May 28, 2011
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
No Christian can ever approve of a judge who applies penalties that far exceed the crime they are supposed to be punishing.
Having said that, I can't help but smile at the ruling passed down against a Russian architect a number of years ago.
It seems the designer had put together plans for a 12-story apartment building. It was, for the most part, a beautiful and functional edifice. In spite of its many positive features, the architect found himself being charged with negligence and summoned before the magistrate.
It seems the man had, somehow, forgotten to include plans for an elevator. To make a long story short, he was found guilty, and his sentence was to live in an apartment on the 12th floor.
All of us ought to be most thankful God does not do the same -- that His punishments are not on the same level as our sin.
The truth is every day we all commit so many sins, perform so many wrongs that we would never be able to bear the verdict. To save us from such a sad and sorry situation God has chosen to give us an opportunity to have our name cleared and be set free from any punishment.
No, He doesn't throw out the law books. He is too just to do that. Rather than punishing us, He has placed our wrongdoings and punishment upon His Son -- His Son who was our Substitute.
Because of what Jesus has done, because of His blood-bought forgiveness we are free, free from punishment and free from condemnation.
And for this we offer our thanks today and always.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to remember every day that Your undeserved love is beyond our imagining. Direct our eyes to Bethlehem's cradle and Calvary's cross. Then let us rejoice because Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries