Poster Archive : February 2007
Message: Jesus loves Osama.
Bible Verse: Matt 5:44 Jesus said: "love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"
Reflect: On May 23, 2006, Reuters released an audio recording that made the world gasp. It was a message from Osama bin Laden discovered on a website frequently used by terrorists. In it, he made a chilling claim about the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, saying: "I was responsible for entrusting the 19 brothers." The murder of 2,973 on that day was his initiative.
When the world saw planes fly into buildings they witnessed a shocking, horrific, depraved and cruel act. Even the gentlest among us were stunned by the malevolence behind it. Surely Osama bin Laden deserves God's judgement?
The good news for Osama's victims is this; God is just. He will punish those who do evil completely, and with devastating force.
The bad news is this: we're all evil. Whilst Osama shook his fist at the West, we all shake our fists at God. We ignore him, we ignore his laws. Most of all, we ignore his son, Jesus.
Paul told some of the world's first Christians "We all fall short of the glory of God." In the end, God will not tolerate it. Not from Osama, or anyone else. Which brings us to the extraordinary news. God is prepared to absorb this devastating judgement himself. When Jesus went to his death on the cross he experienced the full force of God's wrath. He died the death Osama deserves, that we all deserve. And he did it, so that we can escape his judgement.
"Jesus loves Osama." He loves even the most revolting among us, and those who seem to be respectable - in spite of what we've done. Jesus loves people that are unlovely.
And when you discover a love like that, a love that can love the profoundly unlovable, then you've discovered a love that's different to any you've experienced before. It's available to anyone - even me, even you, even Osama bin Laden. And here's the amazing thing, when you accept this love it turns you from cursing your enemies, to praying for them. That's real love.
Prayer: Lord, we know that your love in Jesus extends to every sinner. And that that includes me. AMEN