"For What Purpose"
July 28, 2009
And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us. . . . Ephesians 5:2a
A week or so ago, when I was at the 92nd convention of the International Lutheran Laymen's League (the organization which sponsors these devotions), I came across an article in the Greensboro News & Record.
The story told how Danielle Starr and Anthony Mohney were married for one whole day. For one day the couple became husband and wife. Then, on the second day, Anthony died of cancer.
The story went on to tell how Anthony's hospice team had planned the wedding and how the businessmen of that wonderful North Carolina community had graciously given everything necessary for the couple to get hitched -- even the rings.
The story spoke of how Danielle, who had been told Anthony would soon die of his illness, had assured him, saying, "I'd rather be married to you for one day, than not at all."
My first reaction to that story was to cry. It was a beautiful human-interest story.
My second reaction to the story was to ask a few questions: Why did they bother? Why did a jeweler give away some expensive rings? Why did the folks who catered the meal offer up their services? Why did the tux people not charge for the rental? Why bother to do any of this if you're sure one of the principals is going to die?
These were questions that bothered me -- a lot.
Turning from what this very special bride and groom had done, my thoughts went to the Savior. I asked many of the same questions about Him I had asked about the newlyweds. Why did Jesus come into this world? After all, He knew how things would end up. He knew a friend would betray Him; He knew He would be rejected; He knew He would be beaten, whipped, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the cross.
Why did Jesus come if He knew He was going to die?
The answer to why the bride and groom got married and to why Jesus entered this world is the same: they were in love.
Danielle loved Anthony, and she was willing to suffer a great deal to be with him. The same is true for Jesus. So we could be with Him, Jesus was willing to live, suffer, and die for us. Now, because of what He did, we can be forgiven, saved, and with Him forever. Because of what Jesus did, the story of Danielle and Anthony isn't over.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for having a great love for me, I praise You. I am unworthy, but I give thanks for Your commitment, care, and sacrifice that saves me. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries