February 14, 2013
But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
As of this writing, the deaths of the 245-plus young people who died in the fire which swept Brazil's Kiss nightclub have no purpose. Indeed, those young folks should still be alive. They would probably be alive if it weren't for the fact this was one of those tragedies where anything that could have gone wrong, did. Contributing to the high death toll were these facts:
1. The band saved a few dollars by using fireworks designed to be shot off outside rather than the more costly inside pyrotechnics. That was the initial cause of the problem.
2. Then there was the fact the hall had only one exit that was working.
3. And the Kiss employees initially stopped people from leaving before they paid their bar bill.
4. And, according to some eyewitnesses, the fire extinguishers didn't work.
And now, in the smoldering aftermath, all that is left are mourning friends and families, a country that is asking, "Why?" and tens of thousands of agonizing souls, who are wondering if these deaths might enforce the already existing laws, which would stop this kind of tragedy from ever happening again.
But, as I say, right now, those deaths had no purpose. Sometimes life is like that, and sometimes it isn't.
As Christians, we can rejoice that Jesus' death had a purpose. St. Paul, writing to the Roman church, reminded them the death of Jesus had a purpose and that purpose was to show us God's love.
No, God didn't wait to show His love until we had all acclaimed Jesus as the Savior of the world. And He didn't wait until all of us had resolved we would leave all of our old sins behind and begin a new life.
Scripture is clear. While we were still wallowing in iniquity, God sent His Son to save us. Indeed, Jesus lived and died to save those who rejected Him, those who betrayed Him, those who hated Him, those who had orchestrated His death.
And Jesus was born, lived and died to save us too.
Yes, we can rejoice that Jesus' death had a purpose. His death and, above all, His third-day resurrection from the dead, demonstrate God's love, which unilaterally can move us from damnation to salvation, from hell to heaven, from loss to life.
Jesus' death had a purpose, and part of that purpose was to bring comfort to those who mourn the deaths at Kiss nightclub in Brazil -- and to comfort you as well.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, through Jesus' death and resurrection our lives are changed. Because of what our Redeemer has done we are given hope and help when life serves up tragedy. May the knowledge of eternal life in heaven be with us always, especially on that day when, for us and those we love, there will be no more tomorrows. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries