As the people of Seoul mourn the loss of so many of their young people at Halloween questions are being asked. How could it have happened? Where were those in authority when they were most needed? We might also want to ask where was God and why did he allow it to happen?
Two thousand years ago the widely held assumption would have been that those who died were being punished for their sin. That’s what people thought when a tower in Siloam fell and crushed eighteen bystanders*. But Jesus challenged this assumption by pointing to a bigger problem. None of us are perfect. All of us have sinned. All of us are going to die. The bigger issue then is not the timing or the manner of our death but rather whether we will survive it. Rather starkly Jesus told those who judged the people killed at Siloam with these words, ‘unless you repent, you too will all perish’.
In this life there will always be things that don’t make sense. But Jesus died on a cross to make one thing certain; that if we put our trust in him then we will not perish when this life ends but rise to eternal life.
*Read the whole story in Luke’s Gospel 13:1-5