April 14, 2009
But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9
Not so long ago, I read of a German businessman who became a member of the Hindu faith.
The newspaper article spoke of how he had completed his conversion by piercing his cheeks with a ¼-inch thick, four-foot-long steel rod.
Sounds pretty horrible, doesn't it?
Well, that act of self-mutilation didn't finish the man's initiation into his new faith. After the steel rod, the man pulled a cart for two miles... he pulled it by means of ropes that were attached to his back and chest with steel hooks.
Of course, the man might have shown his sorrow for sin, his repentance for wrongdoing, in many other ways. He might have walked through a long pit of burning embers; or donned shoes made of nails, or hung from hooks that were embedded in his flesh.
Understand all religions, all followers of other faiths; don't go through something this drastic or dramatic.
But you also ought to understand every other religion of the world asks its believers to do something to appease their god and earn salvation. One faith orders its followers to pray a certain number of times a day. Another calls upon the faithful to give a strict percentage of their income to charity. Every faith is different in what it asks.
The ask is different, the wish to atone for sin and balance the scales of good and evil is the same.
Only the Christian faith is blessed to have a Savior Who came down from heaven and, for a time, was made lower than the angels. Only the Christian faith says Jesus suffered and died to pay the price of sin, and to save lost humanity. Only the Christian faith says we are saved by grace through faith, and not by our own works.
Now, because of Jesus' suffering and sacrifice on Calvary's cross all who believe on Him as their Substitute are forgiven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for being my Substitute under the law, my Savior from sin and Satan, my Defeater of death, I am grateful. Freed from the law, may I gladly thank and praise, serve and obey You. I ask it in Your Name. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries