Apr 04 2018
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Gal 2:20).
Good Friday has been eclipsed by Resurrection Sunday, historically, in 2018 and for all time. Redemption has been accomplished in full, because the Father chose to us His mercy and take out His wrath on the Son instead. In Jesus’ solitary hour of prayer in Gethsemane, God Himself took on the load of all human sin – who else but God could bear that weight! Then, as us, He took the full brunt of God’s wrath and, as us, died for sin. By faith, we repent for our part in sending Jesus to the cross, accept God’s way of dealing with the problem of human sin, and receive the gift of His indestructible life.
Islam makes such a robust case against the crucifixion that I picture it as a shield raised by the “strong man” who guards the House of Islam (Lk 11:21). Islam says,
- Allah is not affected by humans. He doesn’t have that much mercy to come down among us to save us.
- Humans don’t have a sin problem that necessitates a saviour; what we need is guidance to show us the right path to success.
- One person cannot take the load of another (Q35:18).
- True prophets experience success, not humiliation; therefore, such punishment couldn’t happen to Jesus (see Mt 16:21-25 for Peter’s similar thought).
- Jesus wasn’t crucified. Someone in His likeness died on the cross while He ascended to heaven alive (Q4:157-159).
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Co 1:18).
Allah may not be not affected by humans, but Yahweh clearly is. Because Yahweh’s very nature is love, His mercy triumphs over judgment (Ja 2:13b). Furthermore, He is not limited by attempts to deny what He has decreed from before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8). When God decided it was time to deal with my sin, He bypassed my human reasoning, spoke to my spirit, and in an instant my life changed completely!
I suspect there are many Muslims who inwardly sense the ferocity of God’s wrath toward sin and try to deal with it through piety, good works, and occult practices (what Dr. Gordon Nickel calls “popular salvation”). We Christians who feel so secure in Jesus, do we stop and consider what’s in store for those who don’t know Jesus as God’s Passover Lamb?
Last week we prayed that Muslims and Jews would have visions and dreams of Jesus as the Lamb of God this Passover season, and that the Holy Spirit would convict them of personal sin and reveal that Jesus is God’s perfect sacrifice for their sin. The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex 12:17-20) that began with Passover on March 30 will end on April 7.
Continue to pray that visions and revelation of Jesus as God’s perfect sacrifice for sin will profoundly impact the Muslim and Jewish worlds (see Zec 12:10-14 for God’s plan for the Jews) and SHIFT them
- from the religious default position of total denial
- to the realization that it might possibly be true
- to the pursuit of relationship with such a God!
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
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