Just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one Man the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19
In 1585, under the leadership of Sir Walter Raleigh, a colony was established on Roanoke Island off the North Carolina coast. When supply ships came from England in 1590, no trace of the colonists could be found.
The story of people missing is nothing new. In 722 B.C. the ten tribes forming the kingdom of Israel were carried into the Assyrian captivity, and nothing more was heard of them. Looking for lost people also brought the Lord God in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had fallen into sin. They were not on hand, as usual, to welcome Him. Where were they? They were hiding among the trees of the garden because of guilty consciences.
The story of finding lost people is best told by Jesus Himself in the parable of the lost sheep. He tells how the shepherd looks for the sheep and, on finding it, carries it home on his shoulders with rejoicing (see Luke 15:4-6). The recovery of the lost is even more poignantly told in the parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:4-6).
Why is the experience on Roanoke Island repeated? Our world is full of changes that bring about population shifts. Time was when Christianity flourished in northern Africa and other regions later taken over by another religion. In our cities, internal changes have caused once-flourishing congregations to disappear. Also in rural areas economic, social, and perhaps also weather changes have brought about dislocations. The former all-purpose 160-acre family farms have been absorbed into larger organizations. One can go to many areas in North America and find abandoned mills, mines, and ranches. Empty villages and burned-out inner cities raise the same question: Where are the people?
Adam and Eve tried to get lost in Eden. But God found them and promised them a Savior: the woman's Seed, none other than Jesus Christ the Messiah. He wrestled in another garden--in Gethsemane--as the Second Adam to redeem the first Adam and all his children. Instead of hiding, Jesus boldly went forward to meet the enemy so that, in the end, He might give His life for all. Now the lost are found.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, for Your wondrous love in finding me and making me Your own through Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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