As I was cleaning my floors today, I had ample time to reflect on my reactions towards the recent violent crimes making headlines: the one in my neighborhood and the one in Las Vegas. Both crimes received reactions of shock and horror from me. I wondered why. And then I had a thought.
Even on my most diligent days of floor cleaning a visitor to my home would not need a magnifying glass to see areas I missed: the dust clutching the baseboards, the teasing crumbs under the table, the pet fur floating in corners. I simply can’t maintain a spotless floor despite my best efforts to do so. This thought transfers to me as well. Despite my most heartfelt attempts to live a righteous life sleepless nights still render me impatient, a friend’s words still leave me feeling bitter, laziness is still more appealing than diligence and a critical spirit is still an easier default than a loving one. And this is true for all of us, dear Readership, for we all fall short in our attempts to please the One who holds our eternity in His hands.
Society is always seeking alternative means to eternal life, peace with God and peace of mind. They worship nature or themselves; they embrace all belief systems; or they simply reject all thoughts of tomorrow and live only for today. Most people find ways around Jesus: “He was a good teacher.” “He was a prophet.” “He was a divine being.” Few people accept Jesus for who He is: Creator of the Universe, Maker of Time, Lord of Life, Almighty God, Savior from the Curse of Sin. When faced with the details of the Crucifixion, we are confronted with why He died and why it was He who died. The price for sin is death and sin demanded its payment. The only way for humanity (from the beginning of time to its end) to have the opportunity for reconciliation with God was if the ransom was paid. The problem was that everyone was bankrupt by their own sin; no one could pay their own debt, let alone the entire world’s! And so, the Creator of the Universe, the Maker of Time, the Lord of Life, the Almighty God became the Savior of the World by providing an escape from the curse of sin and paying the ransom once and for all.
Now, returning to my floor-cleaning train of thought: I shouldn’t be shocked by these recent crimes because they are simply the result of a sin-drenched world. Thousands of crimes more horrific than these occur every day behind closed doors, in cold clinics, invisible to the headlines. What more can we expect from a society that lauds self-indulgence and instant gratification? I shouldn’t be shocked; I should be humbled. Humbled that I am forgiven; humbled that my eternity is secure in the hands of the Keeper of Time; and humbled that I can point my children to the Cross so that they need never live in fear of a gun.