Ironically, on the day that President Obama spoke at the memorial service for 13 soldiers slain at the hand of a deranged gunman, John Allen Muhammad was awaiting his execution across the country in Virginia. For several weeks in 2004, Muhammad and an accomplice held the Virginia area emotionally hostage as they randomly chose 10 people to murder and 3 people to seriously wound. From shooting a woman as she loaded her merchandise into the trunk to shooting a man that was pumping gas, this man chose to thrust himself into the lives of people enjoying the American dream. When they left their homes that day, those 10 murder victims never imagined it would be their last day on earth.
Undoubtedly, the 23 people who died in these two instances of murder left some things undone. I’m sure there were upcoming medical appointments, events at a child’s school and scheduled lunches between friends. They likely had goals, ambitions and dreams. Some may have wanted to go back to college, take a long dreamed of cruise or were looking forward to an upcoming high school class reunion. Yet while dressing that morning, they likely didn’t realize they were tying their shoes for the last time.
Were they ready spiritually? We can’t know for sure this side of heaven. For those who had accepted Jesus Christ, Christians will someday see them in heaven. But, sadly some had not made peace with God before an assassins bullet suddenly destroyed their life.
Years ago I had an old truck with a lot of bumper stickers. One bumper sticker I prominently posted said, “Many People Who Plan to Live Until 12:00 Die At 11:30.” The sticker wasn’t an attempt to be morbid. It was designed to be food for thought. When we witness a beautiful sunset, we are not assured that we will see it rise again the next morning. Therefore it is crucial that you deal with the age old question regarding what you will do with the question of Jesus Christ.
Have you come to that point where you have confessed Jesus Christ as Lord? Have you asked Him to forgive you of your sins past, present and future? Do you embrace the fact that He gave the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross? Have you celebrated your belief in Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead? If you have reckoned with these questions, you have a new perspective on life. For the disciple of Jesus, sudden death simply means sudden glory.