Monday, July 23, 2012

"Authorities will promise to do everything in their power to ensure our safety. But in the end, no one can guarantee our security."

Colin Hansen:
Our ancestors lived in a world like this. At any moment they might succumb to a disease no one yet understood. Or become collateral damage in a war they didn't start. Or suffer starvation when the skies withheld their rain. The patriarchs of the Old Testament lived in such a world. So did the apostles of the New Testament. So did Jesus.

Not even the Son of God escaped gruesome, torturous death. He lived in a world where religious leaders conspired with political tyrants to kill so-called enemies who made the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise, and the poor rejoice over good news (Matt. 11:5). He was not safe and secure in this world. In fact, he said, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head (Matt. 8:20).

And yet this man, not even welcome in his hometown (Luke 4:24), could point to those same birds of the air and see reason to trust in our heavenly Father, who feeds them, "who neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn" (Luke 12:24). So when his season of sorrow approached, when one of his closest friends handed him over to evil men, he could say to his heavenly Father, "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done" (Luke 22:42).

Jesus knew exactly who to blame for his impending execution. He stared into the faces of the chief priests and scribes who sought his death. He answered to Pilate, who signed his death sentence. And yet, when he looked out on these murderers from the excruciating elevation of the cross, he prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

No cry of why will satisfy our search for a reasonable explanation to the horrors of this age. But the God-man who cried, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" comforts us in our grief (Matt. 27:46). Even more, his unjust death and ultimate triumph in resurrection is the very means by which we can begin even now to enjoy never-ending peace with the "Father of mercies and God of all comfort" (2 Cor. 1:3).

Jesus had no illusions about why the nations rage. They rage in their sin, against their God, going so far as to put God in human flesh to death. But such evil plots in vain, because the ascended Jesus promises to return in justice. He will hold his and the Aurora movie theater's murderers to account. And he will usher in the safety and security of the new heavens and new earth for all who believe in him.

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (Rev. 21:4).
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