Recently, the national news has been full of tragedy. An earthquake in Mexico, hurricanes in the southeast, wildfires in the northwest, and mass murder in Las Vegas. All of this destruction and death has left many people asking, “Why?” “Did the victims somehow deserve this? Is God punishing us?” But these questions are not anything new.
Jesus once commented on a mass murder: Some people approached him and told him that Governor Pilate had killed a number of Galileans and mingled their blood with their sacrifices. Jesus responded by asking, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:2-3).”
Jesus then followed up by discussing a tragic accident that had recently occurred. “Or those eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:4-5).”
Whether caused by man or by nature, terrible tragedies are often just the results of living in a fallen world. While we might like to think that Buffalo Island is nestled safely away from the disasters that plague the big cities, the truth is that death and destruction catches up to us even here. No one can avoid tragedy forever, and it is futile to try.
However, by the mercy and grace of our Savior, we can avoid the final tragedy. Just as Jesus warned the people of his day to repent, he invites us to turn from our sin and be baptized in his name (Acts 2:38). Only in him can true security be found.