A lot mistake The Bible for some magical fairytale, where everything is perfect, angelic, free of trouble and injustice. But just by reading the first few chapters of The Bible, it is safe to say that this book is anything but. Real life happens in The Bible. Real blood is shed, real tears are cried, real battles are fought. The Bible is relatable and relevant - especially relevant in times like today where Americans everywhere, specifically seventeen families, are feeling loss. And it is in these times where most mistake God for being a careless, unloving monster. Why would God let this happen? is the popular question. Or some hate Him because they're under the impression that from the beginning of time, all that He has done is sit on a worshiped throne judging us, closing His eyes to tragedies, and shutting His ears to our prayers. But, God has no interest in that. Not even a little bit. In fact, He left that comfy throne, left all of His glory, and He put on flesh to become like us all. He did this 2,000 years ago by sending His Son Jesus to earth, trading His glory to feel the same pain we are feeling today.
When Jesus lived His life on earth, The Bible records Him becoming like us in every way possible (Hebrews 2:17-18, 4:15). This means He felt physical pain like us (John 19:1, Matthew 26:67), He was tempted like us (Matthew 4:1-11), He cried like us (John 11:35), and like the seventeen families mourning in Parkland, Florida, He felt loss just like us.
John the Baptist was a close friend of Jesus. In fact, Jesus honored him as the greatest man who ever lived (Matthew 11:11). That says a lot about John, for the King of Kings to recognize him as the greatest in the world. John the Baptist was a humble man, an obedient man. He did everything he was called to do.
And he was killed. Not just killed, but beheaded.
Beheaded by a sex-driven king.
"Herod [the king] wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet. But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias's daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him, so he promised with a vow to give her anything she wanted. At her mother's urging, the girl said, 'I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!' Then the king regretted what he had said; but because of the vow he made in front of his guests, he issued the necessary orders. So John was beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother." - Matthew 14:5-10
Some biblical fairy dust, right? Not at all.
Can you imagine losing your friend's life to such lust? Can you imagine losing your friend's life at all? The friends and families of those students, coaches, and teachers in Florida can.
And Jesus can too.
A good man, one of Jesus' best friends, was brutally murdered by a king overwhelmed by his sexual pleasure, and The Bible says that Christ isolated Himself when He heard the news (Matthew 14:13). He felt the same desire to be alone as anyone who lost a loved one felt. And while this horrible, gruesome, unjust killing of John the Baptist isn't exactly the same as this past mass shooting in America, it develops a similar pain we've experienced with seventeen innocent lives taken. And all of that turmoil and isolation a lot of us are feeling, Jesus felt too. He's been through it, He understands, and therefore He is the one who can comfort us most. Running to Him won't be easy, with all of this confusion and chaos. He understands it won't be easy for us either. But He became like us to endure the same pain as us - as the families, the friends, the Americans, and even the victims - for Christ knows what it's like to die with holes in His body too.