see how he suffered for you just as the Prophets before him predicted that he would (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53)!
This is my prayer, that whether it is through a vision or a dream or a simple reading of the Injeel, you would see the absolute truth of his death and resurrection – all because he loves you so much.
My Muslim friends, Good Friday and the suffering of Jesus are on my mind today.
And so are you.
I love you so much, my Muslim friends. I love you so much.
I really, really do.