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Showing posts from July, 2008

Meditations for Muslims: Jesus Foretells His Return to Life

Jesus foretold his return to life in the Injil. From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Matthew 16:21 (NIV) They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise. Mark 10:32-34 (NIV) Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of M

Meditations for Muslims: The Resurrection of Jesus

The prophet David prophesied of the resurrection. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:9-11 (NIV) The apostles recognized this scripture as speaking of Jesus after Jesus rose from the dead. Peter, on the day of Pentacost, about 50 days after Jesus’ death on the cross, spoke in the open air to thousands of Jews who had come to Jerusalem for the feast. They represented 16 different provinces in the Roman world. David said about him: “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me

Meditations for Muslims: Jesus Foretold His Burial

He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:39, 40 (NIV) There are four accounts of the burial of Jesus in the Injil. As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. Matthew 27:57-61 (NIV) It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimat

Meditations for Muslims: The Cross in the book of John

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face. Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him." When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!" As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, "You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. "Where do you come from?" he asked

Meditations for Muslim: The Cross in the book of Luke

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.” So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?” "Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no basis for a charge against this man.” But they insisted, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chi

Meditations for Muslims: The Cross in the book of Mark

Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. "Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate. "Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Ba

Meditations for Muslims: The Four Biographies of Christ

The four biographies of Christ in the Injil cover probably 45 days in his three years of ministry. These forty-five days are described in 89 chapters. His teachings and his many miracles are in these chapters. What I want to bring to your attention is that 30 of those 89 chapters, one third of them are written on the last week of His life on earth. One third of the writings cover that one week of about 156 weeks of this ministry. We will be glad to send you a copy of the Injil, free, in any language you request.

Meditations for Muslims: The Cross in the book of Matthew

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. "I have sinned," he said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood." "What is that to us?" they replied. "That's your responsibility." So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money." So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "They took the thi

Meditations for Muslims: The Prophecy and Fulfillment of Jesus' Death

The prophet Isaiah, about 700 B.C., described the death of Jesus. Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was c

Meditations for Muslims: The Fact and Significance of Jesus' Death

The following quotations are selected portions from the Injil on the fact and significance of the death of Jesus on the Roman Cross around 29 or 30 AD on the 14th day of the lunar month of Abib (About April). I will leave out repetitions. Prophecy: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? Psalm 22:1 (NIV) Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. Psalm 22:16, 17 (NIV)— The prophet David about 1000 BC These two prophecies were fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross. From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"—which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:45, 46 (NIV) Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what the

Meditations for Muslims: The Stoning of Stephen

The first martyr we know of was Stephen, one of the first appointed deacons in the fast expanding church. He was described as “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, “and” full of God’s grace and power.” He was called up to the senior religious court to answer false charges against him. You can find his answers in the seventh chapter of the book of Acts. “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to Heaven and saw the Glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see Heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” As a result of this vision he was taken out of the city and stoned to death. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:59, 60 (NIV) We will be glad to send you a copy of the Injil, free, in any language you request.

Meditations for Muslims: Luke's Recordings of Jesus' Testimony

Luke includes additional instances of Jesus speaking about the “Son of Man.” I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8 (NIV) For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:10 (NIV) We will be glad to send you a copy of the Injil, free, in any language you request.

Meditations for Muslims: The Testimony of Jesus

Mark also records Jesus saying he is the “Son of Man.” I will leave out any instance also recorded by Matthew. He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. Matthew 8:31 (NIV) If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels. Matthew 8:38 (NIV) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 10:45 (NIV) "I am," said Jesus. "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Matthew 14:62 (NIV)

Meditations for Muslims: Son of Man

In the Injil Jesus uses the phrase, “Son of Man” referring to himself as the fulfillment of the vision the prophet Daniel had in 553 B.C. recorded in Daniel chapter seven. Here are a few more instances from the biography by Matthew. When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. Matthew 10:23 (NIV) The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." 'But wisdom is proved right by her actions.” Matthew 11:19 (NIV) For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. Matthew 12:8 (NIV) Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. Matthew 12:32 (NIV) For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be th

Meditations for Muslims: A Voice from Heaven

A voice from Heaven identifies Jesus. At Jesus’ baptism -- At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:9-11 (NIV) A week before the cross -- Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. John 12:27-29 (NIV) On the Mount of transfiguration -- While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to

Meditations for Muslims: Statements from the Apostles

The following are additional statements from Jesus’ Apostles about who he is from the book of Acts. The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. Acts 16:29-34 (NIV) When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. Acts 18:5 (NIV) Paul : I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and ha

Meditations for Muslims: Twenty-two Letters in the Injil

In the Injil there are twenty-two letters. Four of them were written by John, one of the twelve Apostles. Two of them were written by Peter, one of the twelve Apostles. Two of them were written by James and Jude, half brothers of Jesus. The book of Hebrews does not have a known author but it was written before 70 A.D. The rest of the letters were written by the Apostle Paul whose encounter with the risen Christ is recorded three times in the book of Acts, chapter 9, 22 and 26. Please read it. There are five other books, four of them short biographies of Jesus and the fifth, a story of early Christians after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Luke who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts was a physician and co-worker with the Apostle Paul. Matthew was written by one of the twelve apostles. John was written by one of the twelve apostles. Mark was written by John Mark, one of the co-workers with Paul, Peter, and Barnabas, his cousin. With the exception of the Gospel of

Meditations for Muslims: Daniel's Vision

The Prophet Daniel had a vision in the city of Babylon in 553 B.C. Here is a portion of it as recorded in Daniel, chapter 7. As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. Daniel 7:9, 10 (NIV) In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man , coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13,

Meditations for Muslims: John the Baptist's Testimony

Here is the testimony of John the Baptist. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. John 1:29-35 (NIV) John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. H

Additional Statements about Jesus, More Meditations for Muslims, cont.

Here are additional statements from the Apostles about Jesus. Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him." Acts 5:29-32 (NIV) Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing

More on Meditations for Muslims

In the Injil we have some declarations by Jesus’ Apostles as to who he is. Some of these statements are from Jesus’ four short biographies and the Acts of the Apostles. Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. Matthew 16:16, 17 (NIV) Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” John 1:49 (NIV) Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!” John 20:28 (NIV) Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. John 21:7 (NIV) Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; li

Meditation for Muslims during Ramadan

Who did Jesus say he was in the Injil? The following selections are single statements. I encourage you to read the whole chapter where these statements come from. Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:50, 51 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates