‘He was led like a lamb to the slaughter…’ Isaiah 53:7
We will never know exactly what drove a man to slaughter over 49 people in an Orlando nightclub. Such evil defies comprehension. What oppressed the shooter to the depths that only mass murder lured him to ‘empowerment’? Was it a sexual conflict, an ethnic/religious wound, the slow burn of feeling ostracized to the degree that picking up guns gave him a power denied elsewhere?
Radical wound, radical fear as we await the next combustion between oppressed souls and a demonic drive to power. Perhaps we are foolish to reduce the source to radical Islam and/or radical homophobia: Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, and Columbine all involved human grenades who blew up the living to appease dark gods and gaping, twisted souls.
Wise men claim that radical evil is the absence of the good. Perhaps we need a source of kindness more extreme—more authentically powerful–than wreaking havoc. That goodness is embodied in God Himself who chose to be led to the slaughter in order to establish us in peace. He gave up His power in order to make us strong in love. Love Himself—the Creator and Redeemer of all—shows us that real security comes only from God’s self-giving, as Jesus once and for all poured out His very essence into the cracks of our broken humanity.
We who are weak need only look upon the Crucified. He not only gets our fears, our conflicts, and our striving for power amid myriad insecurities; He is the answer to them, the anchor of our souls, sure and steadfast (Hebrews 6:19).
Might we invoke His peace and His powerful love today? We need both if we are to be free to prepare others for the day on which they will stand before Jesus. We do not know the hour. What we do know is that God Himself entered into the slaughter in order to save lives. ‘Jesus, release faithful Christians to all persons directly impacted by the Orlando tragedy. Show them Your kindness, a river of Life more radically good than the threat of evil.’
‘No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine’ (Psalm 33).