Monday, December 17, 2012

how we have hope in the face of evil

Their precious Noah, age 6, who was killed last Friday at school. My own little Noah is just 7.
After Friday, how do we go back to regular life?

I think it's the question on everyone's heart today.

My heart aches for the families of the children and teachers that died in Connecticut last week. I can't begin to imagine the grief and anger they must face right now.

I feel angry that an evil boy-man can go in and take the lives of little children.

I'm angry that he killed himself. That he's not alive to see what he did. I realize He will face a much more serious judge than here on earth, but I still can't believe that he was so cowardly.

I don't know if I should be angry or not, honestly. We are called to love, but my chest burns because I can't believe a human being would be capable of such an atrocity. It's just so evil.

But there is nothing new under the sun, my brother Josh reminds me. Evil men have been taking the lives of children and the innocent for centuries. 

How could I forget?

Around this time more than two thousand years ago, a decree went out from the government that all of the first-born sons under 2 in Bethlehem were to be killed. That's why Mary and Joseph had to take Jesus and flee to Egypt.

Can you imagine your government killing your first-born baby boy?

How about the government demanding the life of any of your newborn baby boys like Pharaoh did in the time of Moses?

Or your government deciding to murder your disabled child like Hitler did not even 75 years ago?

And what about people deciding to kill their own children? 

1.2 million innocent babies died in our very own country last year.

It seems to me that evil hates innocence. Evil wants to kill innocence.

How is this possible? So many people ask why a good God would allow this to happen.

My question in return is, why would mankind allow this to happen? Why do we allow it to happen?

The responsibility is ours. The consequences are ours.

Man is desperately wicked. 

From the fall in the garden, we have been seeking our own way apart from God. We are completely unable to bring ourselves to goodness. 

History just shows us that man continues to sin, and even in the same way. 

We are forever lost without a chance- doomed to repeat history- unless someone comes to redeem us.

And only Jesus, the Son of God, did that. 

He was innocent, but He gave Himself up. 

We killed Him, the spotless Lamb, just like all those madmen killed those innocent children. 


Because evil wants to kill innocence.  Evil hates good.

Our sins put Jesus on the cross that day. We crucified Him with our lies, our disobedience, our hate. He died because of what we did. 

But God in His amazing GLORY, defeated our sin in that moment- through the death and resurrection of His perfect Son, we became able to be made clean and perfect like He is. In a moment, we went from murderers to adopted, righteous sons and daughters made new in His likeness. 


What is that incredible, crazy mercy?

Oh, do you see it??

We have no hope aside from Jesus!

But God is so, so merciful. 

God's eyes weren't closed when the Connecticut shooting happened. He sees the evil happening here. Like Ninevah, this country's evil has come up before God

And He sent a Way for us to repent- to be saved, just like He did for that evil city.

God is as full of mercy today as He was in Ninevah's day. They were a culture known for loving violence {does it seem strange that we as a culture today love to watch it in movies, TV, video games, and the news?}, but God had great pity on them, and gave them the chance to repent. 

He saw their 120,000 who didn't know their right hand from their left. He saw their tiny innocent ones, and He didn't want them to die. 

God isn't willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance: 
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Like the persistent widow demanding justice from the judge in Luke 18, our human heart cries for justice when evil does us wrong. But do we remember that we were once the evil-doer? And that God had mercy on us?

My heart is angry for the children that died, and I want to see that a punishment is given to the person who did it. My heart wants justice for the innocent. I want what is wrong to be made right. Everyone in this place does. 

This world is broken. We can all see that. Anyone can see that.

The question is, are we willing to see what we did to the Redeemer of all things?

He died for our sins. He was innocent. Spotless. Pure.  

Will we turn from our sins, and put our hope in Him alone? He waits with great patience for us to come to Him. 

What can we do as believers as we look for His return? For this broken world to be made new and clean and right again? 

Oh, and we can't miss how Jesus finishes the parable of the widow with this important question:
"Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Luke 18:8

Will he find us faithful at the end? Will you put your hope in Him today?

Jesus, thank you for your great mercy toward us. We are sinners desperately in need of you, and we praise you for giving us a way to come before you. We eagerly await your return, Jesus. Please comfort the broken-hearted as only you can do, God. You can imagine their grief, Lord. Oh Jesus, we come before you asking that you would be the light in the darkness of this situation. Show them your glory, Lord, and give them hope, Father. We love and praise you God, and we long for you to come.

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