This sermon jam perfectly encapsulates why we care about Jahar and pray for him.
First, we pray because we believe that God is able to save Jahar. “Jesus touched the untouchable, and loved the unlovable, and forgave the unforgivable, and welcomed the undesirable… Jesus even now saves the otherwise unsavable.” Untouchable, unlovable, unforgivable, undesirable, unsavable: Those are all words that people would use to describe Jahar. Yet if we look at various stories and sayings of Jesus from the Gospels as well as the example of Paul, we see that Jesus pursues those who the world sees as unredeemable. He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). The well don’t need a doctor; the sick do (Mark 2:17). Jahar Tsarnaev is not beyond the reach of the grace of God. His sins are not too great that Jesus’ blood cannot wash him white as snow.
Second, we pray and care about Jahar out of a recognition of what Jesus has done for us. “The evidence of God’s mercy in your life isn’t determined by how much theology you know, by how many books you read, but by your active goodness to people in misery and in need!” It isn’t possible to know the mercy of God if we aren’t displaying it ourselves. We realize that outside of Christ, we stand just as condemned before God as Jahar currently does, but because Christ has come and made us right with God, we desire that Jahar would experience that very same grace. Yes, what Jahar is accused of is horrific, but we can’t be all glad for God’s mercy and forgiveness in our lives and then withhold that same mercy and forgiveness from other people, no matter what they’ve done. As Christians, we love as we’ve been loved and forgive as we’ve been forgiven.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”