When the death of Usama Bin Laden was announced, thousands of Americans rejoiced and celebrated.
I thought I would be one of them.
But I find myself feeling that rejoicing in the death of this man is wrong, somehow.
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. – Jesus (Matthew 5:38-48 ESV)
It is the pervue of a government to carry out justice (Romans 13). And the United States has done that with regards to Usama Bin Laden.
But I cannot rejoice in the death of another human being, even one who has done horrific acts of terror. I cannot and still consider myself a disciple of Jesus.
Justice has been served. And instead of rejoicing, I will give thanks to God for – and pray for – the men and women who carry out this justice – the men and women of my nation’s military – and their families.