March 23, 2022
In 1999 Tuy Seng (not his real name) traveled to an isolated area in northern Cambodia. Most of the people there were Buddhists or spiritists; Christianity was virtually unheard of. In one village Seng and his message about Jesus were given an extremely warm welcome. He openly wondered why? An elderly lady stepped forward, grabbed his hands and said “We have been waiting for you for twenty years.” And then she launched into the tale of the mysterious God who had hung on the cross.
In the 1970s the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia and destroyed everything it could find. Soldiers came to this village and immediately gathered all the villagers together and forced them to start digging their graves. The villagers did so and then prepared to die. Some were stoic but other screamed to Buddha, the spirits or to their ancestors.
One woman cried to help from a God she had heard about as a child – some God who had hung on a cross. She prayed because surely, if this God had suffered so, He might have compassion on these villagers. Others caught her passion and soon the whole village started praying to this God who had been tormented and hung on a cross. Eventually, their cries gave way to a silence. Facing their own graves, they slowly turned around to face their persecutors only to discover that they were gone.
The woman recounting this story told Seng that ever since that day 20 years ago the people in the village had been waiting for the person who would stride into their locale and tell the rest of the story of the God who had hung on a cross. (Doris I. Rosser & Ellen Vaughn,The God Who Hung on the Cross, Zondervan, 2003)
Dr. Matt Friedeman