Three children. Three staff. Dead.
“I can’t believe that someone would do that. It’s like a movie.”
What played out on our TV screens and on our media posts is not a movie, but another senseless killing of innocent school teachers and children. Three families are grieving the loss of their children. Three families grieving the loss of their parents.
It doesn’t make sense. It does make sense.
In reflecting on the prayer Jesus prayed the night before he was senselessly and innocently murdered on a cross, he prays this:
John 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
The heart of Jesus as he prayed for his disciples and all believers was one thing. I want them to be with me where I am.
I don’t think he was praying that they would be with him as he was scourged. I don’t think he was praying that they would join him on the cross. I don’t think he was praying that they would be falsely accused and innocently killed.
He was praying that he would lose none of those the Father had given him and that all who had believed in him would be with him in the glory of heaven.
He wants all to be able to say in their final breath, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
There is not a morning that goes by as I drop my daughter off to school, that evil incarnate could come into that school and commit sick, heinous crimes against the students and teachers of her high school. In spite of a police on staff, security measures in place, and regular intruder drills among the students, evil can enter and life can be taken.
So my prayer echos that of Jesus. I just want my daughters and my wife and I to be in heaven with Jesus. If my morning, “I love you” is the last I see of my daughter on earth, I pray it is the first of her hearing Jesus say, “Welcome home! I love you! I’m glad you’re safe with me.” I pray that if our time on earth is cut short, our reunion in heaven is long lived.
Jesus wants you to be with him. Period.
This weekend begins Holy Week. The purpose of Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem, teaching in the temple, gathering with his disciples, going on trial before the Sanhedrin and Pilate, being nailed to the cross and coming out of the tomb alive has one focus.
He loves you. He wants you to be where he is and to see his glory.
While outright evil took the life-breath from six individuals, I pray that Jesus’ prayer has been answered and another six individuals are where he is and experiencing his glory because Jesus lived, died and rose again for them.
And we grieve for the one, who appears from outward actions, will miss out on the glory of heaven forever.
Apply: A school shooting can be a sobering reminder of evil and the fragility of life. Use this event to renew your trust in Jesus, lead those you love to do the same, and pray as Jesus did that all, but especially those you love and care about, will be with him and see his glory forever.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your love and your heart and your action that not only desires us to be with your forever, but has done everything necessary for us to be with you forever. Keep us close to you and to all those you love. AMEN.