The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:56-57
The world is filled with failures.
For example, baseball has failures like Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. It's true, you know. When I last looked, Ty Cobb had been thrown out more times trying to steal than any other man in baseball history. For many years Babe Ruth had struck out more times than any man had in baseball history. Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's record, has struck out more times than 99 percent of the players who make it to the major leagues.
Few people even remember the failures of these baseball greats. Almost everyone remembers their successes.
But there are failures in other areas as well. Enrico Caruso's voice failed to carry the high notes so many times his voice teacher told him to quit. Caruso became recognized as the greatest tenor in the world.
* Thomas Edison's teacher called him a dunce, and he later failed over 14,000 times in his efforts to perfect the incandescent light.
* Abraham Lincoln was well known for his failures, but nobody considers him a failure.
* Albert Einstein and Wernher von Braun both flunked courses in math.
* Henry Ford was broke at age 40.
Then, of course, there's us. Because of sin, all of us are failures in God's eyes. We were pitiful, miserable failures -- failures so bad it seemed impossible that anything good could ever come of us. Indeed, left to our own strength and devices, we would be and have remained spiritually dead.
But dead is not what God wanted for us. In the Garden of Eden the Lord had provided a way for man and woman to live forever, if we would follow one, small commandment. It should have been an easy thing to do, but it wasn't. In the Garden we failed our Lord; in our day-to-day lives, we fail Him, too.
To save us, God, in His love, decreed that Jesus would come into this world to change things. As God's Son, Jesus did all we could not. He would be the Victor. Fulfilling the prophecies, Jesus kept the Law; He resisted temptation; He defeated death with His resurrection.
All this He has done for us so that plain, generic sinners might be recycled, restored and redeemed. Because of Jesus, Paul could write, "thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Did you hear that? No longer losers, we are winners because of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I have had choices in my life. I am free to switch jobs or move whenever I would like. Your options were far more limited. You were always living Your life for my redemption. I give thanks the empty tomb of Resurrection Sunday says that You have won. For making me, like You, a victor, I give thanks. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries