As I nation responds to the tragedy of the VA Tech shooting this past Monday, people are asking the question "how could someone do this?" I am certainly horrified, as everyone else is, by what Cho Seung Hui did on Monday in killing 33 people in cold blood. However, I don’t think I am as shocked about this as others are. Frankly, I am amazed that this stuff doesn't happen more. You see, unlike many others, I believe that human beings are essentially evil, not essentially good. Criminal profiler Pat Brown said in an interview with the Associated Press that Cho was a "psychopath." She said that because he was a psychopath he would not have responded to counseling and he was essentially destined to be a psychopath from the ages of 8-10 years old. This is the way our world including the "experts" respond to this kind of thing. Most assume that Cho is an anomaly. They believe that we are all essentially good, and yet once in a while a person gets his wires crossed and is capable of something awful like this. We want to believe that this is isolated rage and that not many could be capable of this. However, from a Christian perspective--a biblical perspective it is clear that we all have a little bit of Cho in us. In other words we are all evil at our core and capable of horrific things.
Jesus Christ Himself gave an indictment on the entire human race when he said in Matthew 5:21-22 "You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.NASB95 In other words, if you hate someone, or hold bitterness in your heart against someone, or rashly insult someone you are just as much a murderer as someone who takes away life in cold blood! Now if what Christ said is true, and it is, then we are all just as bad as Mr. Hui.
So how is it that we all don't act out our hatred and bitterness as Mr. Cho did? It is only because of God's restraining grace. God has instituted families and human government and the church to restrain sin. He has given us a moral conscience that teaches us basic right and wrong. He has revealed Himself in His creation so that we know that there is a God to be accountable to. He has revealed Himself in the person of Christ and in His Word--the Bible, so that we know His truth. God does not allow us to be as bad as we could be. Even such a horrific thing as this VA Tech shooting can be a means of God's mercy and grace if the world will stop for a moment and realize the awfulness of human sin.
Everyday we as human being don't live up to the knowledge we have. Everyday our conscience convicts us that we are not what we should be. The Bible tells us we were created to reflect the glory of God. We were made to obey Him, to please, Him and to live for Him. Sadly, most people do not live to please God for His glory. The fact is that we would all pursue a life of wickedness if it were not for the grace of God. It is the grace of God that sent Jesus, the Son of God, into the world to save the wicked human race. Jesus was born sinless and lived as we all should live. He lived to please God the Father. He fulfilled all righteousness. Then in the ultimate act of love He laid down His life for us on the cross. He took the sin of the world upon Him. We all deserve death and hell, but Christ took our punishment. He did not stay in the tomb that they laid Him in. Instead He rose from the dead just as the scriptures promised, and just as He had promised. He sent His disciples into the world to proclaim the good news that we can be forgiven of our sin and restored to God through Him and His work of righteousness and payment for our sin on the cross. The Bible tells us that if we turn away from our sin (rebellion against God) and turn to Christ as our Master and Savior we will be forgiven of our sin and be granted the very righteousness of God. We can be acceptable to God.
There is hope for the human race, but this hope is in Christ alone. There is even hope for those who the world would brand as psychopaths. God can break through to anyone with the good news of Christ and make them new persons --fit for heaven. This is the only real message of comfort for a world that asks why. The answer is because God is a God of grace who takes even the most horrific tragedy and turns it in to an opportunity for many to be saved. I am praying for comfort for all of the victims of this tragedy, and I know that true comfort will only come through Christ Jesus the Lord of all the earth. He is coming back one day and all will be made right on earth. In that day every deed and every thought will be judged. Only those who have been made righteous through Christ will avoid the wrath of God in that day. Justice will be served. Grace is being served today. Are you falling on the grace and mercy of Christ?