Monday, 6 April 2015
People of the Cross
On, or around 15 February, twenty-one Coptic Christians were martyred in Libya on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Calm, resolute, faithful to the end, these martyrs are shaping a new generation. Humiliated in this life, they will reign with Jesus for all eternity. In a world largely consumed with selfish ambition, the martyrs stand out by laying down their precious lives as an act of devotion to Christ. Like seeds they have fallen into the ground, but Jesus promises, "Their deaths will reproduce a rich harvest after their kind" (John 12:24).
They were called "the people of the cross". The glorious message of the cross is the good news that God loves humanity so much that He gave His only son, Jesus Christ, so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. Jesus carried our sins in his own body to the cross, and taking our punishment, he died, on the cross, as a sacrifice. The prophet Isaiah wrote, "He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed" (Isaiah 53). The Bible also says, "God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of the world ... Christ never sinned! But God treated Him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God" (2 Corinthians 5:19 & 21).
For these divine truths the young Egyptian men died, and as a tribute to them their first names are listed: Milad, Abanub, Maged, Yusuf, Kirollos, Bishoy, Somaily, Malak, Tawadros, Girgis, Mina, Hany, Bishoy, Samuel, Awr, Ezat, Loqa, Gaber, Esam, Malak, Sameh. They believed Christ Jesus is worth living and dying for. Do you?
For further information please see http://time.com/3718470/isis-copts-egypt/
Wife, mother, grandmother, Julia has been engaged in the battle for LIFE since the 1980’s. She believes human life is of ultimate implication because each one is created in the image of the Divine.
Published in the Gisborne Herald 21 March 2015.