The Price of Being a Christ-Follower

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                           March 28, 2016

 

In Pakistan seventy people were killed and three hundred injured by a suicide bombing that was aimed at a gathering of Christians in a public park to celebrate Easter. A Taliban faction claimed responsibility for the bomb, it’s fifth bombing since December.

The casualties and injured were mostly men and children: 29 children and 34 men.

Pakistan has several Islamic militant factions that are seeking to create unrest and overthrow the existing governmental leaders.

It is another example of Christ-followers in various places around the world experiencing the price of their faith. In 2013 eighty people were killed in a Pakistani church that was attacked by a suicide bomber. On Good Friday an Indian Catholic priest in Yemen was crucified by ISIS militants.

Although the simplicity of accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is evident, following Christ often has serious consequences. In Pakistan Islamic militants are trying to establish a government that has a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

In essence, they desire that the government be guided, even ruled, by their religious beliefs. In Pakistan being a Christian is not a glamorous experience.

What does it mean to be a Christ-follower, regardless of where you are in the world? Are there common core elements that can bind believers in our nation with the believers in Pakistan?

Coming through Holy Week brings a couple of things to my mind.

Suffering and sacrifice. The cross tells of the sacrifice of Jesus to atone for the sins of his followers. It is punctuated with suffering. We can empathize with the grieving Pakistani people because our faith journey may travel through hardships and trials.

We are familiar with the scriptural “Roman Road”, but there was also a road leading into Rome in the first century that was lined with Christ-followers nailed to crosses. Nero used to light his Roman gardens at night by making human torches out of Christians.

In essence, suffering and sacrifice are elements that have past history and present happenings for those who follow Jesus. We identify and come alongside the suffering, the poor and neglected, oppressed and powerless.

The second identifying element that we have with Christ-followers around the world is “hope!” Just as the cross tells us of suffering and sacrifice, the empty tomb tells us of the hope that we have in our resurrected Lord.

It’s Monday and he is still alive!

It is easy in our culture to get caught up in the Final Four, spring break vacations, the presidential campaign, fashion trends, and the beginning of Major League baseball, but take a pause once in a while to ponder the situations that Christ-followers around the world are dealing with. Some of those are tragic and others are incredibly hope-filled.

And Jesus is Lord of all!

 

 

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Death, Faith, Freedom, Jesus, love, Nation, Pastor, Prayer, Story, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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