Someone once said, “It is easy to die for Jesus if you have lived like him for a life time.”
Somaily Astafanus Kamel’s martyrdom confronts me with the thousands of deaths following Jesus requires. Continuously I hear Jesus calling me to die to the lust of the flesh, the pride of life, and the lust of the eyes. I, along with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, face the Gospel’s demand to die to my will. The “my will/thy will” battle is only won by dying. I either die to my will or I die to His will.
It is easy to think that Somaily died for his faith in Jesus on a Libyan beach, which is partly true. I think he died for Christ the moment he said “Yes” to the Gospel, surrendered his life to Jesus, and followed the Lord in water baptism.
Among other things, the waters of baptism represent my grave. When my dad baptized me in water he said, “Son, I baptize you today. You will go into the water alive to sin and dead to God. You will come up out of the water dead to sin and alive to God.” Of course, he didn’t mean it literally. I died to sin when I trusted in Jesus for salvation. The water had no literal power. Yet my baptism was a public portait of my spiritual reality. I am now dead to sin and alive to Jesus.
It is easy to die for Christ,
It is hard to live for him,
Dying takes only an Hour or Two,
But to Live for Christ, Means to Die Daily.
Only during the years of this life, are we given the privilege of serving
each other and Christ…
We shall have Heaven Forever,
but only a short time for service here,
we must not waste the opportunity. (Sadhu Sundar Singh)
Lord of the nations, in the name of Jesus I pray that Somaily’s testimony would reverberate throughout all of Egypt, and all of the muslim world. May your sons and daughters take courage from his example, be even more committed to you, deepen their love for your word, and shine brightly as the darkness increases around them. I pray you would visit his family with new babies who will carry on his name and legacy, that you O God would be glorified.
Comfort all who mourn today.
May I find strength in Somaily Astafanus Kamel’s final 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.”
Click here to read a terrific interview with Bishoy and Somaily’s brother. The title is “Heaven in the Face of Hell.”