The Death of Bin Laden and What Was Last Sunday?

“The Death of Public Enemy #1” read the daily headline on Good Morning America.

In just a little over a week, the celebration of Easter has been relinquished to scrapbook memories and in its place America is rejoicing over the death of Osama bin Laden.

Pride is insidious that way.  In sneaks in and leads you to believe you’re more powerful than you are and that you deserve credit for something spectacular.  Celebrate yourself, it says!

On Easter we rejoiced in the victory of Christ over death–today we cheer that our enemy is dead…and that “we killed him.”

This post is not for those who don’t understand the victory of the cross…of course, it feels like “enemy number #1 is dead.”  I’m writing to you, brothers and sisters who gathered with me last week to remember the sufficiency of the cross. 

In the cheering of Bin Laden’s death, do you hear the jeers assaulted against the cross?  The cross stands as reminder that we couldn’t conquer our true enemy.  The cross commands humility of its followers.   It demands that we look to it as our sure and total sufficiency.

I understand the evils of Bin Laden.  I have a nephew who is in Afghanistan in large part because of Bin Laden’s influence.   I remember clearly the atrocities of 9/11–I will never forget them.  Yet I will not let the desire for justice lead me to believe that somehow we Americans got our “pound of flesh.”  There is one Judge.  Were it not for the cross, Bin Laden and I would find the same sentence. 

This should leave us humble.  It should leave us thankful for the cross,  thankful for the continuing power of the resurrection to bring new life to places where the true Enemy Number One has long been bringing death, destruction, and devastation.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm…With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints”  Ephesians 6:12-13, 18

Dear friends, do not let another man’s evil become your own.  Guard your hearts against pride–our victory, our only victory, is in the cross of Christ.  Until the day that Christ returns, evil will continue.  Bin Laden was not the first to give it a face…he will not be the last.  So don’t rejoice in His death.  Rejoice in Christ’s resurrected life.  Be humble.  Pray.

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