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An Uneasy Start to Passion Week Posted 3.27.2015

I don’t know about you, but as I enter this week of the year – one that for people of faith reminds us of the deep love of God and the depth of our rebellion – there is a sense of unease in the world.  As updates dribble out day by day regarding that deliberate plane crash in the Alps, there is a sense of loss for us all.  Humanity has again plunged to a depth we struggle to explain.  If we could understand and explain it, maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much.  Maybe.

 

After 9/11, we adjusted our minds to the idea of terrorists doing unspeakable damage in the name of religion.  So when they strike anew, we have become a numb to their evil.  The shock of suicide killers is something we have learned to live with.  If we ever can, anyway.

 

So to hear of a pilot murdering 149 people while killing himself is unnerving.  He has cast a pall over these days – at least for me.  Perhaps it is because I have a lot of flights looming in my immediate future, perhaps is it just the helplessness those passengers experienced as they saw the ground getting ever closer to them, or perhaps it is because we just cannot explain such a horrible tragedy.

 

Our culture must find a reason outside of the human heart to cope with such tragedy.  We do not turn to God any more as a culture, so have to grope for comfort somewhere else.  We have learned to deal with the overwhelming power of religion to motivate desperate acts, because for the killer they contain the promise of reward in heaven.

 

But we cannot find a box in which to put this crash.  So we will blame everything but the evil that lies in each human heart.  I’m not discounting mental illness or deep seeded psychological issues, which haunt people.  But no one will ever say that the heart of man is wicked.  Choices were made which brought heartbreak and loss. 

 

To admit to such depth of evil in the human heart does not give humanity hope.  It eliminates it.  But it is exactly there that the Gospel can step in and give hope.  We are all evil.  We all care about ourselves more than we care about the rest of the passengers on any airplane.  But there is a place where hearts change.

 

More facts will come to light in the months ahead, but I doubt that anyone will ever point to role of the deceitful human heart in this horrible act of violence.  It’s so unnerving because whenever we fly we put our lives in the hands of someone we do not know.  And we are all cut from the same cloth.  We all need redemption.  The world won’t go there.  So they make new boxes.

 

May we face the reality of our own heart and continue to cling to redemption we have in Jesus.  May we share it clearly and with great hope this week.  Jesus is the One who made intercession for the transgressors.  Never forget it.


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