Vengeance?

Written by Anthony Douglas on 25 April 2019.

St AnthonyThe horror in Sri Lanka has rightly dominated the news this week. Such barbarism is a blight on our world, and sadly one to which we are all too accustomed. You’d think, given our sad depth of experience, that the human race would have figured out the best way to deal with these crimes. But Colombo demonstrates clearly how we have not: it was claimed that this was a revenge attack in response to the massacre in Christchurch.

Naturally, we cry out for justice against the perpetrators, or at least those who remain alive. Yet even here we are lost, uncertain who is really involved and how they might be brought to trial.

That’s before we even get to the news that the Sri Lankan authorities have admitted to having credible warning that this attack was coming - and did nothing about it. How much guilt should be assigned to the security forces?

We rush to judgment all the time, convinced that our vengeance is fine, that we know what we’re doing. Yet our ignorance is plainly seen in the way the world has acknowledged the cruelty of the choice of Easter Sunday as the date. Those who would show Christians sympathy seem to think that the terrorists have desecrated the day somehow; the truth is that it is the one day of the year when we find it easiest to be comforted by the hope of resurrection.

And by the knowledge that Jesus’ resurrection is our assurance that he will judge the nations with justice. Vengeance is mine, says God, at the very moment when humanity’s vengeance against his Son was shown to fail.

It is not just the dead about whom the world should be concerned, but all those still living in ignorance.

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