LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Therefore, do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
(Ephesians 5:7-10 ESV)
Most of us were deeply shocked by the news of the massacre in the New Zealand mosques shooting during the Friday prayer on 15 March, ironically, at the city called Christchurch. It caused us great pain to see the loss of lives, amongst them were just ordinary people and children. And we are yet again come to the grim reality of how devilish and demented a person could become due to the deep hate in his heart. Whatever the motives behind such terrorising act against humanity, as “Christ’s church”, we unequivocally condemn this evil act and stand solidarity with those victims’ families and communities.
Throughout the history of mankind, we read records after records of similar bad news on the devilish acts of human individuals, powers, empires, ideologies, spanning over different continents and generations. The Bible has recorded such despicable condition of men’s position before a Holy God: “The bad news is all have sinned, and continue to fall short of God’s standard .” (Romans 3:23).
This simply means a few factual truth: we are not good enough to meet the “standard” of God, we can’t do any “good” that is enough to offset our deplorable “bad” before a righteous and Holy God, and we must bear the result of our own sins, which the Bible described that as “the wages for one sin is death .” (Romans 6:23)
Up to this point we would naturally feel lost and hopeless. And this is necessary. Only then can we really understand and appreciate the way out and solution to this age-old vicious cycle of human sin. And here’s the good news - because we cannot pay for our sin, God turned over our sins to Jesus, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed .” (Isaiah 53:5).
And this is how a loving God is demonstrating His unreserved love by reaching out to us through the Jesus – the perfect Lamb of God : “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel … By this gospel you are saved … that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures .” (1 Corinthians 15:2-4)
When Christ breathed his last on the cross, He declared “It is finished ” (John 19:30). In Greek, it means “tetelestai”, a banking term that means “debt is fully paid”. Jesus’ death is not a martyrdom to advance an ideology, it is paying our sin debt we owed God. He satisfied
God’s wrath fully. He met the law’s demands completely. In His resurrection, He earned the right to give life eternal to anyone who will receive Him and believe that His sacrifice is sufficient to save them. Brothers and sisters-in-Christ, God has made the greatest sacrifice possible that we might know how much He loves us. And the command to us is to love one another (John 13:34-35), not to hate one another.
As Christ’s church, we pray for the many victims, for the wounded and for the whole community, which has been severely affected by this act of terrorism in the Christchurch’s shooting. May God free us from these tragedies and sustain the efforts of all those who work for peace, harmony and coexistence.