Violence Against Children

Link to "Jesus and Violence Against Children" by Justin Holcomb
Link to “Jesus and Violence Against Children” by Justin Holcomb

Headlines around the world and across the internet speak to the tragedy which took place yesterday morning in an elementary school in the state of Connecticut. From the information given thus far, 26 people are dead, 20 of whom were children aged 5 to 10. The gunman was only 24  years of age.

Another school was the target of terror yesterday morning (though several time zones away from Connecticut). In central China, a knife-wielding man attacked 23 people, 22 of whom were children aged 6 to 11, outside a primary school. Though no casualties have been reported yet, all 23 people were injured to varying degrees.

The loss of a human life is always grievous. Life is precious, regardless of a person’s age, race, economic standing, or beliefs. While we mourn over the tragedies which happen every day throughout the world, yesterday was a day the world watched a total of 42 primary school children make headlines because of the violence of two men. Words fail to describe the pain which comes from the loss of a child. When 42 have been injured and killed within a single morning, it is difficult to fathom the hatred and anger which sparked such senseless violence. It is difficult to fathom the pain felt by the parents who could not tuck the covers around their children last night after a bedtime story had been read.

Sadly, those 42 children were not the only victims of violence yesterday. Millions of children will never have their names printed in newspapers. These are the children suffering from domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and forced military service. These are the children who perish each day from malnutrition, disease, and exposure.

God created life, and so it is valuable, precious, and deserving of respect. While on earth, Jesus Christ repeatedly spoke of the value He placed in children. He wanted the world to understand that the vulnerable and weak, children in particular, deserve great love and care.

I cannot explain exactly why God allows children to perish each day. I know it is due to the sinfulness of mankind; when man chose to rebel against God thousands of years ago, a curse was placed upon the rest of humanity which has resulted in death, disease, and sorrow.

I also know that God remains in control, despite the sinfulness of man. He uses tragedy to bring about good and His heart breaks when lives are destroyed through sin. I know that His love remains greater and stronger than any other love. I know that His kindness never ends. I know that He is faithful to His promises.

I know that He will judge the sins of man one day. Everyone will give an account for their actions.

I also know that I have no right to question what happens because He is God and I am not.

This is why Jesus Christ came to earth: to rescue people from sin. He saw the despicable human race and chose to bear the punishment for sins. He experienced sorrow like no one else.

One day He will return to earth a second time and there will be no more sin, sorrow or death. Those who have believed and called upon His name for salvation face an eternity of joy and peace, just as Adam and Eve experienced in the garden of Eden before they chose to sin. This salvation is a free gift; Jesus offers it all. No sin is too great to be denied God’s forgiveness.

Despite the horror of the world around me, I have hope because of Jesus Christ. I know that sorrow may last for awhile but joy is coming.

What is my only comfort in life and in death?

That I am not my own,
but belong–
body and soul,
in life and in death–
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.

He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven:
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.
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