"I Wouldn't Do It"
October 31, 2012
God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. Romans 5:8-9
South Dakota's 50-year-old Eric Robert was not a nice man.
Robert was in prison for kidnapping. After serving five years of an 80-year sentence, he and another inmate came up with a plan to escape. It was not a nice plan. Robert caught unsuspecting guard Ron Johnson, beat him with a pipe, fractured his skull, then covered his face in a plastic bag to stop him from breathing or calling out. Robert hid the body, put on the guard's uniform, and tried to walk out of the prison, with his partner hidden on a cart.
Robert was caught, tried and sentenced to be executed. By the time you read this, that sentence has been carried out. The South Dakota Supreme Court approved the sentence, and Governor Dennis Daugaard declined to intervene. His was a decision I can understand.
Oh, there is something else Governor Daugaard didn't do. He didn't suggest one of his three children, or his grandchild, should be executed in place of Eric Robert. No rational man would sacrifice the life of his child to save that of a kidnapper, a murderer like Eric Robert.
Still, God's invincible love and His incredible grace had Jesus become one of us. This Jesus accomplished when He, according to prophecy, was born of a virgin in Bethlehem.
The rest of the Savior's life was spent fulfilling God's laws and resisting Satan's temptations. Then, having done all which had been asked of Him, Jesus took up our sins and died the death which we had deserved.
The Innocent died for the guilty.
Now, all who are called by the Holy Spirit to faith in the Savior are freely forgiven and are released from the condemnation of eternal death.
Almost 500 years ago this was the wonderful Scriptural truth that was rediscovered by the Reformer Martin Luther. His bold proclamation based on Scripture alone changed the world, even as it changed the faith and eternal residence of millions.
But Luther is gone. In his place is us. Now it is our time to tell this dark, dying world that Jesus alone is the only Way that leads to heaven. Jesus alone is the only Truth, which can be trusted. Jesus alone is the Savior, who gives eternal life to those who believe.
By God's grace may we tell the story clearly and tell it well, for the eternal future of the hearers is dependent upon their having faith in the grace of God, which offers a love we cannot understand, a grace beyond what we would extend to anyone else.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may the reformation of humankind's hearts continue on. May we all see, appreciate and believe that we are saved by grace alone, by faith alone, as shown through Scripture alone. In Jesus' Name, I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries