The third mark of a martyr is that he has a remarkable forgiving spirit.
Think about that for a minute – a martyr has a forgiving spirit. Listen to Stephen as his skull is cracked and bleeding from the stones thrown at him:
“And falling on his knees, he cried out – ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’ And having said this, he fell asleep.” Act 7:60
It was in 1956 that I first heard of the death of five missionaries, martyred by the very Indian tribe they had come to save. In Ecuador, Nathaniel Saint & Jim Elliott along with 3 other brave missionaries died from poisoned arrows of the little known Huaorani tribe.
Some 7 years later I was a seminary student when Elisabeth Elliott & Rachel Saint came to my seminary & spoke in chapel. They had with them the two men who had killed their husbands. The audience was spellbound as we listened to these two wives of martyred husbands tell how they forgave those who murdered their men. These women had the spirit of forgiveness that all martyr’s possess.
Today, I am praying for Saeed Abidini, an American born Iranian pastor who is in prison in Iran. His only offense is that he is a Christian. He has been imprisoned since September of 2012. “Father, strengthen Saeed this day, feed his spirit with your love. Visit him this day in his cell. Let Saeed know he belongs to you. Amen”