(Jesus said) "And whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:27-28
Last month the nation of Israel freed more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to get back one of their soldiers: Gilad Shalit.
Shalit had been captured when some Palestinians tunneled under his outpost and dragged him away. Since that time he has been a subject of controversy as one Israeli government after another tried -- and failed -- to procure his release.
That is, until last month.
Last month Israel and Palestine announced a deal had been made and the soldier would be returning home.
Now the thing that got me to wondering is how is it possible that this one Israeli man is being traded for 1,000 Palestinians, especially since some of those Palestinians are serving life sentences for having carried out terrorist bombings?
One for a thousand didn't seem fair to me.
Then I realized that I am the beneficiary of a similar unfair trade.
The life of Jesus Christ, God's Son, was offered up in exchange for me ... for you ... for all of lost and condemned humanity. The only difference between our trade and that of the Israeli soldier is that Jesus' life was worth far, far more than those of the people for whom He was traded.
When God gave up His Son, He knew what He was doing. He knew He was offering the perfect for the imperfect, the holy for the sinful, the unique for the common. Why He did so can only be contributed to His gracious and loving heart.
It's not fair and it certainly isn't logical, but it is what the Father did. As Jesus said, "the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are mysteries in this world that don't make sense to me. For the mystery of salvation which is mine through the life, sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus, I am not only impressed and grateful, I am also saved. May I be kept ever mindful of Your grace and love, which does the unbelievable. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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