How Did Jesus Respond to Tragedy?
Remember when the acronym WWJD was popular? Well, I sure do. The question many people have, especially after the evil seen at Sandy Hook Elementary, is what would Jesus do about tragedies? What would he say? How would he respond? Well, Scripture gives us the answer. Luke 13:1-5 says this:
1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’
In verses 1-3 we see Jesus responding to an event similar to what we heard about in recent days. Pilate, a ruler in the Roman Empire, was apparently sanctioning mass killings to appease the gods he served. He was shedding blood for a senseless purpose. Though Pilate’s actions would elicit outrage today, Jesus did not respond by trying to overthrow the government. Jesus didn’t try to form an uprising of rebels. He didn’t even try to advocate for tougher gun laws. He advocated for the truth of the Gospel. He offered up himself, so that others may be saved. He told people that they were sinners in need of a savior. He fought evil with love. In fact, he used evil to bring about God’s plan and purpose to save sinners.
24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
“Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed”—
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.’ -Acts 4:24-28
From the beginning God decreed to use the evil ways of men to accomplish his ultimate display of love. Through the sin of men God redeemed creation. It was the sin of men that beat Jesus. It was sin that put the nails through his hands and feet. It was sin that mocked him. It was through men’s sin that Jesus saved me from my sin. Jesus took on my sin, my shame, and my guilt to pay the penalty for my sin.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus used evil to show the sin that resides in everyone’s hearts, and then did something about it. Though he was sinless, he became sin for those that trust in him. So, instead of asking WWJD? You should ask yourself, DYTH…Do You Trust Him?
Thanks for reading.
For more on Luke 13:1-5, check out Dr. James White’s presentation at SermonAudio.com.
Posted on December 19, 2012, in Christianity, Culture, Life, Theology and tagged Christianity, Culture, God, Gospel, Jesus, life, Luke 13:1-5, reformed theology, theology, truth. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.