On 29th April, eight convicted drug traffickers, including the two ring-leaders of the so-called ‘Bali Nine’, were executed by firing squad.
All except one of the eight had turned to Christ during their years in incarceration. Their lives had been transformed, and they had been transforming other peoples’ lives, writes Joy Tibbs.
Despite protests from across the globe, the authorities decided to uphold the death penalties. But when the day came for them to face the firing squad, something extraordinary happened. The prisoners declined the offer to wear blindfolds and instead stood and faced their executors. According to witnesses, they recited the Lord’s Prayer, embraced one another, and sang two songs, ‘Amazing Grace’ and [Matt Redman’s] ‘10,000 Reasons’, before their voices were drowned out by gunfire.
‘They sang one song after another, praising God,’ Pr Karina de Vega, who was present at the execution, told Fairfax Media. ‘They sang a few songs together, like in a choir. The non-Christian I believe sang from his heart. It was such an experience.’
Truly, an amazing act of worship, and, as Matt Redman himself says, a reminder that whatever life throws at us, we can be found with a song of praise on our lips.
See also this report in The Independent.