As news reaches us of, apparently, a sole gunman killing 50 people and wounding hundreds in Las Vegas, we naturally turn in prayer to God for the comfort of the resurrection to be upon those who mourn the sudden deaths of loved ones and friends.
While the world looks to find reason and rhyme in this sinful, horrific act of violence, and, sadly, others look to gain political capital to use for their purposes, Christians look to God’s Word to explain even these tragic events.
As our Lord Jesus said, our old, evil foe, Satan himself, was a murderer in the beginning. Christ says the Devil only comes to lie, kill, steal, and destroy. Satan’s only power over mankind is when individual sinners willingly help him kill and destroy. Often, his targets are believers in Christ, as the Holy Spirit had St. Paul write,
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The sinful hearts of men, following the Old Adam within, can only conceive of sin.
When sin reaches its most bitter, full fruit, murder results. As the Apostle John writes,
For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
So, sadly, from the Biblical worldview, murder, even mass murder, is not surprising.
Our hope, our comfort, our joy in times of tragedy are Paul’s words above. Nothing can separate us from the the love of Christ, not even death itself. Christ entered death to destroy death. He rose on the Third Day, never to die again. That is the comfort we can share in times such as these. Since Christ is raised, all believers in Him shall rise with Him, on that Great Day when God wipes every tear of sorrow from our eyes, and welcomes us into life everlasting in heart, mind, body and soul.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus! <><