About 2000 years ago a group of elite soldiers armed to the teeth waited in the darkness. They had inside intel that ahead of them was a man their superiors believed was dangerous. A man they have to silence, he had caused them far too much embarrassment. The soldiers have been told that if they capture this man it will prove that God is on their side, but this is exactly what the man’s followers claim. They know the people want this man to lead an army and so these soldiers are ready for anything. They make their way into the clearing and one of his followers charges them, there is a flash of metal followed by a spray of blood. Shouting, running, confusion, swords drawn and ready. Then one voice, not forceful but heard above all the rest, speaks – and the violence is quelled. He is arrested, he will be crucified. The superiors say that this proves God is with them.
About a week ago a group of elite soldiers armed to the teeth stormed a compound in darkness. They had intel that the man they have been hunting for 10 years is in there. They had been told that if they captured or killed this man it will prove that God is on their side, but that is exactly what the man’s followers claim. They know his followers want this man to lead an army so these soldiers are ready for anything. They make their way into the compound and it erupts into a firefight. The soldiers complete their task, but they are unable to take the man alive. It doesn’t matter, the superiors say that this proves God is with them.
In both cases the deaths were cause for celebration for some. But I can only celebrate one of these deaths. The death that bought me life. It may be a ‘necessary evil’, as some have called it, for Bin Laden to have been killed, but I cannot celebrate his death. I cannot claim that God is on the side of the western world who have chased Bin Laden for 10 years, yes God is concerned with justice, but he also challenges the idea of revenge. Many expected Jesus to lead in a way that continued the cycle of retaliatory violence, but He didn’t. He had a different way. Some would say a better way.
Perhaps it’s not as easy as that. I don’t know. I don’t have any answers, but I know that the world won’t change much until someone takes seriously the words and challenge of Jesus.
For more on this (who I may have stolen ideas from… I was thinking the same – honest) read my new friend Tim’s post here.