Where can you turn today without seeing this predominant headline: "Bin Laden Is Dead!" So much emotion churns at the declaration. Military families, spouses and parents and siblings who have lost sons and daughters in this pursuit and the war surrounding it, find it a bittersweet moment. Preachers and others, waxing not a little political, call it divine justice in Twitter and Facebook posts. Crowds patriotically gathered in Washington, D.C., Ground Zero, and cities around this nation, waving flags and exulting in the news and what it represents. It would probably be hard to find too many people neutral and unaffected by the news, especially here in our nation. This man, one-time Taliban leader and the mastermind behind the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed by Navy seals. Again, the outpouring of emotion in response has been incredible!
While so much time has transpired since it occurred, another event eclipses the aforementioned headline into utter oblivion. It transcends nations and politics. Its occurrence is the transforming moment of all human history. The truthfulness of it affects all time and eternity. The headline reads: "Jesus Christ Is Alive!" Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Matthew records, "The angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell the disciples that He has risen from the dead'" (Matt. 28:6-7a). Thus spread the greatest news that ever passed through the lips of a man or woman. This moment has changed not just the course of human history, but the individual course plotted by men and women for over 20 centuries of time. It is this "living hope" (1 Pet. 1:3) that spurs us to persevere on the brightest days and the darkest hours.
Bin Laden's death is no doubt momentous. But, his death will not get a single person to heaven. Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection is the only way any of us will get to heaven. I am not telling anyone how to react to a terrorist's death. I am reminding all of us how to react to a Savior's resurrection. Let that be more on your lips today than that other headline news!