- Little boy almost killed by a gorilla in the Cincinnati zoo
- Little boy is killed by an alligator in Orlando Florida
- Many people murdered by terrorists in the Club in Florida
- Dallas police officers targeted and murdered
- Young black men losing their lives under questionable circumstances
- People killed in France by a truck driver with apparent terrorist leadings
- The myriad of shootings in schools and public venues, churches and parks.
- AND THE LIST GOES ON…
All of us agree that these tragedies are real, painful, and deadly. Many tell us the answer is to ban guns or have more strict gun control laws [of course many more people are killed by automobiles and in plane crashes – maybe we should ban them too–just a thought]. Others tell us that we just need to educate people more and if they knew stuff they don’t know now, they wouldn’t do such things [we already know more now than we are doing!]. Some say we need more laws passed [We have many laws that we don’t follow now!]
May I suggest to you a much deeper tragedy? It is in not understanding our own natures and in not understanding the God of the Bible who presides over history and this planet. Until the human nature undergoes a deep, inward, spiritual change, we can act no different than we do, and human nature unchanged never ascends in morality, but descends into more and more immoral and despicable acts [Romans 1].
The cross of Christ ends the tragedies and heals the hearts of those affected by tragedy for it is there our hope of a change in our nature begins. It is Christ in the life through the new birth that heals the race, lifts the behavior, and restores the soul to where God in his wise creation intended for it to be. Think about our value system that excludes God’s perspective. We truly do worship and serve the creation over the Creator.
I was listening to the TV ads regarding donations to save dogs and cats. They play tearful music over abused animals. [Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to see animals abused either]. But think about the thousands of aborted babies every year in our country alone…where are the tears for that horrific tragedy? Save the whales…kill the babies…that is where we have now landed. I was shocked to hear of the push back when the Cincinnati zoo killed the gorilla to save the little boy. Some people were outraged at the killing of the gorilla. We have become our own god passing judgment and valuing animal life over human life.
Can we explain what is behind human tragedy and why God would allow such events to occur? Apart from the fallenness of our race and the effects of sin on humanity, much of it IS a mystery. Yet in the Bible God allowed some tragedies to come to awaken His people to their need of revival and a return to His ways and His word [Read some of the Old Testament prophets as they warn his people Israel]. There is no doubt the church is in great need of that return and revival.
It does not mean that the people caught in these tragedies are somehow being singled out and punished by God. God settled that matter by crucifying His Son on the cross to bear the punishment for all our sins[ I Peter 2:24]. It was Jesus who was punished for our sins. Not only that, but Jesus made it clear in Luke 13:1-5 that the tragedies that occurred where people were killed by a falling tower and some were killed by Pilate unjustly were not worse sinners than any others. Rather, Jesus said the tragedies should bring us to repentance or face a greater tragedy.
But the greatest tragedy of all is the issue of eternal destination for all of those who have lost their lives. How many really knew Jesus Christ? This world is a dangerous place. None of us know when our turn will come to enter the valley of death. For many, perhaps most, it comes suddenly and unexpectedly. The real tragedy is not to be ready for the journey you know for certain you are going to take. That is why John 3:16 looms large over the landscape of every tragedy. That is the answer and that is the hope for a human nature blinded and warped by sin. Not knowing Jesus Christ when earthly life comes to an end? –that my friend is the real tragedy!! The Gospel of Jesus Christ had better dominate our interactions with our peers because of what is at stake. THINK IT THRU…