April 30, 2008
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The headline in the Reuter's story reads "Tight Security as Torch Arrives in New Delhi."
The rest of the article told of how India was going to try and protect the progress of the Olympic Torch from protesters. It spoke of how the torch was going to be guarded by commandos from an elite anti-terror unit, by paramilitary forces, and thousands of police who had been called up to keep the symbol safe.
It is not the first time the torch has needed protection.
In London, police had to struggle to prevent demonstrators from grabbing the torch. In Paris, protesters forced officials to extinguish the torch several times and eventually cut the relay short. In Islamabad, the first Asian leg of the torch's journey, the route was moved from the streets and had to be confined to a stadium.
If you're like me, you may wonder, "Why would the Olympic Torch, an internationally known, world-wide symbol of peace, need to be protected?" To answer that question would call for more space than this devotion allows.
Even so, the Torch is important. When I heard of how crowds were protesting the Olympic symbol of peace, I remembered the passion of the Savior. Isaiah had said Jesus would be called, "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."
In spite of being all these things, Jesus was hated and hounded, beaten and bruised, rejected and reviled. In spite of being God's great Gift of love and grace, the crowd called for His crucifixion and Jesus was nailed to a cross and was killed.
Now I cannot say what will happen to the Olympic Torch or the next great games to be held in China. But I do know what will happen to all those who believe in the crucified and risen Lord. Isaiah tells us: "Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5b).
In spite of Satan's protests, for believers, Jesus remains the Prince of Peace.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You came as the Father's Gift to win our salvation. By Your suffering, sacrifice, death, and resurrection I have peace. Now may Your message of salvation be met by welcoming hearts and joyful souls. May the lost know you as the Prince who brings forgiveness and peace. In Your Name I pray it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries