“Jesus would support capital punishment in some instances. Jesus also demonstrated grace when capital punishment was due (John 8:1-11). The apostle Paul definitely recognized the power of the government to institute capital punishment where appropriate (Romans 13:1-7).

“Consider this,” argues Reagan: “The Mosaic Law very strongly supported the death penalty and Jesus never once disobeyed the law or taught against it. He said, ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil’ (Matthew 5:17). The law made numerous provisions for the death penalty. Jesus

did not come to destroy these provisions but to fulfill them. As such, He would have supported the death penalty.

“Noah and His Ark” by Charles Wilson Peale

“After the worldwide Flood of Noah’s time,” write Creation Tips, “God put safeguards in place against human violence. Of prime importance was the death penalty: ‘Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man’ (Genesis 9:6).

“If a human or an animal killed a human, the killer was to be put to death (Genesis 9:5). This was because of the sacredness of human life. God created humans in His image, so murdering another human meant you would forfeit your own life.

“Interestingly, God has never revoked the death penalty. Jesus said He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil it (Matthew 5:17). And the Apostle Paul preached about the government’s right to invoke capital punishment on evildoers (Romans 13:1-5).

“What about wrong convictions? What if an innocent person is wrongly sentenced to death?

“Well,” answer the Creation Tips folks, “there is no more famous case of an innocent person’s being condemned to death than when God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, endured an unjust trial on trumped-up charges, suffered, and died on a wooden cross. Yet God did not intervene. The need for justice is so strong that it seems He is willing to put up with an occasional wrong conviction rather than remove the death penalty.

“But God is also merciful. He often shows charity and mercy when the death penalty is due. David committed murder, yet God did not take his life. In John chapter 8 we read that the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery, and asked Him whether she should be stoned to death, as the Law of Moses required. Jesus said, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’ They all left.

“God allows governments to impose the death penalty. We should all be aware that if we do wrong in a country that allows the death penalty, we must be ready for the punishment.

“Those who say the death penalty isn’t a deterrent to crime miss the point. The penalty is not chiefly to deter others, but to punish and remove from society the one who would perpetrate such serious crimes.

“How should a Christian view the death penalty?” ask the Got Questions theologians. “First, we must remember that God has instituted capital punishment in His Word; therefore, it would be presumptuous of us to think that we could institute a higher standard. God has the highest standard of any being; He is perfect. This standard applies not only to us but to Himself. Therefore, He loves to an infinite degree, and He has mercy to an infinite degree. We also see that He has wrath to an infinite degree, and it is all maintained in a perfect balance.

“Second, we must recognize that God has given government the authority to determine when capital punishment is due (Genesis 9:6;Romans 13:1-7). It is unbiblical to claim that God opposes

the death penalty in all instances. Christians should never rejoice when the death penalty is employed, but at the same time, Christians should not fight against the government’s right to execute the perpetrators of the most evil of crimes.”

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