November 24, 2009
For one will scarcely die for a righteous person -- though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die -- but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:7-8
On October 20th, the terrorist, dressed in lady's clothing, approached the women's campus of Islamabad's International Islamic University.
His loose-fitting robes concealed the explosives, which had been wrapped in layers of ball bearings. It was the kind of device that would produce a high body count when detonated inside a cafeteria filled with hundreds of college-age students.
The terrorist shot the guard and prepared to enter the dining hall.
That was when Pervaiz Masih, a custodian for the school, stepped into the doorway.
Masih told the poorly disguised man he couldn't go in. The man insisted, but Masih stood firm.
The terrorist detonated his bomb. Three students were killed -- far less than what might have happened if Masih had not sacrificed himself.
That's the story, except for these details: Masih had been working at the school for less than a week, working at a job that paid $60 a month.
Masih is considered a hero by the girls, but his grave is unmarked and his family is behind in their apartment rent.
Oh, there is one other thing you should know: Masih was a Christian.
So I ask you this: What would motivate an impoverished man to sacrifice himself for a lot of kids who were from a different faith?
I can think of no answer to that question other than this: Pervaiz Masih had stood at the foot of Jesus' cross. There Masih had seen His Savior sacrifice Himself so that 2000 years later custodians -- and all who believe -- might be assured that terrorists and devils and death don't have the final word.
I mourn for the six other members of Masih family who continue to live in a one-room apartment, but I rejoice in the sacrifice this custodian made in the Savior's Name.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, upon the cross You changed the destiny, the salvation of all who believe. We give thanks for Your gift of grace even as we rejoice in the witness that was made by a Christian custodian. May the world see how Christians, empowered by the Holy Spirit, can love one another. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries