As I continue to process the news about Osama bin Laden’s death, one particular aspect of the raid on his compound really intrigues me: That a woman was fatally shot during the action.
At first we were told the woman was one of bin Laden’s wives. Now that doesn’t seem to be the case. Early reports also indicated that the woman acted as a human shield, attempting to protect bin Laden. Now it turns out that may not be accurate either.
But for two days I pictured a woman throwing her body in between the bullets and bin Laden. I wondered, Did she love him? Did she just believe in him and his cause? What motivated her to sacrifice herself?
I thought about what the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome during the first century:
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man, someone might possible dare to die.” (Romans 5:7)
I began to wonder: Who would I take a bullet for?
God has filled my life with so many precious friends and family members; it’s easy to think of a list of people I would gladly trade my life for.
What about you: Who would you take a bullet for?
My guess is you could quickly name a number of people you would die for too.
Now let me pose another question, particularly to those of us with children. I want us to think of that same list of people—those we would willingly die for—and answer this question about them: Who on that list would we offer one of our own children to take a bullet for?
Do you know how many people would be left on my list? Zero.
I can’t imagine any situation where I would be willing to offer up one of my children’s lives to save anybody else’s, no matter how dear they were to me.
But that’s what God did.
The next verse in Paul’s letter above reads:
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
God the Father willingly sacrificed his Son so our lives might be saved.
I can’t get my mind around that kind of love.
It’s crazy enough God offered his Son in our place. But do we really understand who we were when He made the offer?
“For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10, emphasis mine)
When we were God’s enemies. That’s when Jesus died for us.
Thankfully I don’t have many personal enemies. When I’m trying to picture an “enemy” in my head, do you know who I think of?
Osama bin Laden.
Who among us would offer one of our children to save the life of Osama bin Laden?
None of us, I dare say.
But all of us were born enemies of God, as much as—actually more than—Osama bin Laden was an enemy to us.
And the Father of all Creation offered His sinless Son in order to save us.
What, then, shall we say in response to this?