I found an amazing sermon yesterday entitled “Will You Love Jahar Tsarnaev?” by Pastor Coty Pinckney from Desiring God Community Church in North Carolina. It was preached on April 21—two days after Jahar was captured and the exact day that I began my commitment to pray for Jahar daily for as long as I need to.
The sermon is preached from the perspective that Jahar definitely committed the marathon bombings and murdered Sean Collier. I know some of you firmly believe that Jahar was framed and others of you think it’s at least a possibility that he is innocent, but put that aside for a moment and read/listen to this anyway. Trust me. It’s so good.
There are so many parts of this sermon I’d love to quote here, but 1) I don’t want to ruin it and 2) this post would probably be over 1,000 words long then. For just a little teaser, here’s one of my favorite parts:
Jahar Tsarnaev is made in the image of God. He has polluted that image by his sin and rebellion. By God’s grace, that image can shine forth in majesty and beauty.
Jahar Tsarnaev is potentially an heir of the earth (Matthew 5:5).
Jahar Tsarnaev is potentially part of the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27), dearly loved by Him, indeed, dearly loved by YOU. As John Newton writes, those who are our enemies now who truly follow Christ will one day be, “Dearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now.”
Could that be true of Jahar?
Yes it could! And oh how I pray to God that it will!
Yes, Lord, I will love Jahar Tsarnaev. Will you, brothers and sisters, follow in our Lord’s footsteps and do the same?