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Cain, Connecticut and Christmas

December 17, 2012

Cain, Connecticut and Christmas

The immediate effect of sin was the introduction of bloodshed into the world. Blood had to be shed to cover sin. Blood began to be shed as sin gripped hold of mankind. Selfish hearts rebelled against God and men battled with one another. Early in the history of man, two brothers brought sacrifices to God. One brought a blood sacrifice which God accepted. The other brought a vegetable sacrifice which God rejected. In anger, Cain lashed out at his brother, murdering him. With surprising ferocity, the bloody violence of sin erupted on the earth, and it’s destruction has never ceased. Throughout human history, men have wantonly slaughtered men, for reasons of state, revenge, money, love, for a thousand other reasons and for no reason at all. The innocent blood spilled because of sin has not yet ended. The horrific events in Connecticut this past weekend remind us of the horrors sin has brought into the world. It is beyond comprehension how anyone can brutally murder so many young children, but sadly, it is not without precedent.

For many families impacted by this, the Christmas season will never be the same. Instead of celebrating, they will be mourning. This tragedy displays the very reason why there is a Christmas. Christ stepped into the world to provide the solution to sin and all of its terrible consequences. Yet, even then there was unthinkable slaughter of innocents. Herod’s response to the birth of Christ was to order the murder of every baby boy in the region. The entrance into the world of the one who would deliver the world from sin was greeted with yet another holocaust. The incarnation of the Son of God was the only solution to the problem infecting the world. The cause of the tragedy this past weekend is not video games, parental neglect, poor mental health, improper support structures or insufficient gun laws. The cause of the tragedy this weekend is the tragedy of sin. The heart in rebellion against God will inevitably lash out at its fellow man. Sometimes it will lash out in murder, sometimes it will lash out in abuse, sometimes it will lash out in bitterness and sometimes it will lash out in vile speech. The problem remains the same, the heart is in rebellion against God and it will strike out those God created in His image. God in His conquering love and grace provided the only answer to the tragedy of sin. He gave His only Son to take away sin’s penalty and destroy sin’s strength. Only through Christ can the heart be transformed and restored to peace with God. Christ is God’s response to this tragedy and all others like it. Christ is God’s provision for a man to be reconciled with God and men. The incarnation is far more than God stepping into humanity and sharing in man’s grief. The incarnation is God stepping into humanity and defeating the source of all human sorrow. Christmas is a time of great hope and celebration because it commemorates the arrival of the one who would one day defeat sin and death and who will one day fully eradicate them from the universe. God’s response to Cain, Connecticut and every other senseless act of murder is Jesus.

God in His mercy has already responded to the awful tragedy of sin and the awful tragedies that have resulted from sin. God will respond with justice to all who sin. Salvation is possible for the most atrocious of criminals, but those who do not receive salvation will be judged by God for their deeds. Revelation 20 describes the terrible Great White Throne judgment. At that judgment every unsaved man is judged for His deeds. Scriptures does not tell us the full nature of that judgment, but we can be certain that God’s judgment will be far more severe than anything men can mete out. Though we rarely see justice enacted as quickly as we would like, God’s justice is not lacking. In mercy He delays judgment (2 Peter 3:9), but when it comes it will be full, complete and terrible. The words of Albert Mohler fit especially well, “God, not the murderer, has the last word. For those in Christ, there is the promise of full restoration. Even in the face of such unmitigated horror, there is hope.” Christmas reminds us that Christ is the hope who has defeated death. Christmas reminds us that because of Christ’s death there is coming a time when there will be no more sorrow, pain or death. As we weep with those who weep, we can do so with great hope and promise because God became flesh and dwelt among us.

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