Friday, August 3, 2012

It's Not About the Victims

Some of the families of those killed in that Colorado theater have said that they “do not want” the death penalty for the man who did it. Good for them. At least I think it is good for them until hear some people say that they think it would be better for him to spend the rest of his life in jail thinking about what he did. It makes me think that they don’t believe he’ll have to think about what he did if he goes to hell. But that is more of a faith problem and has nothing to do with whether the man should be executed for his crimes or not.

While the Bible tells us in Genesis 9:6, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed,” it also says in Numbers 35:31, “Ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death.” Often, it seems like people have the idea that murderers should be executed so the families will get justice. God doesn’t take satisfaction in the death of a murderer and neither should we or the families of the victims. Instead of letting families continue the practice of a revenger of blood taking the life of a murderer, God set up cities of refuge to which a person could flee after taking a life (or being accused of taking a life), so that he could have a fair trial. If capital punishment is about the victims, God sure has a funny way of letting them have their revenge.

It isn’t about revenge. It isn’t about the families. It isn’t about the victims. It is about justice. If someone kills someone, they deserve to die. God is just and he will not let sin stand. As a people, we need to see that justice is carried out fairly and justly, so that we recognize the consequences of our sins. If our government doesn’t do it, then God will be forced to do it. The danger of that is that when God does it, he may use a broader stroke. If God’s judgment comes to murderers, then we may see his judgment in our lives as well.