We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize . . . but one who in every respect has been tested as we are. (Hebrews 4:15)
Mass murder is why Jesus came into the world the way he did. What kind of Savior do we need when our hearts are shredded by brutal loss?
We need a suffering Savior. We need a Savior who has tasted the cup of horror we are being forced to drink.
And that is how he came. He knew what this world needed. Not a comedian. Not a sports hero. Not a movie star. Not a political genius. Not a doctor. Not even a pastor. The world needed what no mere man could be.
The world needed a suffering Sovereign. Mere suffering would not do. Mere sovereignty would not do. The one is not strong enough to save; the other is not weak enough to sympathize.
So he came as who he was: the compassionate King. The crushed Conqueror. The lamb-like Lion. The suffering Sovereign.
Now he comes to Newtown, Connecticut.
- Perfected through suffering. (Hebrews 2:10)
- Hated by the proud. (John 7:7)
- Demonized by the strong. (Matthew 9:34)
- Willingly poor. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
- A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3)
- Planning to be crushed. (Isaiah 53:5)
- Despised and rejected. (Isaiah 53:3)
- Ready to be wounded. (Isaiah 53:5)
- Submissive like a lamb led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7)
- Enduring anguish. (Isaiah 53:11)
- Poured out in death. (Isaiah 53:12)
- Risen to help. (Romans 14:7–9)
The God who draws near to Newtown is the suffering, sympathetic God-man, Jesus Christ. No one else can feel what he has felt. No one else can love like he can love. No one else can heal like he can heal. No one else can save like he can save.
When the shooting happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20, 1999, I wrote a response to give some pastoral help for how to care for people who have endured great suffering. When the Twin Towers fell September 11, 2001, I expanded that response. If that seems like something that would help you at this time, you can find it here. May God make us tender emissaries of the suffering Sovereign.