commentary by Bill Martinez, CiR staff writer
In reading this message from an imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini, your perspective can find a true focus on the significance of this Resurrection/Easter Holiday.
Pastor Abedini is suffering imprisoned in Iran under, you could say unjust and incredible circumstances. He has been sentenced to eight years in one of the most cruel prisons in Iran. Does he pray for himself? No. Like Jesus he prays for everyone else, that we would know the true and total freedom found only in Jesus Christ.
As Ted Cruz describes, “Our fellow American, Pastor Saeed Abedini, is being imprisoned in Iran for simply practicing his Christian faith. He is serving an eight-year sentence and has been so badly treated he is currently confined to a hospital bed. Despite the brutal darkness he faces in Iran, he has found comfort in the Kingdom of Light.”
Like Paul (over two thousand years ago), Pastor Abedini gives us a message of encouragement most fitting for this Resurrection Day. In the midst of his suffering he chooses to rejoice. Instead of complaining for his circumstances he encourages. Setting aside his loneliness for his wife and family, by God’s grace he elevates the name of Jesus.
What else but the hope and high calling of Christ, allows one to endure such suffering? Be blessed by the Pastor Abedini’s message.
A Message from Pastor Saeed Abedini:
Crucifying the resurrected “self” with Christ and resurrects our death faith with Christ.
Happy Resurrection Day.
On the Eve of Good Friday and Easter I was praying from my hospital room for my fellow Christians in the world. What the Holy Spirit revealed to me in prayer was that there are many dead faiths in the midst of Christians today. That Christians all over the world are not able to fully reach their spiritual potential that has been given to them as a gift by God so that in reaching that potential, the curtain can be removed and the Glory of God would be revealed.
Some times we want to experience the Glory and resurrection with Jesus without experiencing death with Him. We do not realize that unless we pass through the path of death with Christ, we are not able to experience resurrection with Christ.
We want to have a good and successful marriage, career, education and family life (which is also God’s desire and plan for our life). But we forget that in order to experience the Resurrection and Glory of Christ we first have to experience death with Christ and to die to ourselves and selfish desires.
Jesus said to His Disciples: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
This means that we should not do things that we like to do (that God does not want us to do) and to do things that we do not like to do (but God wants us to do) so that He may be glorified.
So in addition to spending our days and night in doing the works of faith as described above, we should also transform our death faiths into living and active faiths through the resurrection of Christ which is an active and constructive love that is effective.
In conclusion, let us resurrect our Dead faiths to living faiths by first dying to our selfish “resurrected” self and experiencing the cross of Jesus. Then we are able to experience the Glorious resurrection with Christ.
A Glorious life with Christ starts only after a painful death (to self) with Christ.
We will start with Christ.
Pastor Saeed Abedini
Prisoner in the Darkness in Iran, but free for the Kingdom and Light