By Dr. Dale Meyer, Friend of First Lutheran Church, President of Concordia Theological Seminary – St Louis, Missouri and author of the Meyer Minute, a daily devotional writing.
What to say after the Boston bombing? Much, but for what it’s worth, the terrible event reminds me why I am a follower of Jesus Christ.
Jesus came into a world to do battle with the forces evil. The demons cry out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Narazeth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24) Jesus exposes the source of evil. The bomb blasts are symptoms of evil in the heart. “Out of the heart of man come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder…” (Mark 7:21)
While I’m not the bomber, not the terrorist, not the murderer, a pretty good person outwardly, He stings me, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20) The teachings of Jesus cut deep; my goodness before others doesn’t hide my sin from God. One reason Christianity works is because it shows the depth of sin in us all; it rings true to our shame. But Christianity works for another reason.
“The Son of Man, Jesus, has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (Mark 2:10) “All sins will be forgiven the children of man.” (Mark 3:28) His forgiveness for all sins comes because He suffered the punishment for all sins. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34) He earned the right to pray for all sinners, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
And Christianity works because it gives hope and steel. “Because I live, you also will live.” (John 14:19) That hope draws us on, puts steel into our souls to persevere. “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) And as the word of Jesus goes out, He says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18). Would that we could see it! But not yet. We are in the end time, when evil explodes against the ultimate triumph of God. “He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26) Christianity doesn’t have all the answers, but following Jesus helps us in times like these.