Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Now That Virginia Tech Has Happened

Now That Virginia Tech Has Happened
Kevin Shrum

It is tragic! Is it evil! It is useless! It doesn’t make sense! What are we to make of this event? How can we make sense of this, or any other tragedy, for that matter? We must turn to Jesus for guidance. His words of Luke 13:1-5 are helpful. Read them with my own commentary interspersed:

“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.”

  • Commentary: Some of Jesus’ followers mention to Him the evil of Pilate’s violent rampage against the Galileans – this could be referred as an ‘unnatural,’ or ‘intentional’ evil. It was a wicked, senseless massacre. Just like the events on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic University.

“2 Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?’”

  • Commentary: Our answers are often lame and weak. We look for blame to make ourselves feel better. We think that if we can place blame we will be protected from the random, the senseless, from evil. The victims were no worse sinners than people who die in what may be termed as ‘normal circumstances.’ Nor, was the culprit any more evil than any other sinner on earth. We are all sinners capable of horrific evil.

“3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

  • Commentary: Being ready for death, whenever and however it comes, is key!

“4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?”

  • Commentary: Jesus mentions another tragedy – what about those who died from what could be described as a ‘natural’ or ‘accidental’ event? A tower in Siloam fell on eighteen people. So, both ‘unnatural,’ ‘intentional’ and ‘natural,’ ‘accidental’ events are covered. The tragedy is that all die – some outside of Christ, some in Christ – but all die. Whether by car accident, war, cancer, crime, etc., all deaths are the same.

“5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

  • Commentary: Again, no matter how death comes, the real tragedy is the person unprepared for death. Preparation for death comes through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

There is a very good reason why Scripture calls death the enemy (1 Cor. 15:26). It is 'anti' every thing God represents. Yet, in Jesus Christ, God has conquered sin, death and hell and has offered life to any and all persons willing to repent of their sin and trust Christ as Savior and Lord. Having trusted Christ, that person will be ready for death whether it comes at the age of 19 at the end of a gun barrel from a crazed gunman on a college campus or at the age of 90 from 'natural causes.' God (and death) is no respecter of persons. We must be ready!

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