I am writing this the day after the latest atrocity by Islamic State has hit the headlines – this time the gunning down of 18 tourists in a museum in Tunisia. I am sure these obscene murders of innocent people are abhorrent to all right thinking people regardless of religion or lack of it.
The mindless killers who cynically use a distorted interpretation of Islam as justification for their savagery seem to think that violence and bloodshed is the answer to how their perverted view of a new world order will be brought about. God’s way is truly different. I came across this quote recently from American minister and author, A W Tozer (1897 -1963), which to my mind eloquently refutes in Christian terms all that the Islamic State murderers stand for and represent. These are words that should be taken to heart by us all especially as we approach the season of Easter.
“If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.”
What people too often forget is that Love not Hate is at the heart of all that is. The God of Love, in the man, Jesus of Nazareth, gave his life up for the creation he loved – the victim of human hatred on a storming Friday afternoon rose in triumphant, redeeming, forgiving love on a shining Sunday morning.
The perpetrators of violence and hatred can only produce death – God’s gift to us is abundant life here and now, a life which death cannot defeat. Love wins – because God is Love. Jesus’ resurrection is the proof. So let us celebrate this shining light of eternal truth in our dark world this Easter.