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And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
This is not a post about Omar Mateen.
Nor is it a post about what recently happened in Orlando, Florida.
It is a post about the dangerous love God expresses through his Son, Jesus Christ.
God’s dangerous love for humanity becomes more real for me as I consider the horrible actions of Mateen in Orlando. Some call what Mateen did an act of hate. Some say an act of terror. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was killed in a way not too different from Mateen’s victims. Jesus forgave his killers; God forgave them; We are also called to forgive our enemies. God’s love is dangerous.
If Mateen had called out to God for forgiveness, what might the Father of Jesus Christ have done?
This Is How Jesus Died:
- False Witnesses (Matthew 26:59-60)
- Condemned to Death for Telling the Truth (Mark 14:61-64)
- Spat at, Slapped, Beaten, Mocked (Matthew 26:67)
- Bound as a Prisoner (John 18:12)
- Abandoned by a Best Friend (Mark 14:66-72)
- Innocently Accused (Luke 23:4, 14)
- Condemned by a Mob (John 19:15)
- Falsely Accused Again (Luke 23:10)
- Treated with Contempt and Mocked (Luke 23:11)
- Declared Innocent by the Governor (Luke 23:4, 13, 22)
- Condemned Again by the Mob (Matthew 27:22-23)
- Scourged (beaten with straps) (John 19:1)
- Abandoned to Death by the Governor who Had Declared Him Innocent (Matthew 27:24; Mark 15:15)
- Nailed to a Cross and Crucified to Death (Mark 15:24; Luke 23:46; Luke 23:52-53)
- Mocked while Hanging on the Cross (Luke 23:35-38)
This Is What Jesus Did with His Killers
- Jesus Asked His Father to Forgive His Killers (Luke 23:34)
This is How Steven Died:
- A Follower of Christ (Acts 6:8)
- Innocent of All Crime (Acts 6:8-10)
- Falsely Accused (Acts 6:11-14)
- Arrested for His Religious Beliefs (Acts 6:12)
- Tried in a Kangaroo Court for His Beliefs (Acts 6:12-7:56)
- Stoned by an Angry Mob for Those Religious Beliefs (Acts 7:57-58)
- The Crowd Pledged Allegiance to Saul (Acts 7:58) Mateen Pledged Allegiance to ISIS
- Saul Gladly Received and Acknowledged Their Allegiance (Acts 8:1) ISIS Approved Mateen
This Is What Steven Did with His Killers:
- Steven Asked Jesus to Forgive His Killers (Acts 7:60)
Who Was Saul?
- A Leader Who Encouraged Hate Crimes (Acts 7:58)
- Saul Himself Performed Religious Hate Crimes (Acts 8:1, 3)
- Saul Traveled to Religiously Persecute Those of a Different Faith (Acts 9:1-2)
This Is What Jesus Did with Saul:
- Jesus Identified with His Persecuted Followers (Acts 9:4)
- Jesus Forgave Saul (Acts 9:15)
- Jesus Converted Saul and Appointed Him to Be His Chief Servant (Acts 9:15-20)
- Saul Served Jesus and Wrote 13 Books of the New Testament (The New Testament Contains 27 Books)
Why Is God’s Love DANGEROUS?
- God Loves His Enemies (Romans 5:10)
- He Sent His Own Son to Die for His Enemies (Romans 5:10; John 3:16)
- Jesus Commands His Followers to Do the Same (Matthew 5:10-11, 44; Luke 6:27)
A Recent Example of God’s Dangerous Love
While on a short-term mission trip with a small group from my church (Weekend Ministry in San Francisco), I met a homeless man who told me how the Ku Klux Klan had robbed his father of some land he had inherited, then beheaded his father in front of his mother, and finally burned his father on a cross. This man, gesturing strongly with tensed, cupped hands in front of his stomach, said, “There’s something in me that says to forgive.” That “something” is the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
For Further Study
There have been many Christian martyrs over the years, and there are very many today. Have you ever read biographies or accounts of those who die in hate crimes against their faith? The stories of their lives can be very humbling and also inspiring. Here are just a few easy links: