The Gospel for Osama bin Laden
The news cycle on Osama bin Laden’s death is waning, which means that, as a nation, we’re pretty much over it at this point. The Facebook statuses have moved back to the trivial and mundane. Christians aren’t tweeting and posting scriptures at each other anymore.
Yesterday I tried to collect my thoughts on his death, but, like many of you, couldn’t make heads or tails of what was going on in my own heart or mind. I wasn’t happy, but I certainly wasn’t sad. He needed to die, I think. But it wasn’t a tactical strike, as far as I can tell. It was justice. America needed a blood avenger.
As I laid awake in bed last night, I began to wonder what the gospel is for Osama bin Laden. Not what he thinks it is, but how he needs to hear it. Yes, I know he’s dead, and I don’t want to go all Rob Bell on you…but the question wouldn’t leave my mind. What is the gospel for Osama bin Laden. So here’s my attempt at an answer. This is how I would communicate the gospel to him.
You are a fraud. You are a deceiver. You are the son of a billionaire, and yet you rail against the evils of capitalist America and prey on the hopelessness, ignorance, and illiteracy of poor young men. You use them as pawns in your sick game. You are a sociopath. You don’t even see these young men as humans, and you use women and children as shields. You are a coward. You are a false prophet, and you seek to serve God through violence and terrorism. You approach God through a false system of beliefs. You are a megalomaniac. You hope to be saved by your acts of violence. You are a murderer–the worst kind because most of the murders you committed were by proxy, through brainwashed servants whom you convinced were doing the will of God, but they were really just carrying out your sick perversion of justice.
And yet, Osama bin Laden, the perverted desires of your heart are no different than the perverted desires of my heart. The only difference between me and you is Jesus Christ. You thought he was just a prophet; he
wasis so much more. He is the Son of God, the King of Creation. You thought he merely swooned on the cross, or that a substitute died there; he was the substitute for you, and for me. You have just died for your sins, but he died for your sins 2,000 years ago. And then he rose again from the dead, conquering it once and for all.
As hard as this is for me to say to you, Osama bin Laden, Jesus loves you. He paid the divine penalty for all of your murderous rage. All of your murders, all of your lies, all of your manipulation, all of your violence are eternally forgiven at the cross of Jesus Christ. When the towers fell on 9/11, and the rubble was finally cleared away, do you know what was left? Two iron beams in the shape of a cross. That cross is for you, Osama bin Laden.
Let me tell you something: You deserve hell, and there are millions of people on this planet who hope you get it. You are in a select group of criminals against humanity, and the human race stands ready to condemn you. Your only hope for salvation is not in pleasing Allah through violence, but in clinging to the cross of Jesus Christ with a repentant heart and a humbled spirit. Only Jesus can save you. You must drop your agenda of violence and take up his agenda of grace. This is your only hope. Turn to Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the King of Creation.