I’ve already been disappointed to see some of the comments and reactions about Ariel Castro’s apparent suicide. But sadly, not surprised.
Yes, his crimes were heinous. Horrible. Disgusting. I’d run out of adjectives if I tried to accurately describe what he did.
But he was created by God in His image, and God doesn’t want anyone to perish. God wanted to forgive Ariel Castro, and would have, just as He forgave Jeffrey Dahmer.
I believe in a redemptive, restoring, healing God. One who can make amazing changes in the lives of sinners. God doesn’t classify sins as more or less serious; it’s a binary thing. It either is sin, or isn’t. Therefore, in God’s eyes, we are no better or worse than Dahmer or Castro.
There’s an intimidating thought.
But God still loves us.
And that’s humbling.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Matthew 25:34-40 New International Version (NIV)