One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, "Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." Luke 23:39-41
Over the years, I have enjoyed the company of Christian policemen ... I'm sorry ... police persons.
It has always amazed me that these enforcers of the law, who see humanity at its best and worst, still manage to keep a reasonable balance on life. Knowing all of us are guilty of something and we tend to lie about most everything, these officers usually keep an up perspective on life.
Having given that bit of background, let me share some of the reports these officers have smilingly shared with me.
For example, one officer on patrol saw a vehicle rip through a red light. Although the driver had time to stop, she didn't even slow down. When he pulled her over, the lady said, "I just had my brakes repaired, and it has been very expensive. I'm not braking because I don't want to wear my brakes down."
Then there was another officer who told me about the man whom he had pulled over for driving 80 mph in a 55-mph zone. When confronted, that driver explained how a bee had been flying around his head. He had sped up to 80 because he knew bees couldn't fly that fast.
Now you may not be that silly when it comes to making excuses for the things you have done wrong, but all of us have done things wrong. We have done sinful, malicious, evil things. We have done things that have rightly earned God's wrath and punishment.
And maybe this would be the ideal spot to stop and say, "There is an exception to that rule." In the Person of Jesus Christ, we have been given a Savior who has done nothing wrong. Indeed, He did everything right. He fulfilled the Law; He kept the Commandments; He lived a life that was pleasing to His Heavenly Father.
Most importantly, He lived His perfect life for us.
Now, because Jesus did everything right and nothing wrong, all who believe on Him as their Lord and Savior are washed of their sins and can stand before their eternal Judge without fear of punishment. As God's forgiven children we know we shall be invited into paradise to spend eternity with Jesus: the Savior who never did anything wrong.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we do wrong, and then we make our excuses. We forget that the eternal Judge looks into our hearts and sees the evil that resides there. For that reason we give thanks we have a Savior who did everything right and did that right so all who believe on Him might be forgiven and saved. May we share His story with as much enthusiasm as we make excuses for our wrongdoing. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries