But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NLT)
As Easter approaches, I am reading through Isaiah 53, reminding myself of what Jesus came to do and how it was foretold many years before.
This is such a beautiful passage. Isaiah is so clearly talking about Jesus that I wonder how any person could read it and not know – or how anyone could know and yet not believe! It breaks my heart that many Muslims love Jesus, but only consider him a prophet. They are so close, but still a million miles away!
The truth is that no one can come to faith in Christ without the help of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12:3). The entire world, you and me included, would be in complete darkness without the intervention of God’s helper. I praise God that there are many signs today that he is working. Here are two recent examples…
A confirming dream
Manel* is a young Tunisian woman who first got in touch with us in January. We connected her with some believers, and a few meetings later she made the decision to get baptised. Our Tunisian contact writes:
‘We talked about repentance and looked at Acts 2. She told me how, when she first found the website, she asked God to give her a sign as to whether or not she should contact us. That night, she dreamt of a bright light telling her to make contact. She did so the next morning.
‘After I had baptised her, she gave me a big hug and sobbed on my shoulder. It was so precious.
Manel was baptised in February. Her parents know about her faith and think she is crazy. This is putting her under a lot of pressure. She also has a fiancé and is nervous about telling him.’
A dream come true
There’s also Adal* from Syria. He is a refugee and has been in touch with us since November 2016. A friend called him to arrange a meeting and writes the following…
‘We spoke about the Christian faith and I explained the salvation message to him. He was so happy to learn that God had come into this world to save it. He said, ‘This is what I need and what I have dreamt of since I was a child – that God has come into our world.’ I showed him how to pray and sent him the New Testament so that he could begin to study it. He wants to meet someone who can help him understand the Christian faith better.’
Adal became a believer in February and continues to have regular conversations with our response team member.
These are exciting examples of the way the Holy Spirit is moving in people’s lives, revealing what Jesus had done for them through his life, death and resurrection. Join us in thanking God for all that he has done and will do among Muslims of the Arab world. Pray for Manel and Adal as they make further steps of faith that will bring challenges and hard times. May the Holy Spirit help them to be salt and light to their families and friends. May he also continue to give our ministry team creativity and wisdom as we connect with people who are hungry for the truth.
*Names have been changed.