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Thursday, April 09, 2015


News of another fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a police officer has left Americans stunned and another family grieving for their loved one. As I thought about this latest incident, a word flashed across my mind: REJOICE. But as quickly as it came, I tried to push it away. What was there to rejoice about? A father, brother, husband, friend lost his life in a senseless way. The Scott family will never be the same again.

Yet, the apostle Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" So I questioned the Lord, "How can we rejoice when such a tragedy takes place? There can be no cause for rejoicing when the breadwinner of a family has been cut off. But the Holy Spirit gently reminded me, "Two thousand years ago an innocent Man was crucified."

Yes, Jesus was innocent. He was unarmed. He didn't even open his mouth to try to defend Himself. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And after He died, His disciples saw no cause for rejoicing. They went back to the life they had before they met Him. They obviously thought, that was the end of the story. But on Easter Sunday, He rose from the grave, and the world has never been the same since. Now we rejoice because Jesus is risen and we who have accepted Him will one day be with Him.

So what does this have to do with the Scott family? We certainly do not rejoice over their loss. We mourn with them and the Browns and all the other families who lost loved ones. But we can take comfort in knowing that just as God used Jesus' death for good, in the same way He will use the deaths of Walter Scott and the others for good. And in that we can rejoice. 

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