Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Times Like These

Ocassionally our culture is smacked in the face with the reality of sin in such dramatic ways that it cannot be ignored. 9/11 was such an instance. Perhpas the Don Imus episode earlier this month will have the impact, but I doubt it. Undoubtedly, however, for the next month the nation at large will be shook by the events which transpired on the campus of Virginia Tech this week. 30 people have been murdered, and many more have been left scarred and terrified. Our prayers and thoughts must go out to those students and families affected by the trajedy at Virginia Tech. Many of us will never know this kind of suffering, but we must do our best to be sympathetic and, as Scripture says, weep with those who weep. What a trajedy, what a loss, what a terrible thing to happen.

It is in moments like these that I am smacked in the face with the reality of my own sin. No, I am not a murderer who has gunned down innocent victims at my university, but I have hated and belittled men. I have judged others wrongly, and I have thought ill of individuals. The truth is that we are all wretched sinners, and any one of us is capable of something just as vile and sick as this killer from VA Tech. But regardless of how far we go with our sin we will all have to answer for it. God, as judge of the universe, must deal with sin. And He has set up two ways in which He does: (1) He punishes sinners in a real, literal, and everlasting hell; and (2) He punished Jesus on their behalf.

It is moments like these when I am smacked in the face with the grandness of grace. O, how I deserve hell, and yet, because of Jesus' death on the cross I receive grace. I deserve the scorn of the nation, and the world, and God. But Jesus came into this world, lived a perfect, sinless life, and died on the cross bearing the punishment that I deserve. And friends, this grace, this redemption, is free to all who confess they are sinners and deserve God's wrath, and who put their faith in Jesus's finished work on the cross for their salvation.

It is times like these when I weep, and when I thank God for mercy.


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