***The intent of this blog is not to belittle Islam or Muslims, but to reveal a need inside of every single person who has, is, and ever will exist. Don't read this and miss the point. It has little to do with Islamic methods or ideas, but the overall issue in all of us who are by nature sinful***
I want to share with you a true story I recently read about that happened a few years ago in Southwestern Iran. The story reads,
“There, a married woman and mother of nine children by the name of Soraya had been found guilty of adultery and was waiting for her death sentence to be carried out.
Finally, the day arrived and Soraya was escorted to the town square. Her body, cloaked in a simple white dress, was carefully placed into a hole especially dug for this occasion. Only her head and shoulders were exposed. A large crowd had gathered, and they were anticipating the mayor’s orders to execute the sentence. The mayor mentioned the crowd to step back at least 20 feet, and he used Soraya’s head as the center of a precise circle he marked out. Then he grabbed a stone and handed it to Soraya’s father: “It is to you that befall the honor of throwing the first stone… Please proceed.”
Her father exclaimed, “Allah be Praised!” and threw the stone, although missing the target. He missed numerous times and finally gave the right to Ghorban-Ali, Soraya’s husband. The mayor encouraged the husband stating, “May God guide your arm.” (John and Emir 61-62)
The Story goes on with Soraya’s husband’s stone making contact with her forehead, causing a celebration of Muslims to join in on the stoning to punish Soraya for her sin, resulting in her death. What I want to do in this blog is propose an alternate ending to this story. I think you may find it even more heart breaking.
“Sorayah’s father missed numerous times and finally gave the right Ghorban-Ali, Soraya’s husband. The mayor encouraged the husband stating, “May God guide you arm.” (Alternate ending begins) Following the mayor’s statement there was a long pause. Ghorban-Ali was just standing there, holding the stone, staring at his wife who had committed adultery against him. The crowd started chanting death cries to Soraya, with hopes of speeding up the process. Ghorban-Ali began to walk towards His wife and as He did, tears began to roll down his cheek. Each and every step closer He began to emotionally fall apart. As soon as He was to where Soraya was, He dropped the stone bringing the crowd to a complete silence.
What happened next did not make sense to anyone in the crowd, neither the mayor, nor especially Soraya. Ghordan-Ali took Soraya by the hand and pulled her out of the hole, putting himself in the hole in her place. Outraged by his act, the crowd began a riot giving Ghorban-Ali, the death Soraya deserved. Ghordan-Ali, a faithful righteous husband, died the death sentenced for Soraya, an unfaithful unrighteous wife deserved.”
Ghordan-Ali didn’t have to do what He did! Actually the fair and just thing for Him to do was to stone His wife for her actions! Ghordan-Ali switched places as the guiltless and became the guilty even though He did not do anything wrong.
My alternative ending is not true, but is symbolic to a story that is true. Jesus left His throne in heaven, to take on the form a man, to live the life we couldn’t live, to the pay the price we could not pay, and to die the death we deserved to die. We as people are all absolutely guilty as sinners before a holy God. On our own we are like Soraya, hopeless, lost and with the only end in mind of eternal damnation. We are stuck in a hole and don’t have the strength to get out and even if we do we will fall right back in. Like Soraya, the only way out of the hole is by a Savior. Just as Ghorban-Ali took the place for His wife, Jesus has taken the place for us. The only difference is that Ghorban-Ali paid the price of Soraya’s sin and remains dead. Jesus paid the price of our sin and resurrected from the dead, now eternally alive, never to die again.
Jesus as God, show’s his sovereignty over sin and death by taking on death and overcoming it. He takes on our punishment so that we can be cleansed of our sin. The only sacrifice that could satisfy the wrath of God had to be God (Jesus was God in the flesh), anything less (including works righteously based on religion) could not satisfy God. If we as sinners can satisfy God, He is not a God because He can be satisfied by a power less than Himself… If God is perfected and we are imperfect, there is nothing we can do to obtain His approval.
I encourage you today on behalf of the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Power of the Cross to repent and turn from your sin, placing your trust in Jesus to cleanse you of your sin. Without Jesus, we are doomed as sinful people before a holy God!
“Jesus states—“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18, ESV)
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. He emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11, ESV)
(Where I got the true story from)
John, Ankerberg, and Caner Emir. The Truth About Islam & Women. 1st ed. 1. Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2009. 61-62. Print.