Application: In the recent situation of those faithful Coptic Christians who were beheaded because of what they believe have an erie similarity. John was beheaded as part of the entertainment of the evening. The video of the martyrdom of these christians was intended to be entertainment by those who committed this heinous crime. Yet, the application is the same as we view our journey to the cross, Jesus leading us to show us what it all means. Death is not the end. Jesus will show us what it means to be persecuted by suffering many things and eventually handed over to a death he freely accepted. Jesus shows us that dying to self means letting go of the temporary life that is shelled by this mortal body. John's beheading and Jesus' death of the cross show us that the one who is murdered truly lives, and those who murder are already dead. We live with the hope of the eternal life that is given to us through the cross and the promise of the empty tomb. We believe this is the reality for he 21 who were murdered and therefore rejoice at their time with God now.
Prayer: Lord, help us to see the prophet's words are not in vain. As followers of your Son help us to cling to the promise given to us, mourn with those who have been murdered because they believe in you and invite us to truly live in you!