School shootings are horrific. But they are not beyond the realm of the Gospel. School shootings fit within the Gospel narrative.
When Adam and Eve turned from God and embraced sin, they truly knocked the lid off of Pandora’s Box, welcoming untold evil into the world. Their son Cain committed the first murder. Five generations later, Lamech boasted of senselessly killing those who offended him (Gen. 4:23). Pharaoh tossed new born, baby boys into the Nile. Herod murder thousands of infant whose only crime was living in the wrong city at the wrong time. And, the descendants of Adam and Eve flogged the perfect, loving, and holy Son of God, indented a crown of thrones into his head, and pounded nails into his flesh. The children of Adam and Even have carried out all kinds of unspeakable evil throughout the ages. God declared that:
The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
Thankful God does. And God knew about this school shooting would come. He knew that his once perfect creation would be overcome by evil. He knew that students would listen to bullets zip by their heads into the head of their beloved classmates. He knew that law enforcement agents would have to lovingly destroy a mother’s last irrational hope, by telling her that her child had died. He knew that the world would look on in despair as the News anchors swarmed the highs school. He knew the depths of human depravity.
And so, he took action because he loves us. He took action before the world began, ordaining his son to die on the cross (Rev. 13:8). He sent his son to die for sinners. He sent his son to save us because we have all been overcome by evil even if only in the smallest of ways. “As it is written: None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. (Rm 10:10-11). By dying on the cross, Jesus paid for all of our evil acts. He took all of our eternal punishments and gave us his righteousness.
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed (1 Pt. 2:21).
Because Christ came and died, He can and does address the evil that transpired at Parkland.
He can deeply empathize with the parents who lost their children. He buried His only Son who was ruthlessly tortured to death. He knows the grief that is filling Parkland. And he is the perfect counselor and comforter. And He teaches his people, the church to care for those who are suffering by mourning with them, praying for them, and serving them.
But God is more than a god of empathy, God is the victor. He has conquered evil. Though men killed Jesus, Jesus came back to life. He rose from the grave revealing that the evil actions of men and women are not the sum total of the story. Cruz does not get the final say. Jesus’s resurrection is the grantee that all will be made right. He will return. He will usher in a world where there is no gun violence, flu epidemics, or seasons of political corruption. Jesus will make all things right. The story does not end today. There will be a divine reckoning when the justice of God turns the world upside right again.God will restore justice and shows all how to implement justice in this world.
Though the events at Parkland stand seemingly outside the realm of human comprehension, they do not stand outside the flow of the Gospel. When we see the depths of depravity as we did today, the glory of the Gospel becomes ever clearer and ever more needed. The Gospel message is for today of all days!
May God bless and have mercy upon all those who have been murdered, hurt, and left behind to grieve.