But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
In the 1890s, the family of a boy moved into a New York tenement.
In the normal scheme of things, such a move would mean the lad would spend a great deal of time making friends and trying to fit in.
But this boy was hardly like the rest.
He was big; he was strong, and he was a bully. Even worse, he hardly cared for making, having or holding friends. Instead, he preferred that those around would fear him rather than befriend him.
After he had managed to give a thorough thrashing to one of the neighborhood kids and a black eye to another, the rest of the youngsters on the block thought it wisest to give the bully a wide berth.
All except one ... a very young, very little boy.
Seeing this lack of fear, the bully sought out the younger fellow and snarled the question: "What's da matter wit you? Why ain't you afraid of me?" It didn't take but a second for the younger lad to reply: "Course I ain't afraid of you. My big brudder's the boxin' champeen. If you touch me, he'll knock your block off."
I like that story. I like it because it's our story.
Sin, Satan and death have been bullying the world since humankind first fell into sin. Gladly, eagerly they have patrolled this neighborhood we call "earth," and sooner or later they give everybody a trouncing. Quite understandably, everyone is frightened of what they can do.
No, I need to say that differently. Almost everybody is frightened of what they can do. Those kids who come from the Christian family are quite bold when these bullies approach them. And when sin, Satan and death challenge, "Ain't you afraid of me?" those Christians reply, "Jesus is my Brudder, and He's shown Himself the Champeen. You can't touch me because He has promised to protect me from the likes of you."
And so He has. So that we might be forgiven and adopted into the family of faith, Jesus entered this world. By His perfect life He vanquished sin; by His refusal of Satan's temptations, the evil one was put in his place, and Jesus' resurrection showed that death was no longer the big bully who needed to be feared.
Jesus is the Champeen!
It's something to remember next time one of those bullies tries to intimidate you. When they try to push you around, you let them know -- in no uncertain terms -- Jesus is your Brudder, and He's shown He has the ability to knock their blocks off.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Jesus has become my Divine Brother. It is a comfort to know I no longer have to live in total terror that the bullies of sin, death and devil will take me down. During His life on earth Jesus trounced them once, and now He promises to do the same to protect me. This is why -- because of Jesus -- I have eternal life. In His Name I give thanks. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries