Not So Different

    I sit here reflecting what our world has become and is becoming.  It is headed on a very dark path that just keeps getting darker.  The terrorism that has hit different countries over the last few decades increases and we wonder why?  What is going on where people think they are justified in taking innocent lives in the name of the their beliefs?  I can’t imagine that our world has come to that, but can I?  As I sit thinking about Easter Sunday coming up it dawns on me that the justification of taking innocent lives has been around for thousands of years which brings us to the death of Jesus Christ.

    Jesus was born for one purpose, to die on the cross for all of our sins.  He lived a life full of every temptation imaginable so that he could relate to us, yet still living a perfect life.  Jesus did nothing wrong, but in the eyes of the religious leaders of the Jews, Jesus was a criminal.  They were set in their ways and their laws and had no room for a Savior to come to save the world.  With Jesus claiming He was the Son of God, the Jews were charging Him with blasphemy.  He threatened their positions as high priests and the jewish law which in turn led them to take Jesus out of the picture.  Jesus was innocent, yet the leaders sentenced Him to death.  In fear of the reaction of the religious leaders, the other people said nothing when the Romans questioned them.

    Jesus was tortured beyond recognition and crucified on the cross.  Nails were driven into his wrists and ankle bones to hold Him on the cross.  So much innocent blood was spilled.  Just as in Jesus day, innocent blood is spilled today.  Most recently, the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.  My heart breaks with seeing the connection of behavior more than two thousand years a part.  People justifying the deaths of others to uphold their beliefs.  So what are we to do?  We pray…

    We pray for the victims and their families that God comforts them through these dark times.  We pray that God reaches the hearts of the people who don’t know Him.  We pray for the terror to subside from these senseless acts of evil and is replaced by the strength of our Lord knowing that one day there will be judgement.  We pray for peace to fulfill our souls once again.  And as Jesus said with His last dying breath, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do,”  we pray for the terrorists themselves that God drastically changes their hearts in the hope that they may one day know the one true God. 

    We may never understand why these acts of terrorism happen, but just as God used Jesus’ death to save the world, we trust and hope that God will somehow use these acts of terrorism in a way that could help others.  We have no idea what that looks like, but if we grasp onto hope rather than grasping onto fear we can move forward in healing.

But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. - Psalm 9:18

We wait in the hope of the Lord; he is our help and our shield. - Psalm 33:20

Courtney Smith