1468) “Why Do You Persecute Me?”

From Extreme Devotion, 2001, (page 269), published by ‘The Voice of the Martyrs’ <www.persecution.com>

     Zahid was a Pakistani Muslim who ambushed Christians and burned their Bibles.  Once he kept one of the Bibles and started studying it to prove that Christianity was a lie.

     “I read the Bible, looking for contradictions I could use against the Christian faith,” Zahid said.  “All of a sudden, a great light appeared in my room and I heard a voice call my name.  The light illuminated the entire room.

     “‘Zahid, why do you persecute me?’ the voice asked.

     “I was scared.  I did not know what to do.  I asked, ‘Who are you?’

 “‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life,’ was the reply.  For the next three nights, the light and the voice returned.  On the fourth night, I knelt down and accepted Jesus as my Savior.”

     Having converted to Christianity, Zahid was arrested and imprisoned as a traitor to Islam.  He was tortured in prison for two years and eventually sentenced to death.  As the noose was placed around his neck, Zahid told his executioners that Jesus was “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  He wanted his last breath to be used to save his countrymen.

     Then suddenly, guards rushed in and said that there had been a stay of execution and Zahid was released.  No one knows why Zahid’s sentence was reversed, but today Zahid continues to travel Pakistan as an evangelist.

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John 14:6  —  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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Acts 9:1-6  —  Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.  He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.  “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

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Matthew 5:10-12  —  (Jesus said),  “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

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O Father and God of all comfort, grant us by your Word, a firm, happy, and grateful faith, by which we may readily overcome every trial, and at length realize that it is the truth when your Son, Jesus Christ says: “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”  Amen.  

–Martin Luther

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