God has a name for what happened in New Zealand
“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a press conference.
But God has a stronger name for what lay behind today’s massacre in Christchurch which left 49 Muslims dead.
He calls it sin.
This might sound like an understatement. Isn’t sin just being a bit naughty?
No - sin is our inherited rebellion against a holy God (Romans 5:16).
It sets ourselves up as the world’s legislator of what’s good and bad (Genesis 3:5). It works toward a world which enshrines our own corrupt values and gets rid of what doesn’t.
Gunman Brenton Tarrant’s values had no place for Muslims. So just as he got rid of God to become his own god, he got rid of the Muslims standing between himself and a ‘better’ world.
As his own false god, he wanted blood for the alleged sins of these people.
But it’s the true God who’ll get blood for the real sins committed against his holy character (Exodus 30:10). Tarrant included.
All sin calls for blood, including our own quiet racism that we can disguise as immigration politics - or any other form of favouritism.
‘The law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.’ Hebrews 9:22
If our sin has been cleansed by Jesus’ blood, no more blood is required. There’s forgiveness. Praise God.
But praise God also that, no matter what our legal systems achieve, God will avenge every sin not covered by Jesus’ blood (Revelation 14:20).
Tarrant’s on course to face God’s wrath for his crimes (Romans 1:18). May he, and all of us, find refuge in the Saviour’s blood already spilled (1 Peter 1:18-19).