Hitler is often considered to be the most evil man who ever lived and the extermination of six million Jews and twenty million Russians seems to make a pretty good case for that argument. But when you take into the 30 million people the Japanese slaughtered or the near 60 million that Joseph Stalin slaughtered during the same period, Hitler doesn’t seem that bad by comparison.
What about Andrew Kehoe who murdered 43 people, 38 of them children? Abhorrent. But compared to Hitler, he doesn’t seem so bad. And while the Milwaukee Cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes may seem unspeakable to some, he’s not so bad compared to Mr. Kehoe. And what about that madman who tried to impress Jodie Foster by shooting Ronald Reagan? Sure, he attempted to assassinate the president of the free world, but he failed. And besides, it was only one guy he tried to kill. Compared to Jeffrey Dahmer, he wasn’t that bad.
What about your sins? Well, you didn’t try to straight up murder a dude. You never raped anyone. Perhaps you illegally download some music or a movie. Maybe lied to get out of a bad date. Nothing major. Compared to most people, you’re a saint. You’re not as bad as these other people. But where does it end? Compared to someone else, you could be a pretty damn horrible person. And therein lies the problem. You see, it doesn’t matter how good you are, somewhere along the line, you’ve done some bad things and whether they seem petty or insignificant to you doesn’t matter. It makes no difference if you’re as bad as Hitler or not because you have committed sins against a just and holy God. And a just and holy God must exact punishment for those sins if he is to remain just. That’s why we need a perfectly sinless savior to redeem us from our sins and to take the punishment for us.
Because if we can get by with, “Well, I’m not so bad compared to the next guy,” then why can’t Hitler get by with, “Well, at least I’m not as bad as Stalin”?
Is your sin really not as bad as Jeffrey Dahmer’s? If not, maybe Hitler’s wasn’t so bad either.