As I watch the news about the Boston bombings, my heart is incredibly saddened by this young man, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I could be horribly off-base, but when I watch the news and hear all they’re saying about him, I’m beginning to wonder if he wasn’t coerced into the bombing more than actually being a real part of it all. I was watching 20/20 the other night and they talked about the car-jacking that Thursday night and how Dzhokhar was very college-y in asking questions about the car and being more concerned with how “awesome” the car was than the fact that they were heading to NYC to blow up Times Square, while his older brother was more focused and angry. A phrase kept going through my mind this week: “Sin will take you further than you want to go and keep you longer than you care to stay.” I wonder if Dzhokhar realized the repercussions of his actions and the fact that he would end up on death row? I wonder if he truly knew all his older brother had planned or if he just went along with him because his older brother was, as most are, very persuasive? I worry about this young man, sitting in a jail cell, being tried as a war criminal. My heart aches for him because I think he got sucked into an irreversible situation and now he’s dealing with it all by himself. I totally think he was old enough to know the consequences of his actions and he needs to be on trial for them. But, I pity him. “Sin will take you further than you want to go and keep you longer than you care to stay.”
This morning at our Ladies’ Bible study, we watched Kay Arthur. She was speaking on the life of David during the “Deeper Still” conference back a few years ago. But, it was exactly along the lines of that old quote I keep repeating. She talked about David and Bathsheba and all the times that David had a crossroads – a choice of whether to sin or “go deeper still” in his relationship with God, and get out of it. As we all know, David chose to sin and had to live with the consequences. But, the simple sin of not being where he was supposed to be (war) ended in the huge sin of murder (if we want to be human and rate sins that way) and had the consequence of losing a child and having his family be at odds. In fact, his kids did some pretty horrendous things later in life and it’s all traced back to the consequences of this sin. He wasn’t where he was supposed to be, for whatever reason. Sin took him way further than he ever planned that night on the roof of his palace.
But, there was redemption. He had to pay for his sin – and I’m not sure any payment is worse than losing a child. But, God restored him and washed that sin away. The same can be true for Dzhokhar. He got sucked into a situation (or least, I hope he was sucked into it!), he will have to stand trial for it, but our gracious God can still forgive him. I know a lot of people don’t particularly like that idea, but really, think about it: but not for the grace of God, you and I could be in the same place. But God. He stepped into my life and how dare I think myself more worthy of grace than anybody else! He is the One Who choses to whom He bestows His grace, not me. I just pray that somebody in those prison walls shares the forgiveness and grace of the true God with this young man. Even more than that, I pray he humbles himself to receive the forgiveness extended.
Sin will always take you further than you want to go and keep you longer than you care to stay. But God will always offer a way out.
Will you join me in praying for Dzhokhar? So rarely do people who commit these types of crimes get the second chance at salvation; we need to pray someone is bold and shares their faith and that his heart is open to receive it.