Maged Solaiman Shehata’s martyrdom brings me face to face with Jesus on the cross. Intentionally, with pre-meditated strategizing they whipped, scourged, plucked, hit, and plundered Him. These were professional executioners who were well trained in their craft of capital punishment.
Yet Jesus truthfully declared, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Jesus sees the murderers from a different perspective than I do. Jesus knew that the murderers knew the what and how of murder yet He also knew that in God’s bigger picture there was so much they didn’t know.
Maged’s murderers are similar to those who killed Jesus. They are well trained in their craft and capacities, but there is so very, very much that they don’t know.
Almighty God, Thank you for your son, Maged Solaiman Shehata. The moment Maged’s earthly tent was folded he began life brand new. The worst thing the murderers could do to his body became the best thing they could do for him. To live is Christ. To die is gain.
I am faced with a heart that doesn’t want to forgive the murderers. They are methodically killing my sisters and brothers in Christ. They are vile. Wicked. Barbaric.
In you, oh God, may I find the faith to pray, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” If I kill them, they are lost forever. If they kill me, they may have another opportunity to come to faith in Jesus.
May Maged’s martyrdom always remind me of Jesus’ capacity to forgive his murderers and His call for me to do the same.
Comfort all who mourn today.
May I find strength in Maged Solaiman Shehata’s last words which were a last act of defiance against evil and last act of Faith, Hope and Love: “Ya Rabbi Yasou,” or “My Lord Jesus.”