Meriam’s Faith in Jesus Not Negotiable

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33 ESV)

When six months pregnant Meriam, age 27, answered the door in February 2014 she found stern faced Sudanese government officials who ordered her to grab her small child and come with them. She and her two-year-old son were thrown into a tiny jail cell.

Her crime was her faith, she is a Christian.

 

Meriam, son and new daughter in jail.

Meriam, son and new daughter in jail.

On May 11, 2014 a court found her guilty of apostasy because they believed that her father, who left her Mom many years earlier, was a Muslim and she should therefore be a Muslim too. For that crime she was sentenced to death by hanging.

In addition the court found that her husband Daniel, an American citizen, was a Christian. Since they considered her a Muslim that made their relationship adulterous, for that crime she was sentenced to receive 100 lashes.

She was give three days to recant, in other words she was given three days to deny Christ. If she would just sign that little piece of paper they would spare her life. “Just sign here,” the officials pleaded.

She refused to sign. The court decided she should be allowed to have her baby before they would carry out her 100 lashes and hang her to death. She and her son continued to be held in prison. On May 26 with shackles on her ankles she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

The court decided it would be best if she were allowed to live in prison for two years to breast feed her new baby before they would take the two kids away from her and hang her, but her 100 lashes could come any day.

What would you do? We Christians have to ask ourselves if we love and trust our heavenly father enough to remain faithful in similar dire circumstances.

After the rooster crowed Peter felt the deep sorrow from having denied Christ three times (Luke 22:61-62). But, Jesus forgave him (John 21:15-19). According to church history Peter would never deny Christ again and he was later executed because of his faith.

As bad as Meriam’s circumstances are she realizes that she would rather die now holding fast to her faith in Jesus than die later knowing she had denied Him in her moment of trial.

Peter and Meriam came to realize that their faith in Jesus and the eternal hope that He gives us is our most important asset. It should remind all of us that life only has meaning when we love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37).

So the question is not just do I love the Lord with all heart, soul and mind, but could I live with myself if I did deny Him?

I close with Jesus’ words, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven….” (Matthew 5:10-12)

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/12/meriam-ibrahim-conviction-contradictory-claims-lawyers

http://www.lifenews.com/2014/06/10/meriam-ibrahims-brother-in-law-brutal-pre-execution-flogging-will-take-her-skin-off/

http://aclj.org/united-nations/a-sudanese-christian-sentenced-to-death-aclj-mobilizes-to-help

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