The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45
Fidel Castro has stepped down as the self-proclaimed “savior” of Cuba.
Last week the departure of one of Communism’s last leaders made the front pages. It didn’t take too long before analysts began to analyze and speculators began to speculate what the ramifications of Castro’s abdication might mean.
Me, I was fascinated by the many unsuccessful attempts the United States had made to murder the man. For years, the CIA tried to embarrass or eliminate Cuba’s bearded dictator.
Only a partial list of plots taken from now declassified documents tell of how the CIA planned to give Castro cigars treated with a chemical to cloud his mind, of how they wanted to put thallium salt in his shoes to make his beard fall out.
There were serious plots like having someone inject him with poison hidden in a pen or giving Castro a scuba-diving apparatus, the mouthpiece of which had been treated to give him tuberculosis.
Then, of course, there was the old booby-trapped seashell plot. That’s a scheme calling for a small submarine to place a beautiful seashell in a place where Castro liked to swim. When the dictator would pick up the shell for the purpose of admiring it, explosives hidden inside the shell would go off.
While I can think of no other similarities between our Savior and Castro, the plots against the dictator reminded me of the many conspiracies against Jesus. From His birth in Bethlehem when Herod tried to kill Him, past the time when His neighbors wanted to throw Him off a cliff, until the day the High Priests railroaded Him to the cross, there were plots against the Christ. The Savior’s enemies never caught on that Jesus had come to give His life as a ransom for many.
It amazes me that in spite of such opposition, Jesus continued on. It is my prayer that you understand and appreciate the great gift of grace that comes to us in the Christ. By the Holy Spirit’s power may we rejoice in our Savior who need never step down as ruler in our hearts. To Him be all honor and glory.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for putting up with the hatred of those You had come to save, for continuing on the path of sacrifice, my deepest gratitude. May You always reign as ruler within my heart. In Your Name. Amen.
NOTICE: Lutheran Church Charities invited me to write a sermon of comfort for the victims of the shooting at Northern Illinois University. That sermon has been posted here: Sermon Your viewing and response is appreciated.
Pastor Ken Klaus
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries