A World of Harms
Are you having a hard time reading or watching the news?
The violence and crimes against humanity happening in Ukraine are heartbreaking. It reminds me of the senseless murdering during the Holocaust.
And as I stare this horror happening, I find myself praying all the time for God to intervene, restore, and bring it all to justice.
How do we reconcile the goodness of God in light of such evil?
What is our hope in the face of all of this?
Hope Beyond Harms
First, let’s talk about the hope we have.
The Apostle John wrote a short letter to his beloved spiritual children. At the time, he was old and had seen a lot of things. He had lived through Roman oppression and witnessed loved ones martyred.
With all the pain he had witnessed, you’d think he’d offer a lengthy theological or political treatise. Instead, John subverts a world full of harms and offers this piece of hope for all who know Jesus:
Loved ones, now we are God's children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it's revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
1 John 3:2-3 (TLV)
Jesus had a glorified body after His death and resurrection. He was physical...yet more. The apostles saw the scars on his body and ate broiled fish with Him. It's like Jesus went out of His way to show the Apostles the realness of His resurrection. And at the same time, He had a glorified body, one that wouldn't ever taste death again.
When Jesus returns again, it will spark the final resurrection and restoration of all things (see Revelation 21 - 22). And, according to John, “we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
"He had a glorified body, one that wouldn't ever taste death again."
I don’t know about you, but I wish John offered more detail there. I’m left wondering, There’s more to the resurrected Jesus? How will we be glorified in our resurrection? What will it be like?
And rather than diving into the details, John simply explains: “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
There’s our hope and our mission.
Healing a World of Harms
On one level, God will heal our world from all harms — everything restored as it should be. Justice will reign. Peace on earth in its fullness.
Until then, there is pain. Humanity will choose evil.
The Son of God Himself faced a world of harms for the sake of our salvation. Consider this mournful yet victorious picture of Jesus centuries before His birth...
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV)
Jesus was not a stranger to pain, and He absorbed the weight of sin for all of humanity.
Was it fair for the innocent Son of God to suffer for us like this?
Of course not.
But was it just? Was it loving?
Those are better questions. Because who else, but the Creator of all humanity, could take on the sins of the world?
"The Son of God Himself faced a world of harms for the sake of our salvation."
Our Part in the Healing
If Christ is your Lord, then what is your role in a world of harms? What do you do until He returns?
Well, John explains it so clearly...
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16 (NIV)
To be honest, I love my family. I love my church. But to completely and intentionally give up my life for the sake of others?
But it’s the way of Jesus. It's worth it. And it's our path forward to mend a world of harms.
🔥 Bonus Sauce!
For more on the love of Christ and God's justice for an unjust world, check out these posts...