The Value of Life: Reflecting on the Aurora Movie Massacre
Tragedies like the movie theater massacre in Colorado seem senseless, but we try to make sense of them. They can make us refocus on what is of real value in life.
A big story dominating the news in America has been the young man who walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and murdered a dozen people and injured another 58. This heinous crime was big enough to stop both the president and his Republican challenger from campaigning.
There are many questions running through the minds of Americans after this horrific event just as there were after the school massacre at Columbine or the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This tragedy struck us to our inner core and made us consider what is happening in this country.
We can search high and low for answers to why this new senseless loss of life happened. The media, experts and pundits have come up with a slew of proposed reasons, as they have for previous mass killings. Unfortunately all the words have not prevented the latest tragedy, and this rampage is unlikely to be the last unless we start making some major changes.
The value of life?
The value of life seems to be declining in the minds of many these days.
Consider recent U.S. headlines of all-out brawls over syrup at Denny’s, a baby put in the microwave by her mother, a father of 12 beaten to death by three teens and the skyrocketing murder rate in the city of Chicago, just to name a few. These are echoed in many countries around the world.
What has led us down this road to devaluing life?
Many theories come to mind for the latest mass killing: Was the perpetrator on medication? Was he abused as a child? Was he unhappy with life? Some blame it all on easy access to guns. Others point to the increasing levels of violence in video games and movies. All these and more can play a part.
Has the value of life ever been really understood? This requires help from the source of human life.
A biblical look at life
Jesus Christ, our Creator and Savior, said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). God is the source of life and the source of its value.
The answer to the question about why we are going down the road of not valuing life is that we have taken God out of the picture.
Are we so prideful or so highly educated that the idea of a God seems far-fetched? For almost 6,000 years mankind has solved all sorts of problems, created fascinating technologies, come up with cures for a number of diseases; but we cannot solve the problem with our inner being.
Filling the void
If Christ is the way, the truth and the life and if we don’t value Him, what happens? We don’t value His way and His law, we don’t value the truth and we don’t value life. God is life. If He is not in our lives, the question then becomes, what is? What is filling the void where God should be?
Whatever we are filling that void with is creating the problems we are reaping today.
Not choosing life
It all started when Adam and Eve deliberately ate from the wrong tree.
God created two special trees in the Garden of Eden; one was called the tree of life. Humans chose not to partake of it and chose rather to partake of something else: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which represents determining what is right and wrong based on our own human reasoning. Since then, mankind has continued to stray from God and His way. The further away we are, the less we value the things He set as important.
Adam and Eve’s son Cain became a murderer, taking the life of his own brother, Abel. Throughout the age of man, this evil trend has continued. People such as Ted Bundy, the Son of Sam, Bonnie and Clyde, Jezebel and Athaliah were notorious as life takers. None of them were people who were seeking God.
Humans have been more about destroying and taking than creating and building. It is only when we turn to God and His way that we see what life really is and what is so important about it.
All will be able to choose life
The good news is that Jesus Christ will return; and He will establish the way, the truth and the life when He does. Those people who were murdered will have a chance to live again. People will be given an opportunity to know and understand the right way to live. In other words, they will be able to choose God—to choose life.
When that happens, tragedies like the one that occurred in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20, 2012, will become a thing of the past.
For more answers about the meaning of life and why God allows such things, see our section on “Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?”