A mother kills her children, dresses them in their finest clothing and gently lays them on their beds. The terrorist of 9/11 shouting God is Great as they plunge the airliner they took captive into the world trade center. A young man walks into an elementary school in Newtown and kills children and teachers and then himself.
Have you seen Evil?
It sometimes makes the evening news. For every one of these horrors that make the news, there are thousands more stories that do not: Children that are abused, rapes, murders, beatings, theft, greed, lust, drug abuse, alcoholism, vengeance, corruption, property destruction in the name of a cause, hatred, verbal abuse the list seems endless.
When I stepped into my calling in ministry my office door opened to the most horrific stories of evil you can imagine. I could fill pages with the stories and scenes I have witnessed in well over 30 years of ministry. It was often so painful to listen too and so tragic to see first hand. Evil casts a shadow of despair.
I remember hearing a professor in Graduate school share his experience of going to the memorial site where there had been a fatal act of violence leaving many dead. The site was now covered in cards and flowers. My professor knelt down and read several of notes and cards. They were beautiful tributes the victims of this horrible crime. As he started to get up he noticed the corner of an envelop at the very bottom of the pile and he reached down to pick it out. The envelop contained a card addressed to the shooter. Inside the card a single line that read "I should have seen you". It was the deep regret of a grieving acquaintance of the shooter.
Do you know EVIL? We put a face to evil but for the most part it is human. It is easier to dismiss that way. We can say they had a bad childhood, they had a break with reality, they were bullied or abused, no one ever held them or told them they were loved. We water down evil so we can sleep at night. Perhaps that is because we have not spent time in the tomb. When you sit in the tomb you see the nail pierced hands and feet, you see the wounds around the head where the crown of thrones took hold, you see the flesh stripped to the bone from the lashing at the hands of evil.
When you sit in the tomb you see what Evil has done and you see evil clearly.
12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6:12 NLT)
When you sit in the tomb you will also see the HOPE that overcomes evil. The Shadow of despair is absent in the light of Resurrection Sunday. He is not in the tomb anymore. He Lives. He has overcome evil.
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