Tuesday, 21 September 2010

What would God say to Raoul Moat?

I have been reading the accounts of the murders committed by Raoul Moat and the manhunt which followed and decided to do a talk on what God would say to him. You see we all like to think about what we would say to God but actually what God would say to us is much more important.

At the end of the manhunt (which lasted almost a week) Raoul Moat was faced with two options. Kill himself or spend the rest of his life in jail. He decided he did not want to spend the rest of his life in jail and so killed himself. Whether it was that he couldn't live with what he'd done or merely with the consequences of what he'd done he decided to escape it by killing himself.

The first thing I think God would say to Raoul Moat is therefore that he can't run away from what he's done. God says that one day he will judge the living and the dead and so even suicide cannot get you out of answering for what you've done with the life God gave you. Raoul Moat will have to answer for the lives he took and the people he hurt and I will have to answer for the crimes I have committed and the people I have hurt. Raoul Moat wanted to avoid this but even death can't get you out of it.

This is why forgiveness is the centrepiece of Christianity. Because none of us are perfect and we cannot escape having to answer for the bad things we've done the only hope we possibly have is forgiveness. We cannot run away so we must cry out to God for forgiveness. The amazing message of the gospel is that because of Jesus death in our place that forgiveness is guaranteed for all who ask.

Jesus died next to a criminal who found forgiveness there as he was dying. Raoul Moat could have found the same forgiveness and so can I. All we need to do is stop thinking we can get away with it. Stop thinking we can escape the consequences and ask!

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