How do we make sense of tragedies like Las Vegas? We cannot fathom the pain and hurt in the hearts of many of the victims, or the families who have lost a member of their family. This is evil. Evil is in the hearts of all humans. But this evil unmasked seems to surprise us even more. How can someone with little to no motive kill so many others?
What does murder tell us about the human heart?
The Bible does not paint a pleasant picture of the human heart. It tells us that we are all broken. Every murderer is broken. And every mass murderer is broken. But all humans who were born after Adam and Eve are born broken. We all need to be redeemed and mended by Christ.
Although murder is morally repulsive, and mass murder is unthinkable to the average human, it is in every human heart to hate and that hatred can be turned outward to murder. And, no matter how repulsive it is, it is all too common. Yet this is not new. The first person born to Adam and Eve was a murderer. He killed a large part of the population of the world when he killed his brother! His hatred erupted into violence which took someone else’s life.
The heart of a murderer multiplied into a heart of mass murder and that is the tragedy we are trying to cope with now. That evil in the heart has multiplied thousands over in mass murders and genocide in past history. This is the hatred of the human heart. Hatred does not surprise us but the depth to which it descends is truly horrific.
What does murder tell us about our society?
A society that wanders from God’s moral commands becomes an increasingly violent society. The hatred that is natural in the human heart is curbed by a general self-control in the society that fears God’s laws generally. As a society runs from God and from His revelation, manifests a more open and blatant violence.
Violence is a sin that the Bible repeatedly condemns and yet in these condemnations, it describes societies that run from God run to violence. Consider the threefold cord that binds Christians to lives without violence. 1. Christian theology teaches God’s command not to murder. 2. Christian theology internalizes this law as Jesus forbids hatred which is the precursor to murder. As Christians are a temple of the Holy Spirit, God Himself enters Christians to help them become people filled with love and self control. 3. Christian theology teaches that every human is made in God’s image and therefore special. This respect for every human demands that we treat one another as we would want to be treated.
An increasingly secular or un-Christian society becomes more infatuated with self. This infatuation with self-expression and self-fulfillment manifests itself in many ways in our society. But the ultimate expression of selfishness is taking someone else’s life (self) for your own whim (self).
What does murder tell you about your own life?
We live in a society that is increasingly un-Christian and the violence that is celebrated in entertainment is becoming more dangerous on our streets. That can be scary! What if I run into a crazy person like this!? That thought can become paralyzing!
You can claim Jesus’ promises. “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). Or His’ Sermon on the Mount: “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing. And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life” (Matthew 6:25-27)? We can rely on Him to bring us through all troubles and rest content in His hand.
Is there hope?
The message of Christianity offers a solution to our society. Believe in Christ and He will change a heart of hatred to a hear into a heart of love. A society that is more and more immersed into His Law of Love is a society that is more and more liberated from the selfishness of violence and hatred.
Christ also offers to you freedom from anxiety. You can trust in Christ as the Shepherd of your soul Who will even be with you in “the valley of the shadow of death.”