Over a month ago– on February 5th, 2018—two people were burnt alive in Alau-Kofa village, which is in close proximity to Borno state’s capitol of Maiduguri. This horrific information has come just as the military has said that Boko Haram has been defeated1.
“Saying they have been completely defeated is pushing it too far,” Major General Nicholas Rogers has said concerning the fight against Boko Haram1.The government and military has said much, but things and events have said otherwise, to the anger of those fighting for the Chibok girls—and now, also for the Dapchi girls.
Just yesterday, March 13th, people at the center of the #BringBackOurGirls movement declared that the Nigerian government has 7 days to find and free the 110 “Dapchi” girls, or face “a lawsuit on the grounds of criminal negligence.”2 Obviously, the world is demanding the truth, and real action.
But what if those things never come? What if, for all our striving and demands, our actions and best laid plans, these girls are not freed in our time frame, and Boko Haram continues to at least look like they are definitely winning the war? These are hard, pressing times. Times where the Nigerian military does not want to perform aerial attacks, for fear of killing the very girls people are demanding they save. They are weary of trying to find and apprehend Abubukar Shekau, leader of one faction of Boko Haram, because he is using these precious people as human shields1.
Innocent young women and men, their lives put on the line so that these wicked people can live, and continue to do evil.
As I was thinking about this—about how horrific and unjust it all is—one thought came to mind: Jesus knows exactly what these people are going through.
You see, as far-fetched as it all sounds, Jesus was our human shield.
For sinful people who were indifferent or hateful towards Him, “…he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NIV). Jesus took the blow we, evil sinners, deserved. He took upon Himself the wrath of God, so that we—the ones who have brought it on in the first place—could live3.
Jesus did all of this—only, He didn’t do it because He was forced to, as these innocent people are being made to. He did it of His own free will, choosing to completely obey His Heavenly Father.
I might get hate because of this; I know how racy it made be to compare a normal, everyday person to the leader of such an evil terrorist organization as Boko Haram. But answer me this: Is there such a thing as “big sins” and “small sins,”—that is, is there sins that are more damning than others?
Not just according to us, and not according to society—not even to Christian culture. But biblically?
There is one sin that can never be forgiven, and that is to reject Jesus Christ as one’s Personal Lord and Savior. But other than that, while sins that vary and differ based upon their consequences and who they hurt, I believe James 2:10 says, “If you have committed one sin you are guilty of all.” All sins are equally heinous, as John Piper has said4.
Bottom line: Jesus knows exactly how these hostages feel.
He knows exactly how every outraged mother, father, brother, son, daughter, and sister feels. How the incredibly frustrated, discouraged, angered members of Bring Back Our Girls feels.
He knows my discouragement—and yours, too.
He sees the bloodshed, the tears, the dirt and sin. He hears the cries, the screams; the silence of brokenness.
He hears your sighs, listens to every prayer. Yet, nothing has seemed to change—for the better, at least.
Friend, as everything seems to be getting worse, I have one final question for you: Do you trust the God, who took on the wrath and anger of God the Father upon Himself, to save and free you? Do you trust that He is good, and has good for you, even in this pain?
Look to Calvary, and know two things: Jesus Loves you. And He is in control.
As sin abounds, hearts continue to break, and demands are made in this sometimes hellacious world, I encourage you to look to Calvary amidst your much-needed prayers, demands, and actions. I encourage you to remember, no matter how it all ends up: satan may be “winning battles,” but Jesus has won the war.
He wins. May that carry you through. ❤
Do you know Jesus?
“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.”
(Isaiah 53:4, NIV)
On all accounts—from how people viewed Jesus, to the actual pain and suffering God put upon Him, Jesus suffered the worst pain of any person, ever. But why?
Isaiah 53 goes on to say, “By His wounds, we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). “How?” You might ask?
These are two HUGE questions; and while I am only a human being, I would love to help you find and understand the answers. Read more about these questions, here.
Please pray for (you can get prayer sheets, here):
- Wisdom for the Nigerian government, as they work on freeing the “Chibok” and “Dapchi” girls. President Buhari wants to negotiate with Boko Haram for the girls’ release; please pray that he would turn to Christ, and would be led of Him.
- The “Chibok girls.” Pray that Christ brings them home soon.
- The “Dapchi girls.” Pray that the government listens to activists, and works to bring them home, soon, too.
- Those praying and protesting for these girls’ release; that they, we, would trust in Jesus alone, and would allow Him to strengthen us.
- That Boko Haram would be crushed, and all “human shields” set free.
Thank you for your prayers!!!