The murder of Yusuf Shukry Yunan reminds us of the difficulties martyrdom presents to those who are yet to cross over into everlasting life.
Without a doubt Yusuf’s family celebrates his amazing devotion to Jesus in the face of barbaric death and at the same time their sense of loss must be extreme. What sorrow fills his mother’s heart as the images of her son’s final moments on earth fill her mind? Was Yusuf married? Did he have children?
Knowing husband and father will never walk through the door again, he can’t bring home a paycheck, no more hugs, laughter, and no dad at the children’s weddings.
Yusuf’s employer lost a worker. His village lost a citizen. His friends lost companionship. All the children that would have been born through him are lost. His church lost a member, worker, and participant.
Yusuf Shukry Yunan’s martyrdom reminds me how much I need the entire family of God. One day I hold and help you. The next day you hold and help me.
In this sense Yusuf entrusted his family into my keeping. His family is comprised of my sisters and brothers in Jesus. By adoption we have the same Father and Older Brother. Because of the cross, we are blood relatives.
Almighty God, thank you for your son, Yusuf Shukry Yunan. I can not imagine the joy and pride Yusuf’s family has in his abiding Christian character in the face of martyrdom. He has honored his family by walking in the footsteps of Jesus to death.
At the same time it is impossible for me to comprehend the sense of loss. More has been gained than I can understand and more has been lost than I can fathom.
Father, comfort those who mourn. Help me to assume my responsibility to Yusuf’s family and to all who remain. Thank you that I am entrusted to care, as you lead, for those living with his loss. Thank you, Father, for your family.
May I find strength in Yusuf Shukry Yunan’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.”