Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill Him. Matthew 26:3-4
Life should be good for Ryan Schallenberger.
Ryan has a mother and father who love him very much. Along with that, Ryan is a straight-A student at Chesterfield High School, located in northeast South Carolina. Yes, life should be good.
Apparently, it's not. A few weeks ago, Ryan's parents discovered their boy was planning to blow up his school. Police discovered Ryan had experimented with various explosives; he had a layout of the school, he knew where to place the bombs and he had made a tape to be played after he was dead.
Ryan's story of hatred and violence toward his peers has become all too common. But there is one thing that made Ryan's story stand out. According to the Associated Press, when he was arrested, he told the sheriff he wanted to "die and go to heaven and once he got there, he wanted to kill Jesus."
He wanted to kill Jesus. All I can say is, "Ryan, take a number."
The people of Jesus' hometown tried to kill Him; the Pharisees tried to kill Him; His religion tried to kill Him, and His government managed to have Him murdered. Since then, numerous Roman emperors tried to get rid of the Savior and one even had a coin struck to announce his success.
Over the centuries despots and dictators, communism, fascism, and socialism have tried to wipe Jesus out. Philosophers, political movements, learned men, and other religions have done their best to eliminate the Christ.
They've tried and they've failed. The truth is, Jesus lives.
Even though countless attempts have been made to stuff Him back into the grave, Jesus lives.
Even though unbelievable violence has been threatened and performed upon His followers, Jesus lives.
Even though the world still doesn't want to hear His message of forgiveness, faith and redemption, Jesus lives.
And even more, whether he knows it or not, a living Lord Jesus loves Ryan Schallenberger. By God's grace, Ryan, and all those who feel hated, put upon, and oppressed may experience the love of the Lord that comes in Jesus. The Savior's love is the one thing that can't be killed.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, today I pray for Ryan and all those whose hearts are filled with anger, rage, and confusion. Send Your Holy Spirit and use us who know Your great grace, so we may let these people know how much You want to give them true peace. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries