I returned home in the early morning hours from a most incredible and heart-aching trip with Feed The Hungry to the Kurdish controlled areas of Iraq.
I’m so thankful to have been blessed with the chance to see first hand the suffering of my Christian brothers and the service of folks like you who make food and Gospel distribution possible. Thank you – and I convey to you the many many thanks that I heard from these refugees (Muslims too) whose hope is being kept alive by Christian care.
And friends, we are kept alive eternally because of God’s care for us…
Today marks the most solemn day in our Christian calendar – Good Friday.
Here in Jerusalem where those most ominous events took place, sadly the Old City is closed off in many places to both pilgrims and residents alike.
Israeli authorities are controlled the numbers who wished to walk the Via Dolorosa and enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher – the traditional place of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and burial.
Every year as I have been here in this ancient city it reminds me of the cost God made to bring me salvation.
He left His throne in Heaven and took on physical suffering through the prophetic statements to bring me, you, our brothers in Syria and Iraq – and many more deliverance from the sentence of death due to sin.
That penalty price was paid here, in the physical streets of this city two thousand years ago…
It played out on the paths, courtyards, prisons, and palaces of Jerusalem.
And the players and politics – today can be found in different persons and policies…
Sin has not changed, man has not changed, nor his need for atonement.
What also hasn’t changed is God’s great love for us – and the miracle of this hope within our Faith.
Scripture tells us in Paul’s letter to the Romans Chapter 5 verses 8-10:
“But God commanded His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
We can have joy this day – a day when no bells ring in Jerusalem (Western rite), because man has been reconciled to God – through no action of ours.
I know that my daily sins have been conquered by God having drawn us all through His unsurpassing mercy…
I know that God sees and knows the suffering of His Church at the hands of Islamic extremism – THEY/WE/I HAVE HOPE!
This miracle of our Faith is found in 1 Peter 3:18 which reads:
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit”.
Friends, if you are not sure of what I am writing – or of the hope expressed, I invite you to call tole free LeSEA’s Prayerline at 1-800-365-3732 where you will find a caring volunteer who can help.
May God Bless His persecuted Church, and us all, this Holy Day,
Middle East Correspondent