Bad things don’t happen to good people; there are no good people.

(Photo courtesy of our very own Trinity Stennfeld)

Yep, the saying ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ is misleading. When we consider what Jesus told us about Himself, life and the nature of man. In fact, take a look at this account of Jesus talking about a recent (like 1,982 years ago) freak accident in Jerusalem:

Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” – Jesus, as recorded in Luke 13:4-5

A tower in Jerusalem fell and killed 18. The common assertion of most Jews at the time assumed that anyone who had something randomly bad happen to them (a tower fall on you) must have had it coming to them over some heinous offense against God. But Jesus steps in and clears up the situation. Jesus asserts, they were sinners and so is everyone else and our rebellious life is a heinous offense to God. Jesus skips over the why completely and turns their inquires back on the crowd. The people don’t realize that they are likewise in as much danger as the people who were crushed by the tower! No one knows for sure when they will die and it’s a crazy world. Jesus made these people realize that their current un-distressed life didn’t mean they were in good standing with God. Instead, everyone needed to repent and trust in Christ, not sit back and wonder about others’ spiritual states or the justice of God.

In truth, because of our sin we all deserve the tower to fall on us. Our sinful life is a heinous offense to God and Romans 6:23 proclaims that ‘wages of sin is death’. Jesus is showing us that good and bad things happen in life, but we must realize that the urgent need for every human is to realize their own sin and turn to Christ. We need forgiveness, the forgiveness found in sinless Jesus who bore our sins on the cross. Our musings about what is fair, not fair or God’s justice, are merely smokescreens ignoring our own need to quit our rebellion and embrace the Lord of all creation, Jesus Christ. My favorite quote on this is R.C. Sproul:

“Why do bad things happen to good people? Well, that only happened once, and He volunteered.”

Jesus is the only good person and He died for bad people like you and me. This is the authentic Jesus. Jesus, friend of sinners, tells us the truth. We are in danger and need a Savior.

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