This week Shi'ite muslims are commemorating the martyrdom of Hussein (the grandson of Muhammad, Islam's prophet). Even tonight as I was out for a run, hundreds of Shi'ites are attending special services as what are known as Husseiniyas (which are different than their mosques). This will culminate in a few nights with bloody rituals with chains and even swords as they seek to identify with the death of their martyr.
Although more Orthodox Shi'ites will take issue with what I am about to say, essentially many Shi'ites believe that Hussein died as an atonement for their sins. I've had Shi'ites friends tell me this directly and when I have sat down and read Isaiah 53 with them, one thought that it was referencing Hussein. The recognition of a need for a savior is indeed universal – even if it is hidden deep in the hearts of men and women.
How tragic that more than 600 years after the God/Man, Jesus Christ came to earth to die as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, a false savior appeared to deceive millions named Hussein and that today millions of Shi'ite muslims are looking to him, a mere man, a sinful man, to somehow help atone for their sins? To think that they NEVER got the memo! Even tonight I am wondering about the thousands gathering literally within a mile of my house in a series of Husseiniyas who have no genuine understanding of who Christ is and what He did on their behalf.
Blood will be spilt again in a few nights all over the Shi'ite muslim world because they never heard that "It is finished" from the One who died "once for all" - the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Savior of mankind – including the Shi'ites.