Monday, May 2, 2011

Christian Reflections on the Death of Bin Ladin

Those of us who go to bed at a decent hour woke up this morning to the news of Osama Bin Ladin's death at the hands of heroic Navy SEALS (some of you night-owls heard about it last night). Naturally, as an American citizen I was a celebratory as the next patriot that our military accomplished a very important victory in bringing to justice (the ultimate kind) the most-wanted terrorist on the planet. I'm thankful for those brave men and women who serve in our military to keep our country safe and who pursue justice to those who would inflict unspeakable harm to others. Today is a day in which I am especially proud to be an American.

However as a Christian- whose first citizenship is to the kingdom of God- other thoughts come to mind upon reflection. First, I'm grieved by a wasted life. Osama Bin Ladin was created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever but instead chose- like all men- to reject God's authority and commit himself to a life of sin. Most people do not act on their sinful nature to the degree as someone like Bin Ladin but anyone who rejects God's rule and enslaves himself to the mastery of sin represents a wasted life. Second, I'm reminded of Romans 13:3-4 and God's ordaining of the state to administer justice to the law breaker. God is sovereign over all things but uses governments and military force to bring wrong-doers to account for their crimes. We should be reminded that God does not ignore sin but upholds His righteous standard.

Third, I think about the justice that Christ bore on my account and on the account of many (Mark 10:45; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Yes, Osama Bin Ladin got what he deserved- in death by bullet and in eternal death but after celebrating the upholding of justice remember to reflect on the fact that "There is none righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10) and "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31). We all deserve justice. The thing which we rightfully celebrate today is the thing we should all face for sin but for the mercy of God and the atoning work of Christ.

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