Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dying for Jesus and Nabeel Qureshi

This afternoon I heard the news, my brother in Christ and comrade at arms, Nabeel Qureshi has met our Savior Jesus Christ face-to-face. Some would call this meeting an end, others might call it a beginning. As for myself, it's hard to know what to call it, so I'll just call it a "well done!"

Many look at dying for Jesus as simply the province of the hallmarked martyrs: the apostles, the church fathers, the missionaries, the brothers and sisters, who were jailed, starved, raped, beheaded, and gunned down with hellish hatred. Without taking anything away from that sacred trust given only to the chosen few, in the last year or two, I have become more and more aware that we have considered "dying for Jesus" far too narrowly. By the grace of God we all will die for Jesus.

You see, dying for Jesus is not the calling of the few, but of the many that Jesus has called His own. Each one of us, in picking up our cross and following Him, pick up also His calling to be obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Now, in the mercy of God, few must be obedient unto death on a cross, but all of us will follow Christ into death. Each one of us.

It is the grace of every Christian to die for Jesus. Some of us will die for Him by sword, others will die for Him by Alzheimer's, and still others will die for Him by cancer. Nabeel Qureshi was one such man, who full of love and passion for His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did so die. He died for Jesus by trusting Him into death, following Him through the shadow of death right into the mouth of death itself.

Nabeel did not die because he was cursed for turning to Jesus. It would be easy to think this. But this is to fall into the trap of pop-victory--the "I beat death" victory that makes for great t-shirts, good Huffington Post/Buzzfeed clickbait, or even easy religious explanations. Yet, throughout the centuries, Christian victory has not been overcoming death in the world but overcoming the world through death!

Death is an enemy defeated, but it remains the last mission that Jesus sends each of us on. It is the last challenge to overcome. How could it not be? It was for Jesus--and it is His life that we all live as our own! Not only martyrs must trust Jesus with death. No, we all must trust Him through it, fixing our own eyes on the joy set before us as it was set before Him and entrust our own lives to the One who can save us from death!

One day, perhaps a day sooner than I anticipate, my final mission will be issued and I too will run headfirst into the terror of unending night, likely with the same apprehension as the Forerunner of my faith. But as Nabeel Qureshi can now speak authoritatively, that last statement is not properly true.

It is NOT an mission into the terror of unending night, but simply into night. And like all nights, even those that last for days near the polar regions, they eventually end in dawn. So too our Dawn is coming! And He comes on the clouds as all dawns come, but it will be His face shining as the sun!

So, may the light of the Lord shine on our hearts on the day that we sleep for the night and rest securely in Him until He dawns! And may the grace of that hope be with all who have crossed from darkness to dawn, and with those they have left behind, especially now with Nabeel Qureshi's family.

If you want to support Nabeel Qureshi's family, click here.

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