Overlooking the Dead Sea is an ancient stronghold known as Masada. It is one of Israel’s most popular tourist attractions. The cliffs on the east edge are about 1,300 feet high and the cliffs on the west are about 300 feet high. Herod the Great built and fortified a palace for himself there between 37 and 31 BC. Engineers constructed a 12 foot high casemate wall around the top, towers, storehouses, barracks, an armory, and cisterns filled by rainwater.
Every day I receive emails from the Pentagon with news of a soldier taking his or her life. Some days there are multiple messages. The reports are concise and heartbreaking. Today after three emails I just had to cry. A colonel facing retirement put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger; a female captain hung herself; a sergeant overdosed on drugs; a private threw himself in front of traffic; and, a specialist leaped from a bridge. Relentlessly these bitter messages invade my computer.
When I wake up each morning, my first task is to let out the dogs and retrieve the newspaper. Before I read the headlines I wonder what new tragedy has rocked people from their illusive peace. In Israel, yet another Palestinian has blown himself up and taken the lives of bystanders. What propels these martyrs to so willingly die?
Luke 23:44-46--It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” Saying this, He breathed His last.