But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
You can't tell a book by its cover.
That's the lesson I learned from an 81-year-old German lady by the name of Traudl Junge. Before she died in February of 2002, she shared her thoughts about an old employer.
Concerning that man, she said, "He was a pleasant boss and a fatherly friend. I enjoyed the time by his side almost until the bitter end. It wasn't what he said, but the way he said things and how he did things."
Her boss sounds like a nice guy, doesn't he?
You can't judge a book by its cover. To Junge, Adolf Hitler was a nice guy. That's right.
• Adolf Hitler, one of the most reviled personalities of modern history
• Adolf Hitler, the man responsible for one of the greatest cases of mass genocide in all history
• Adolf Hitler, who ordered the imprisonment and slaughter of more the six million Jews
No, it's pretty nigh impossible to tell a book by its cover. That's true for you, for me, for all humanity. That's because inside all of us there is a person we work hard at keeping hidden. No matter how cool we try to be, how civilized, how sophisticated or well-mannered we want to be perceived, we all possess a dark side, a sinful side, an evil side.
That's right. The nicest, kindest, little, old lady has another side. The best of Boy Scouts may strive -- and many of them really do strive -- to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. But the best of Boy Scouts has another side to him.
This is why we need a Savior.
Inside and out, Jesus was perfect -- a quality which didn't escape His judge: Pontius Pilate. More than once Pilate told the mad mob, "I don't find Him guilty of anything." That's amazing because Pilate really was trying to find something about Jesus that would allow him to give permission for Jesus' crucifixion.
Try as he would, Pilate found nothing.
This is a good thing for us sinners. Because Jesus was perfect, because He did resist temptation, because He did fulfill God's laws, His death became the ransom price for our eternal lives. Now because of what Jesus has done, all who receive Him as Lord and Savior are forgiven and freed from the shackles and slavery of sin.
Because Jesus was perfect, the story of our lives has a different ending. No longer does it end with the unrelenting fires of hell. No longer does it conclude with never-ending pain.
Because Jesus was perfect, we who believed are saved, and the end of our story shows us living forever in paradise with Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You were perfect. Because of what You have done, I have been blessed. May my heart be moved to thanksgiving by Your loving death and glorious resurrection. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries