Jesus is the Shooter

There’s been a few different stories in the headlines lately that grab my attention and won’t let go. Most of them, everyone has heard of by now so I won’t go into too much detail on them.

The first one is of the Duggar family. We all know what happened here. The next one is the shooting at the church in the Carolinas. The third, perhaps a little less known, is a shooting of a family on a nature walk in Wisconsin.

I should first start by laying out my credentials. I’m not a legal expert. I’ve never been a victim of a sex crime. I’m not of a minority race. Members of my family have not been shot because of race, or because of a broken heart. I don’t pretend to know the first thing about any of this.

Calls of punishment against Joshua Duggar ring across the headlines. Calls for rioting for the injustice of a hate crime that occurred in a white supremacist culture flood social media. I can’t even imagine what people are saying about a man who shot up a family who was walking through the woods.

People are enraged. People talk about how they feel to something that didn’t directly effect them or impact their lives in anyway. And I get it. I understand empathy. I get wanting to feel exactly how somebody else feels. I use empathy every day at work. It’s the only way to be human in a cold sterile environment called the dreaded billing department.

One thing I’ve learned when empathizing with somebody is never empathize with somebody in a way they are not feeling. If you ever want to lose credibility with somebody, try your hardest to feel how they feel and express what they aren’t expressing.

Here’s what I mean. A customer calls in over a billing concern that’s been going on for month. They are yelling, they might almost cry at one point. They trash talk your company and tell you how much better these other companies are that do the same thing your company does. They say, “I’m frustrated,” and you respond, “I understand you’re angry.” They didn’t say they were angry. They said they were frustrated but if you want them to be angry, now they are now that you mention it.

The point is, if you are going to be real, true, authenticate and legitimate about your empathy, listen to what is being said.

Look, a father and daughter were gunned down cold blooded. The mother was shot multiple times but got her boys to safety. You know what his last words to his wife before he died? Do you know what his lasting words were?

He said to his wife, “Forgive the shooter.” Those were the last words he uttered.

If you want to know exactly how he felt during his dying breaths, forgive the shooter. That’s what he called for his surviving family to do.

Some of the family of the victims of the church shooting had a great opportunity to speak to the shooter. They could have exacted words of revenge. They could have pulled a Samuel L Jackson in “A time to kill,” and said they deserve to die, I hope they burn in hell. But they didn’t. They used that forum, a nationally televised forum to bestow forgiveness.

All i want to say about the Duggar girls is they forgave their brother.

So much is missing from our society. We want to preach equal justice for all.

But do we really mean it? Do we even know what that means?

Titus 3 says you were once Joshua Duggar. You once shot a family in cold blood. Such were you. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days (on facebook no less) in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

If you really want to know how an almighty God thinks of you, read Hosea. God compares his people (and he created all of them) his bride. But like his bride in Hosea, we have pimped ourselves out to the world. We have cheated on him with some one clearly less than he is and we make no bones about it.

If we want just for Joshua Duggar. If we want justice for the shooter in Carolina. If we want justice for the shooter in Wisconsin, then we ought to receive the same justice.

The penalty for adultery was divorce and even sometimes stoning.

A divorce from God on eternal levels is devastating on the eternal level. Eternal separation from God for our hate and malice and envy and passions and pleasures and utter disobedience. It’s called hell folks. And just as assuredly as the perpetrators above deserve it so do you. You aren’t any different in God’s eyes because you have cheated on God with the world and forfeited your right to heaven.

That stinks huh?

I know exactly how you feel.

Titus 3 goes on, though.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,  he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Look. Let’s face it. We messed up. We really really messed up. We cheated on God. But the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared. And we didn’t even have to do anything. Neither of the shooters repented in the above stories. Not to my knowledge. Not directly to the people who were victimized. It was not by their own work or that they merited or that they had achieved some kind of righteousness. We certainly haven’t either. But God in his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy spirit justified us through Jesus Christ. Forgiveness.

Hosea ends with God taking the wrath on himself that was meant for the cheater. He took the wrath through a person, Jesus. The Hebrew words translate to the exact wrath bestowed on Sodom and Gomorrah.

Jesus became the adulterer. Jesus became the shooter. Jesus became us and took the wrath of God meant for us. He divorced God on our behalf and went to hell so we can be forgiven.

You are forgiven.

And now you can empathize with the perpetrators and know exactly how they feel.



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