by Dan Jones
Dylann Roof, the 22 year-old high school drop-out who killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015, was sentenced to death today in U.S. District Court.
He expressed no regret for his actions, and has even admitted that his intent was to start a race war.
He intended to plant seeds of hate.
But he lost.
He lost because, one by one, the family members of the people he mercilessly killed stood up in court and publicly offered him forgiveness.
Even though Roof admitted he killed these people because they were black, and specifically chose a church because he knew they would be unarmed-- even though he admitted he had not shed a single tear for the people he killed, their loved ones told him they could not be brought to hate him.
Felicia Sanders, who survived by pretending to be dead, clutched the tattered and bloody Bible she held that day while she told Roof she forgave him.
And Roof could not look any of those people in the eye.
And when you read the comments in the news stories about this online, people are amazed at this forgiveness. Where we would normally see comments that disparage Christianity or even mock God, today we see admiration and wonder at how anyone could possibly bring themselves to forgive someone whose sole intent was evil.
And they are correct. We do not have it in ourselves to forgive this kind of evil. Only the power of God's Holy Spirit could do that.
So, you lose, Dylann Roof.
You did not create a race war. You did not stoke and feed the fires of hate. You did not start another Civil War.
But more importantly, the biggest loser is the real enemy.
You see, Dylann, the devil doesn't have an answer to forgiveness. He doesn't have a mocking comment to the power of the love of Jesus Christ.
There is nothing that can be said to, "I forgive you" that promotes or furthers the cause of the one who is a thief, a liar, and a murderer.
Even if you don't want their forgiveness, even if you do not accept it, love still wins.
And I will pray, Dylann Roof, that before you are executed the power of the Holy Spirit comes over you and draws you to the foot of the cross where you will confess your sin and Jesus will forgive you, not because you are worthy of it, but so that He would be glorified.
And so that the devil will lose one more time.
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5 NIV