I cry with the survivors and with all America over the senseless deaths of seventeen beautiful young lives wastefully slaughtered in a single act of meaningless violence this past week. I cry over the hateful, invective-spewing division in America, as some scream, “Guns!” while others scream, “People!” As a Christian, I ask myself, how exactly can faith in Jesus Christ help at a time like this?
Two verses come to mind, one from the Old Testament and one from the New:
Isaiah 50:7 But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint (solid rock), and I know that I shall not be put to shame. (ESV)
Hebrews 10:5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me;
“For God so loved the world that he gave” his Son in a human body. Jesus wasn’t a bionic man, not a superman. His body of human flesh was just like yours and mine. Yet God made Jesus strong, like flint, like rock (Isaiah 50:7), so that he could withstand the suffering involved in human sacrifice. Yes, Jesus was a human sacrifice. He died a painful death nailed to a Roman cross.
Jesus Christ the man/Son of God then rose from the dead. Yes, he rose from the dead and sits at the right hand of God in the victory of God’s love over all death and all evil in the world.
How can faith in Jesus Christ help at a time like this? We will get through this. There is life beyond the grave. When we place our faith in Christ, we are placing our faith in the Rock. We are building our homes on the Rock, not on sand.
Matthew 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
Faith in Christ helps us because Jesus as a fellow-sufferer has already won victory over death. He now stands in the fullness of life restored and carries us with him. Suffering does end. We will get through this. There is life on the other side. It is the strength of Jesus’ love that carries us through.
My prayers are with the survivors and with America right now.