After almost 10 years searching for the man many believed to be the master-mind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden was finally found and killed. Many have rejoiced at his death, because he is responsible for the destruction of thousands of people and the suffering of even more. However, I am having trouble rejoicing — not because I agreed with his convictions, religion, beliefs, or even his actions. I do not, his actions are deplorable in my eyes. I cannot rejoice because to my knowledge Osama died without a relationship with Jesus and will probably be spending a long time in a place that will not be made for men.
Yes, I understand that justice had to be served. I understand that there are consequences for our actions. I know that these constructs exists within human societies for a reason. I accept these terms, but that does not mean that I can rejoice when these constructs are put into action. In an eye-for-an-eye world, Osama bin Laden got what he deserved, I get it.
Ultimately, the death of Osama bin Laden made me consider my own life. I soon realized, that I am not much different from him. I am a man of conviction, a man of religion, sometimes a man with radical beliefs. I have taken what is not mine to take. I am responsible for the suffering of others (even those for whom I love). I am even responsible for the destruction of innocent life. No, my crimes against humanity are not as severe or have as broad of a reach as Osama’s — but my crimes still exist.
I have read comments from close friends and family expressing their pleasure in this man’s death, wishing his suffering had lasted longer, and even thankful that Osama will spend an eternity in Hell. Upon my death, I doubt my friends and family will rejoice, wish that I suffered longer, or hope that I burn in Hell — perhaps they should. Until that time, I am thankful to have the knowledge that my crimes have been forgiven through the work of Jesus. The biggest difference between me and Osama is not our actions on Earth but what Jesus has already done through us.