The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Jesse James and his gang held up trains, while Bonnie and Clyde stuck up banks. Both gangs became folk heroes to many people who admired their daring and sang songs about their lack of respect for the establishment.
This is why I’m surprised that no one has composed any poetry praising the crooks who have managed to pull off what might be one of the greatest thefts in history. I’m even more surprised that the news media seems to have given little coverage to the fact that you may have been robbed.
What, you haven’t heard? Let me explain. Last Wednesday, TJX, the company that has 2,500 stores, including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, reported the theft of 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers. Also taken were the ID numbers, names, addresses, and driver’s license and state ID numbers of 455,000 shoppers. That’s right. Over a period of several years, people in the U.S., Britain, and Canada had their information stolen. The theft is so overwhelming that the company’s representatives admit they may never be able to “identify much of the information believed stolen.”
So far the stolen data has been used to buy $8 million worth of gift cards and electronic goods. Banks, outraged that they will have to cover these illegal purchases, are fearful that this is only the tip of the iceberg.
When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me?” (Mt. 26:55) It was a legitimate question since throughout His trial He was treated as a thief, and worse.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While thieves are in the business of taking our information, valuables, and good names, Jesus was in the Father’s business of giving. Jesus gave His life, so that with His fulfillment of the law and by His substitution in our death, we might be forgiven of all our sins. Especially in Holy Week we remember how Jesus gave His life upon Calvary’s cross so that all who believe on Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus said it this way, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Sometimes those who take from us have songs written about them. Luther preferred to sing about the Savior who gives to us. The Reformer’s words are our prayer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, “Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands, For our offenses given; But now at God's right hand He stands And brings us life from heaven; Therefore let us joyful be And sing to God right thankfully Loud songs of hallelujah! Hallelujah! Here the true Paschal Lamb we see, Whom God so freely gave us; He died on the accursed tree, So strong His love to save us. See, His blood doth mark our door; Faith points to it, Death passes o'er, And Satan cannot harm us. Hallelujah!” In the name of the Savior who gives to us. Amen.
(Christ lag in todesbanden, Martin Luther; tr. Richard Massie)