". . . but this man has done nothing wrong." Luke 23:41b
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Have you ever been lumped together with an unsavory character or two you felt to be your unequal? There was a certain injustice in that, wasn't there? You were maligned by association. And though you knew you were bad, you knew you weren't that bad. Doesn't feel too good, does it?
Now how might Jesus have felt when -- led up to the place where He would be brutally crucified -- He was accompanied by two common thugs who were going -- and justly going -- to die? First, He didn't deserve death -- not in this way, not in any way. Second, as true God and true man, He was going to die alongside two sinners who did deserve to die. Can we even begin to sense the injustice of this spectacle for Jesus -- "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" (Colossians 1:15b)?
By God's grace, one criminal got it; he understood what was happening before his very eyes. The other, taunting Jesus to the bitter end, didn't. " . . . We are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong," said the one man to the other (Luke 23:41b). He has done nothing wrong, the Scripture says, but yet "upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5b).
We are healed!
We are the criminals hanging there. We are the ones deserving to die. But instead, through His shed blood, we are healed!
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, in Your Son's blood is life for those who believe. Your power alone can change people's lives through faith and grant them eternal life through the saving work of Jesus Christ. Our sins are great, but Your grace is greater still. Through Your Holy Spirit keep us close to You, believing, trusting, and relying on Your every healing Word. In Christ's Name, we pray. Amen.
Biography of Author:
This devotion is based on a text submitted by Ilze Abrama. She is a staff member with Lutheran Hour Ministries-Latvia, which reaches people in this northern European country via Equipping The Saints (ETS), Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), national radio programming, and by dubbing This Is The Life in Latvian, and then distributing these broadcasts to churches around the country.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.