I used to regularly watch a show called Criminal Minds. It’s a TV drama about a group of special officers trained primarily to psychoanalyze the motives of a murderer they’ve never met, using only clues and evidence from the murders. The show fascinated me mostly because in my mind, murder is one of the most senseless crimes one can commit. I cannot fathom or understand doing such a thing.
The oddest part of my fascination with the show—and why I stopped watching it—is that it became entertaining to think about the motives and actions involved in murder. Murder became something to keep me entertained and even frightened on some level, but never something that led me to consider the weight of sin and the stench of death.
In our passage today, we see the raw results of murder and death. This account isn’t primarily about the entertainment factor of understanding why a murder took place; rather, it’s an account of the ripple effect of death. Death doesn’t just shut the deceased out from the world; it shuts out the world from the deceased. No one in close contact with the departed walks away unscathed.
The effects of sin and death touch us all. Murder is heinous, but we’re all guilty of countless sins that bring physical and spiritual death into the world. And our sin doesn’t merely affect us—it affects everything we touch and everyone we come in contact with, at varying levels.
And yet, the grace and reconciliation we see in this passage are a beautiful picture of the way God pardons and reconciles sinners who’ve been complicit in the sin and death that plagues creation. We deserve an eternal death sentence, and yet our King Jesus pardons us, giving us numerous chances at reconciling with Him and with others.
Don’t let the weight of your sin crush you. Instead, seek pardon from your King. Seek His grace and mercy, and you will find it; His love and justice know no bounds. We need no other proof than the cross and resurrection, when the Father sent His own Son to be an atoning sacrifice for us all.
Written by Brandon D. Smith