23rd April 2019

Jamal Khashoggi and Christ

“He is not here; he has risen”
Matthew 28:6 (NIV)

It was much in the news in October 2017—the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was visiting Istanbul. He wrote articles that were critical of the Saudi regime before He ‘disappeared’ on 2nd October after visiting the Saudi consulate there. When I wrote this, 11 days later, his whereabouts were still unknown. The Turks were being blamed for his disappearance while they were blaming the Saudis for killing him. The Saudis were saying that these accusations were lies. Where could he be? What was the “truth”?

There is so much in this story that reminds me of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He went from Galilee to Jerusalem on “official business”. There he came face to face with the chief priests and elders whom he had irritated beyond measure with his outspoken comments against them. So what did they do? They killed Him. And they placed Him in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. But that is where the similarities end.

At the time, in October, the last people knew of Mr Khaggoshi was that he entered the Saudi consulate: The last they knew of Jesus was that He was placed in a tomb. News came to the Jewish authorities that the tomb was empty and that Jesus was not there. He had been removed. But by whom, and when, and how? This would have been sensational. No doubt the fingers would point at the Jewish leaders because people knew that they had had Him crucified and knew where He had been buried. They even placed soldiers at the entrance to the tomb to make sure that He could not possibly disappear.

Eventually Mr Khaggoshi’s body was thought to be found. But Jesus’ body could not be found. The disciples had not taken him, the Jews had not spirited him away. He had just disappeared – vanished.

We know that something had happened to Jesus which could NEVER have happened to Mr Khaggoshi. He had been raised from the dead. This truth comes to those who know him and love him and trust him to be their Saviour—and that includes us as well.

Prayer
Thank you, Father, that we know where Jesus is—that he has been resurrected. And we thank you that we too will be resurrected to be with him when he returns at the end of this age. In his name.
Amen

Study by Christopher Reeve

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About the Author:
Christopher Reeve is assistant pastor of the Invicta (Blean) Congregation near Canterbury, which is part of Grace Communion International/Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Invicta Fellowship
Blean Village Hall
School Lane
Blean
CANTERBURY
CT2 9JA

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11.30 a.m.

Local Congregational Contact:
Mrs Annette Woods
Phone: 07473 188326
Email: annettewoods2@nhs.net

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