Likely you heard the news of what happened over Thanksgiving weekend. Fidel Castro, longtime Prime Minister and President of Cuba, died at the age of 90 this past Friday. Though some have tried to lionize the so-called “revolutionary” history will bear out that he was a totalitarian monster, responsible for thousands of deaths and gross abuses of the power he seized half a century ago.

Castro was a man who outlawed and persecuted believers. He turned Cuba from a tropical island getaway (that, granted, was not without many flaws) to a cesspool of corruption and decay, where a select few became very wealthy and comfortable while the rest fell into gross poverty. Hundreds fled Cuba for America over the years, risking their lives for the chance to be free from his clutches, even if it meant being removed from their beloved homeland. Many of them, and their children, celebrated in the streets when the word reached the US that he had died.

Christians ought not celebrate the death of a sinner, because we know the horrors of hell that await those who reject Jesus Christ. Having said that, Solomon writes,

When the wicked perish, there is shouting for joy

Proverbs 11:10

What Solomon means is, the death of wicked means the opportunity for righteousness to flourish. That is worth celebrating.

There once was a king in Judea named Herod, who—like Castro—persecuted believers and acted like a god. After years of suffering under his rule, and perhaps years of Christians wondering “how long, oh Lord?” Herod finally met his Maker (Acts 12:23).

In the end, all of God’s enemies (which are the enemies of God’s people too) will receive Justice. They will get what they deserve, while God’s people—forgiven by Jesus’ blood—will get what they do not deserve; redemption in Heaven forever. That is worth celebrating too.