By Walid Shoebat And Theodore Shoebat
When the Islamic State in the beginning of August attacked the Syrian government’s last stronghold in north al-Raqqa, they captured a regiment from Brigade 93. 90 IS fighters were reported to have been killed in the battle and 300 Syrian soldiers were reported killed and more than 100 were captured including 2 Brigadier Generals.
We edited most of the beheading footage from the video, and focused on one story: the execution of a Christian soldier. The Christian’s wallet was searched and they found a cross, and the caption on the video states “The nation of disbelief are all one,” insinuating that a Christian is just as bad as an unbeliever in Islam. Then the camera zooms on two captives, the first is a Shiite who is killed without question and the other is the Christian who is quickly given his last chance to convert to Islam, he rejects and is shot on the spot with an additional shot in pure vengeance.
How can one not marvel at the spirit of the martyr, with his tenaciousness to spurn the urges of the devil to come to his side, to impetuously reject the life of this earth for the eternal life of Heaven? The martyr, within his heart, has the words of the Apostle when he wrote, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
In the presence of Paradise is his soul, and is forever more in the presence of the Holy Trinity, for he, like a good soldier, obeyed the words of Christ, when He declared, “whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luke 9:24)
Such a martyr is a living sacrifice, dying with both honor and sublime confidence in the reward given to those who endure until the end. He enters Heaven, and can say with St. Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Who can deny the internal strength of this man? He was killed for the Cross and carried his cross, to be “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20), having “fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10).
Our Lord tells us, “he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:38) And, tell me, who is more worthier than the one who emulates Christ in this most great of levels, taking up the cross and being killed as a martyr, as Christ was put to death on the lofty peak of the skull.
He was seized by the heathen, taken to the fields of death for his bearing of the Holy Cross, for the Muslims “are the enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18); he was shot down, and thus having upon his flesh the wounds of Christ. The Muslims called him a swine, and in this glorious moment, before his sacrifice, was he as Christ was when the guards “mocked him, and smote him.” (Luke 22:63)
In that time, when the Timeless God was embodied with humanity’s timed flesh, wounded and scourged, exhausted and parched, forsaken and forgotten, did those wicked and callous guards push down upon his holy head the thorns of the earth, rooted in the forests of the abyss. And for this martyr of Syria, was he too given this same treatment, being inflicted with a crown of thorns, only to be given a crown of glory.
Those Muslims who inflicted this saint, did so to appease the flesh, which boasts for itself power and dominance, but such is only a temporal pleasure, coming from hell and manifesting in the warped indulgence of cruelty. But this martyr, although he endured pain and suffering, and was overpowered by the slaves of devils, was more free and liberated than the most powerful of criminals, for although he was struck, he kept enduring in the faith, threatened with death, he preserved, never permitting the shackles of this wicked life to take him down, nor allowing the fetters of the diabolical to imprison him in the flesh.
But he, never ceasing in that but small moment, never acquiesced to the demands of the heathen. It was within that small instance of time, that he was given a simple choice: bow down before the devil, or perish under the sword. And in that finite moment, in what seems to be but only an infinitesimal matter of time, he left time, and entered eternity.
His enemies believed that they did God a service by killing him, seeing themselves as conquering kings, not knowing that the person they deem a conquered enemy, was a glorious warrior, entering the Kingdom of Heaven, to receive the crown of a knight. For as St. Paul tells us, “they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” (I Corinthians 9:25)