March 28, 2010
. . . and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7b-9
Looking over the newspaper, an article caught my eye that told the story of a murderer who had just been sentenced.
His trial cost over $400,000 and had taken two months.
What interested me most was the man's defense. He said he had killed another human being because his wife had refused to make him coffee that morning. Now if you're thinking a lack of coffee might not be a good reason to murder someone, you would be right.
You are so right the murderer agrees with you. That's why he offered a second reason to explain what motivated his crime. Are you ready? You're not! If I gave you until St. Swithin's Day, you'd never guess his reason.
The man said he was forced to do what he did because his parents had gotten a divorce when he was three years old.
Still not enough to commit murder? You've right. The defense did have a third reason for the murder. The murdered person had made a face at the perpetrator of the crime.
That face-making incident was just too much.
That got me thinking: I wonder how often a judge hears someone stand up and confess, "Yes, your honor, I did it. I was totally out of control and nobody else is responsible." Most judges I think would consider that kind of confession a refreshing change.
In all probability, God, our just Judge feels the same way. Adam and Eve decided to pass the blame. Cain tried to bluff his way out of Abel's murder. David covered his adultery by adding the sin of murder. Scripture is filled with folks who pretend they're fine just the way they are.
The Lord knows differently.
He knows all of us are sinners. Mark that. We just don't do sinful things. We are sinners. And because we are helpless sinners Jesus came into this world.
The Christ's entire life -- from birth to crucifixion to resurrection and beyond -- was dedicated to saving our souls. The Innocent died for the guilty.
His is an act of grace unique in the annals of history. Jesus lived and died and rose so we might be forgiven and saved. Now, because of what Jesus has done, those who believe are washed, cleansed, and redeemed.
John said it rightly: "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
In that forgiveness, let us pray:
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for my many sins of thought, word, and deed. Grant me the grace to believe in the Savior, whose sacrifice forgives my sins and moves me from darkness into light. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries