As details have become known regarding the stabbing of Jewish people celebrating Hanukkah in Monsey NY, a subtle irony and a Biblical principle has come vividly to mind.
Here is the principle:
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.~Romans 5:8
Yes, God’s grace and mercy toward us are unfathomable. In His grace He gives us what we don’t deserve, and in His mercy He doesn’t give us what we do deserve! That is the nature of God.
Now the irony. Like you, I was appalled and deeply saddened by the news of stabbings at the home of a Jewish rabbi on Saturday night as Jews gathered to celebrate Hanukkah.
Today, I read about a Jew who, in the 1900’s, built 5,300 schools for black children in the Deep South, transforming young lives and giving them opportunity to make something of their lives. (See Meet the Jew Who Built 3,500 Schools for Black Children)
This Jewish man did not do what he did because those children were so deserving. Rather, he made a great sacrifice for the betterment of others very different than himself.
Conversely, the man who set out to do great harm to Jews last Saturday night was black.
Please understand, this is not about race, and that man was directly impacted by the generosity of that Jewish man in the 1900’s. The point is this: we have all been offered God’s grace and mercy, of which we do not deserve. Christ died for us while we were at our worst! Similarly, the attacker forsook and even attacked the very people group who had blessed his people so many years ago.
Race isn’t the point. Throughout generations, God has offered us His salvation, yet we have failed Him. That is the point. As a believer in Jesus Christ, and the recipient of His salvation, I am so very grateful for the grace He extends to the totally undeserving. Even still, we “miss the mark” at times.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He also died for the man who went on the attack. (Pray for him.) Beyond that, Jesus Christ also died for each man, woman and child in that house that night. If good can come out of that event, may they recognize their need to embrace Jesus as Messiah…Yeshua HaMashiach! Hanukkah is over, but let’s pray that the Light of the World shines upon them all year long!
A new year is upon us, and my prayer is that we draw nearer to the One who will return for us very soon! Shalom!