January 26, 2012
Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. Romans 5:12
That's the biologist's name for the black rat -- the black rat which is one of the most invasive of undesirable species.
Indeed, once the black rat gets a foothold, it's hard to force him to let go. If you doubt me, ask the authorities who manage the Italian island of Monte Cristo. Yes, that's right, the same island as "The Count of ...."
It seems Monte Cristo has some black rats. Actually, they have a lot of black rats. Biologists estimate there is one black rat for every square yard on the island.
You don't have to be an expert to know this many black rats is not a good thing. You do need to be an expert to get rid of that many black rats. And -- no -- throwing a whole bunch of cats on the island is not the solution planned.
So, what are the experts going to do? Simply stated, they are going to carpet bomb the island with poison. Twenty-six tons of rat poison is going to be dropped all over the island from a plane. The scientists hope that will get rid of Rattus rattus.
Over the centuries the world has seen many invasions by that which is undesirable. None has been more tragic and terrible than that produced by sin.
St. Paul rightly points out that sin and death came into the world through the disobedience of one man. Because of that single sin the entire universe has been corrupted and despoiled.
To make things right again, the Lord made a decision: He would save the world by sending His Son. He would send Jesus to do that which we could not. By living a perfect life, by suffering and dying, by rising from the grave on the third day, Jesus would pay the price necessary to save us and eradicate sin's invasion.
Jesus was God's wonderful gift of grace.
But did He accomplish the task the Heavenly Father had given?
Writing to the church in Rome, Paul says this: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
It doesn't get any cleaner, any clearer than that: sin is eradicated by the Savior's blood.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks the invasion of sin has been stopped by the Savior's sacrifice. May my life be lived in grateful thanksgiving for His sacrifice. This I pray in my Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries