Summer 2024

The Aaron Hernandez Tragedy Did Not Have To End This Way

It Didn’t Have to End This Way

by Daniel Matthews

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

By now, you’ve probably heard the tragic news of Aaron Hernandez’s suicide early Wednesday morning. He was found hanging in his jail cell and then pronounced dead about an hour later.

After a promising collegiate career at the University of Florida and early success with the New England Patriots, he found himself facing murder charges and was later found guilty of murdering his friend, Odin Lloyd. Serving a life sentence without parole, today, at 3:05 a.m. it was reported that he tragically took his own life.

Our hearts break for his family and loved ones he leaves behind. They are the ones who have to live with this tragedy. But the most tragic part of it all is that it didn’t have to end this way.

No matter how impossible a situation may seem to be, there is hope. The message of this past Easter weekend is that the Son of God, though believed to be dead, was found among the living and He still lives today. If our Savior and Friend can do THAT, imagine His power that can work in our lives. He can do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

There is a better life than the one you’re living, and no matter what you’ve done, where you are, or what lies ahead of you, Jesus can comfort you. You just need to give yourself up to Him. He doesn’t promise that all your problems will go away, but He promises that He will carry you through.

PRAYER: Dear LORD, our hearts are heavy, and we pray that you comfort the loved ones of Aaron Hernandez. Through this dark time, we pray that the light of King Jesus will shine in the lives of those who need rest for their souls. In His name we pray, AMEN.

(Daniel Matthews is a contributor to Sports Spectrum)