Despising Death is Not Enough

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A concert hall in a vibrant city.  A pastor’s home on a quiet street.  Thousands of miles apart, yet gripped by the same grim story.  Gunmen enter, weapons blazing; enacting hate and leaving tragic scenes.  There are two stories this week, leaving many asking the question, “where is God?" 

Great question. 

While tears are being shed and pundits crassly speculate - make no mistake - God despises death more than you do.  A good God gives freedom.  A great God cleans up the mess.  He’s the only one capable of bringing beauty from ashes. 

God hates the carnage.  Despising death was not enough. Only life kills death.  Jesus found God's enemies, and He laid down His life for them.  He found the ones that hated Him, and He turned Himself over.  He was callously slaughtered by the ones He wept for.  In doing so, He paid the price for their hideous deeds.  And yours.  And mine. 

Death is fueled by anger.  When we’re feeling lost in our rage, despair, and hatred, our Enemy wins again.  When we reach for life, anchored by love, the enemy knows His doom is sure. 

Our world is a beautiful, broken kingdom.  We’ll always face the fallout of specific acts of horror and chronic evil.  There is one golden hope.  Because of Jesus, this broken kingdom doesn’t get the final word.  God has built a new kingdom that is to come.  By His Grace, we’re invited to this rescue.  When He was broken, so were our chains.  As He rises, by our faith in His promise, so do we.  That’s Christianity.   

Here’s my prayer:  God, comfort the hurting.  Let your hope pierce this hideous night.  Raise people up, raise me up, raise us up… to lay our lives down for the ones that hate us.  That’s what you did. That’s how death is defeated.  In you, and you alone, LIFE WINS.

Let your life win in me.

Aaron is the pastor of Spring of Life, a new church in Portland, Oregon. He's the owner of Amplify Creative.