The question of the Death Penalty is an emotional question. It is not only emotional, but it is also multifaceted. Periodically, the question of the death penalty comes to the forefront. This has happened this particular week as people have paid attention to the appeals and ultimate rejection of the appeals and then execution of a man in Georgia. This post is not about this case at all. I do not know the facts of the case and have not followed the news story.
This post is simply answering the question: Is the death penalty ever appropriate?
As we follow the theme throughout the Bible we begin with the dignity of human life. Humans are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). This fact makes us different from the animal world in a significant way. It makes our life more precious than animals.
Man being made in the image of God means that when one person murders another, it is a serious offense to God. In fact Genesis 9:6 makes it clear that if one person murders another, the murderer should be put to death, because they have killed someone who is made in the image of God. This death penalty is to be done at the hands of another man. Thus, it is wrong to murder someone made in the image of God, but no guilt is given to someone who administers the punishment of death to the murderer.