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The Truth of Good Friday

by Judy Doyle  
9/05/2008 / Christian Living

"Dear Mr and Mrs Josef,

My name is Ivan. I served with Mikail in the Czechoslovakian army. It gives me great pleasure to tell you Mikail gave me a wonderful Christmas gift. It cost him nothing. He saved his meager salary to buy gifts for you. I don't know what you received, but I received the best gift."

The proud parents looked lovingly into the eyes of each other. Instantly they knew what gift Ivan had received. But they continued reading.

"He and I became friends several months ago. I knew there was something different about Mikail. When I asked him, he told me Jesus was the difference. He told me who Jesus was and that he'd died for my sins. I didn't know what sin was. Mikail explained that sin is anything that separates me from God. He told me Jesus came to earth to take away my sin and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I didn't understand everything he said, but I knew I wanted what he had because he always seemed so joyful. Mikail prayed with me and I accepted Jesus as my Savior. Mikail and I secretly had Bible studies. It was hard, because I don't have a Bible and Mikail had to keep his hidden."

Mrs. Josef dabbed at her tear-filled eyes. "I'm so proud of Mikail," she said. "He was such a good boy. I miss him so." Her loving husband put his strong arm around her shoulders and tenderly pulled her close. They continued reading the letter.

"It was Good Friday, the day Jesus was killed. Mikail asked if I wanted to go to church with him and I did. This is what happened when we requested permission from our commanding officer.

"You want permission to do WHAT," shouted the officer. His face was red with rage. "Ne! You do not have permission. Get out!"

Immediately we left the man's office. We prayed while we walked to our barracks. I prayed,
"God forgive his unbelief."

Mikail prayed, "Protect us from the enemy."

We prayed all the way to our barracks. It was a cold, dismal day, but our hearts were warmed with peace. Later that evening Mikail reported to guard duty again.

It pains my heart to tell you this, but I want you to know your son died because he loved his God. One of the other soldiers told me what happened that night. He said,

"We crept up behind Mikail. A soldier stepped on a branch and it snapped! Mikail placed his weapon at the ready and shouted,

'Halt! Who goes there?' We dared not answer! After a moment, Mikail again demanded,

'Identify yourself.'

Someone slammed a two-by-four across his back and he fell to the ground. We kicked him in his ribs, his groin and stomach. Someone straddled him and pounded him face. Mikail was left on the cold ground to die. I walked back to spit on him, but I couldn't. He was trying to sing something. I stooped over him to listen. It sounded like,

Dare to be a Daniel.
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm.
And dare to make it known.

The soldier softly added, "Never heard that song before." He looked up at me and said, "Strange, There was a smile on Mikail's face when he took his last breath."

Mr and Mrs Josef, I'm sorry to share this grim story with you, but I wanted you to know your son, Mikail is my hero. He led me to Jesus and then showed me how to live and die for my faith.

You can be proud of Mikail. He was a good boy, he was my brother in Christ. The soldier who told me about Mikail's last minutes is now my brother in Christ. It was my privilege to lead him to Christ, because of Mikail's witness.

In the wonderful of love of Jesus, Ivan."

The two grieving parents wept openly while embracing each other. They remembered the day they dedicated Mikail to God. They asked God to use their son to bring others to Jesus Christ. They had no idea the sacrifice they would eventually experience. Truth? They would love to have their precious Mikail with them, but they'd dared to trust Mikail to a God they'd never seen, but always trusted. They, too, would sing,

Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm.
And dare to make it known.

I live in Central Illinois. Have enjoyed writing for over 20 years. I'm married, one son and daugher-in-law and one grand-dog. No grandchildren.

Article Source: WRITERS

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