"Getting Away With Murder"
January 7, 2009
And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And the Lord said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground." Genesis 4:8b-10
Watching some of the TV detective and CSI shows, a person might get the idea all murder investigations end up with an arrest and a conviction.
Whether the process takes a full half hour, or a whole 60 minutes depends on the length of the program.
In contrast to what television says, FBI figures are telling us something quite different. Bureau statistics indicate the percentage of murders actually being solved is dropping.
In 1963, the homicide clearance rate was 91 percent. In the late 1970s, it fell below 80 percent; in the 1980s, it dipped below 70 percent. In 2007, the percentage of murders solved declined to 59 percent.
All of this simply means there are people on the streets and living in our neighborhoods who are getting away with murder - or so they think.
After he had buried his brother, Cain, the world's first murderer, also thought he had covered his tracks. His false sense of security was dispelled by God's demand: "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground."
The truth is this: witnesses might remain silent and evidence might go unnoticed, but before God people don't get away with murder or any other wrongdoing. The Father knows and He is not happy with our sin.
So that we might be saved from ourselves, is why the Father sent Jesus into this world. Jesus came to save murderers, to carry their crime, to pay the price of their just punishment, and to offer forgiveness to all who turned to Him in repentance and faith. While criminals may still have to pay a legal price for their wrongdoing, because of Jesus, believers are blessed with blood-bought forgiveness.
This is good news for murderers and for non-murdering sinners, like you and me.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, may Your peace reign in the sinful hearts of humankind. Further, may we rejoice that while we may not need forgiveness for murder, for other sins we still need Jesus' forgiveness. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries