When I visited New Zealand, I found they didn’t just film a Hobbiton set there. The entire country and its people truly are the Shire. It’s enraging to think of evil trampling on that peaceful beauty in today’s attack. Thank goodness we know that not only will there be justice, but that evil is already defeated.
A few years ago, I wrote two short paragraphs that contain what I consider to be the most significant thing I’ve learned in the last ten years and probably the most important thing I’ve ever written. It’s a pretty simple idea, really. And I didn’t make it up. It’s something I finally came to understand after years of grappling with making sense of the destructive power of evil. The resolution of that struggle all came down to this simple truth:
With the cross and resurrection at its core, Christianity need never deny the reality of evil and suffering because Jesus has proven Himself to be greater than all of it. He didn’t just overcome it, He overcame through it. The cross was the very means by which He secured joy: “[F]or the joy set before Him [He] endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2). In this same way, all evil will be swallowed up. We will, in our resurrection, see that what we suffered was the means by which we gained joy, and the “eternal weight of glory” produced by our affliction will turn the suffering we experienced into a drop of dye lost in an ocean.
Sometimes we’re tempted to think evil is stronger than God, but when we understand that every attempt evil makes to harm us is working for our good, we’ll see that all of evil’s weapons have been removed from it; there is nothing left it can use against us.
To all my friends in New Zealand at Thinking Matters and elsewhere, take heart, for He has overcome the world.