The Beauty of the Gospel on Display is on display in this story of a Christian Martyr in Pakistan. All religions are not equal. Some are more helpful or harmful to society. But only one can be true. Christianity is alone. It and its Lord, is "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) and there is no other way to the Father except through Jesus.
BREAKPOINT DAILY TRANSCRIPT
ater Love : A Christian Martyr in Pakistan
December 23, 2009
This commentary was delivered by Prison Fellowship president Mark Earley.
At Christmastime, we’re reminded th
atour God is the God of gre atreversals. As we set out humble n ativity scenes, we may forget how unthinkable it is th atthe King of Kings lowered himself not just to be born in human flesh, but in a lowly stable amidst the braying of animals and the smell of manure.
Our God seems to love reversals such as this. Jesus tells us th
atthe first shall be last, the least will be the gre atest in the kingdom. He elev ates repentant sinners and tax-collectors above Pharisees and wealthy leaders. And through His apostle Paul, He reminds us th atHe chose the foolish things of this world, the weak, and the despised, to show the glories of his wisdom.
A recent story coming from
seems to fit this p Pakistan attern exactly. In l ate October, at ’s Intern Islamabad ational Islamic University, an Islamic suicide bomber tried to attack the women’s side of campus. But there worked a lowly janitor, Pervaiz Masih, who like so many of the 2 percent Christian minority in this 95 percent Muslim country are releg ated to the most menial jobs in society -- garbage collectors, sewage workers, and servants.
The suicide bomber was making his way to a cafeteria of some 300 to 400 women students, when Masih came between him and his goal. Masih is a common name among the Christian minority -- it means Messiah. And on October 20th, Masih certainly followed in the footsteps of Jesus, the true Messiah. He refused to let the bomber pass. In the process the bomb deton
ated, killing Masih, the bomber, and three girls nearby. Meanwhile, the 300 to 400 Muslim girls inside the cafeteria were unharmed.
In the midst of the rubble from the explosion lay two martyrs. A so-called Muslim “martyr” had maliciously murdered others. Meanwhile, a Christian martyr had laid down his life for his brethren. A Christian died to save Muslims from a fellow Muslim.
CNN reported Professor F
ateh Muhammad Malik, a rector of the university, as saying th atPervez Masih “rose above the barriers of caste, creed and sectarian terrorism. D espite being a Christian, he sacrificed his life to save the Muslim girls.”
Perhaps it would be more accur
ate to say th atnot “despite being a Christian” but because of being a Christian, Masih laid down his life.
As news cameras showed the garbage-strewn cemetery where Masih is buried, I couldn’t help but think of God’s gre
atreversals. A King born in a manger. A hero buried bene ath garbage. And I couldn’t help thinking how one day this upside-down world would be turned on it its head atthe second Advent, when Christ comes in glory.
In the meantime, pray for persecuted Christians in Pakistan who suffer under unjust blasphemy laws, and who as recently as this past July were murdered, be
aten, and had their homes set on fire simply for bearing the name of Jesus.
atMasih’s heroic actions will help many Pakistanis to see Christians in a different light. And pray th atIslamic extremists would have their eyes opened to wh atit means to be a true martyr, th atis, to give one’s life to save others, not to give one’s life to kill others.
Copyright (c) 2009 Prison Fellowship