Mark 12:36/ Psalm 110:1. “‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”’
The church shooting this past weekend in a small town outside of San Antonio Texas has left even the most believing of us filled with doubts and fears. Unless you have chosen to not think about this event, this is a time when we as not only Americans but as Christians are crying out “My God, My God, WHY?” This is only the first of many questions. What causes such an act of cowardice and evil? How will these families move on? How will this church and community ever find faith and hope again? Is it safe for me to go to church where I live? How could God let this happen? Why God why?
But we must let our questions drive us deeper into grief and compassion for those who are walking through this dark valley. We must learn to sorrow deeply with those who sorrow. We must also let our questions, doubts, and fears drive us deeper into faith. I know this is counter intuitive. Doubts and fears are exactly what our Enemy wants to use to move us away from God our Father. But he is our only true hope. Even if we get answers to all of our questions, does this really offer any lasting hope? Even if there is more gun control or a better understanding of mental illness that comes of this, although possibly good things, are these your true and lasting hope?
In the scripture above (Mark 12:36/Psalm 110:1) God is speaking to the Messiah who is Jesus Christ. God invites Jesus to sit at his right hand UNTIL his enemies are made into his footstool and placed under his feet. Jesus’ enemies are sin and death. At the cross Jesus dealt the fatal blow to both sin and death but they are not dead yet. We still sin and we still die. Sin and death are wounded and dying, but like a cornered animal they are biting and scratching for survival. We see this all around us each and every day. We live in this “UNTIL.”
But Jesus Christ is on the throne. He is our head. And we are seated with him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). Every precious saint and child whose life was taken this past Sunday was already seated with Christ in Heaven. Their life did not end. In a very real sense it began. This is our hope. A hope that only God our Father can offer through Christ Jesus. There is no other ultimate hope for humanity.
We are called to live as the people of this hope. “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Grieve in hope. Sorrow in hope. Pray in hope. Cry out in hope. But staying home in fear is not hope. One of the greatest acts of faith in Jesus as our true hope that every Christian can take is to get up this coming Sunday morning, and, even in the midst of fear and doubt, gather together for corporate worship and sing praises to our Hope and spit in Satan’s eye in the process. This is how we show the world that we have a victory beyond this earthly life. We have the eternal life and love of God himself.
And one day this life and love will win. Every enemy not only wounded but destroyed. Until that day we fight and we cry. And we prepare ourselves for death by trusting in the One who has secured our souls with the hope of eternal life and love beyond death.