"This is why we have Eid al-Adha!"


Reading Genesis

What to know Muslims around the world commemorate the obedience or submission of Ibrahim by holding a feast (Eid). On this day, an animal is slaughtered, to represent the ram that was provided for Ibrahim in the place of his son.


Notice that sacrifice in Islam is not an atonement ritual: unlike Jewish sacrifice, al-Adha slaughters don't signify the transfer of sin to an animal, as seen in Leviticus 4. Instead, al-Adha (also called Qurbani, from the Hebrew "Corban") is a "sunnah" act...that is, it's an act of imitating the prophets in order to please God. For Muslims around the world, it has become a time of celebrating with friends and family. However, for many Muslims, this sacrifice still carries significance for Judgment Day. For many Sunni Muslims, it's a time to practice charity, giving meat from the sacrifice to families in poverty. This is viewed as a good deed that goes on the scale for Judgment Day. For some Shia Muslims, the blood of the sacrificed animal is seen as carrying a blessing that, if physically touched, can earn favor in God's eyes...washing your sins away. What to say Ask your friend what al-Adha is like in their house. Do they see the sacrifice? What is their reaction? What does the day mean to them?

  1. If God opens the door during this conversation to explain the Gospel of Jesus, share with your friend! Like Ibrahim's son, all humans are subject to death. But like Ibrahim's son, we can receive a substitution...another body or Adha (sacrifice) can be given in our place. Like Ibrahim's son, we can be set free. God has the right and authority to rescue, according to his own power and mercy. Ibrahim accepted God's provision...he received the Adha in the place of his son, with gratitude and praise. Today, we are like Ibrahim and his son. An Adha has been offered to us. Jesus al-Masih is "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!" His body has been offered in our place. God has the authority and power to do this. Will we refuse, or allow God to set us free?

  2. If God leads you to wait, to allow the Word of God to unveil itself as you continue to read further, focus on the concept of being like Ibrahim. Consider sharing Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 11:1: "Imitate me as I imitate Christ." Reflect on the value of imitating the men and women of God who went before us. What are the aspects of Ibrahim's life that you want to imitat? How can your life express faith, hope, trust, and belief in God? How might God provide for the deepest needs and desires of our own hearts? In light of our needs...Pray that God would one day open the door to talk about God's authority to exchange one body or life for another, and what this might mean for Judgement Day.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf:  be reconciled to God. 

   

[II Corinthians 5:20]

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