Martyrdom

The liberal press has remained strangely silent about the persecution of Christians around the world. Twice as many Christians have died because of their faith this year than last year in Northern Africa, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. The rising state of Islam, ISIS, is committing atrocities that rival or exceed the holocaust. All this while six million Israelis struggle to survive as a nation while being surrounded by hundreds of millions of Muslims who want to annihilate them, while anti-Semitism is on the rise again in Europe.

It was one of the chosen people who first cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” (Psalm 22:1), when Israel was being besieged for its faith. If the Son of God cried out the same words while suffering excruciating pain (Matt. 27:46), then where is God to be found? When Jesus uttered those words He was not declaring the absence of God. He was turning to Him in prayer. On the cross Jesus entered in and shared the affliction of the condemned. Those who only hear of such atrocities in the cushioned armchair of their own prosperity are often the ones who ask, “Where is God?”

Those who are in the battle are the ones most likely to discover God. It was no accident that the most despised and persecuted became the people of revelation, just as it was by design that the One who suffered the most was the ultimate revelation of God. Faith in God flows from the wounded head of the Crucified Christ. The satisfied onlooker sees the cross as a cruel symbol of human depravity, but those who have entered into the sufferings of Christ see the cross as the image of consolation and hope.

Dr. Neil

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