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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jesus: The Bread of life

"I am the bread of life.
 Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again
 Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
        (Jesus: John 6:35)

Once again, Cairo, Egypt has become the epicenter of tension, turmoil, violence and chaos. In the last few weeks, thousands of angry protesters filled Tahrir square, demanding that President Morsi be removed from office. Within a few days, the military stepped in and forced Morsi out of office and transported him to another location. Since taking office last June, Morsi began implementing many social policies to conform to a more stringent and radical Islam, making significant changes to Egypt's constitution. As a result, the economy began to plunge and angry Egyptians, fed up with the chaotic changes, took to the streets demanding Morsi and the Muslim brotherhood surrender their death grip on the government.
Two years ago, angry Muslims staged radical protests in Egypt, Libya and Syria, demanding their governments to immediately stop oppressing its people and bring true democracy and freedom. After all of the bloodshed and violence, millions of hungry hearts are still left empty
anxiously awaiting freedom. The question must be asked, why has Islam failed? Why is it not working?
Two thousand years ago, words of hope and freedom were uttered by Jesus to his followers who were also searching and longing for true satisfaction and peace.
Jesus declared to his disciples, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
Governments, leaders, kings and politicians come and go. Their empty promises to desperate people go unfulfilled. Political deceit and corruption continues to flourish leaving behind millions of frustrated and angry hearts.
 Yet Jesus promises to satisfy the longing heart in a way that governments and politicians never can. The Bible proclaims that, "the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can cure it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
 Jesus promises that He alone can satisfy and fulfill the spiritual cry of the human heart with his unconditional love and forgiveness. 
 As I was preparing to write this blog, I had a brief online chat with Mahtab my Iranian friend who lives in Tehran. She lamented to me that since her mother died five months ago, she had been experiencing lot of depression and sadness. Then Mahtab asked me what Christianity taught about life after death. I explained to her that Jesus is the Resurrection and the life and that he forgave all of our sins at the cross and rose triumphantly from the dead. I went on to say that anyone who puts their trust and faith in him will never have to fear death. He or she can have confidence and assurance that Jesus has cleansed them of all of their sins.
Mahtab was pleasantly surprised by my answer and said, "That is hopeful," but then she spoke about fearing the grave, because it is "so dark and scary." 
In Islam, Muslims are taught that they will be punished in the grave for forty days for sins they have committed in their lifetime. No wonder the grave is dark and scary! Muslims don't have assurance that they will be going to paradise. Their hope is soley based on how many good deeds they performed during their lifetime and on Judgment day, their good deeds must outweigh the bad.
The powerful promise of Jesus is the only remedy for the restless and hungry heart. He promises to fulfill the longings of our heart in a way that nothing or no one ever can. This Ramadan, I am praying for my Muslim friends all over the world in Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia to experience the wonderful promise of Jesus for themselves.
Since I tasted the "bread of life" more than thirty years ago, I can say with absolute confidence that there is nothing else in the world that satisfies!