December 17, 2013
(Jesus said) "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10
In life there are winners and there are losers.
Of course, there are those times when it is possible for everybody to lose. As example, I would point to the story of Edmonton, Alberta's Justin Harder and Calvin Clackson.
The story begins with 18-year-old Harder boasting to his friend Clackson that he had managed to get his hands on a "stab-proof" vest. Now I've never heard of a stab-proof vest, but apparently the article of clothing has the ability of deflecting the point of any knife thrust at it.
I say apparently for good reason.
Harder was so positive of his vest that he encouraged his friend to take a stab at puncturing it. Clackson agreed and jabbed the knife at his pal's heart. Long story short: the knife worked and the vest didn't. When the knife came out, so did a spurt of Harder's blood. Well, the blood freaked Clackson out and he ran away. As for Harder, his life was spared because of an emergency surgery, which took place at the local hospital.
So ... everybody lost. The faulty vest's inventor lost; Harder lost because of his hospital time, and Clackson lost because he has been sentenced to six months in jail.
The story seems like a modern-day retelling of humankind's fall into sin.
Satan tempted our first ancestors, and the result was disastrous. Satan -- history's biggest loser -- was told how he would be defeated when God's Son entered the world to offer Himself to rescue us from sin, the world, and Satan. The snake lost when it was condemned to eat dirt, and Adam and Eve lost because, after a life of trouble, they were condemned to spend eternity in hell.
Everybody lost. At least everybody should have lost.
You see, unlike the story of Harder and Clackson, humanity's story does have an alternative ending.
That ending can be ours because, some 2,000 years ago, God kept His promise to send His Son. In Bethlehem, Jesus was born of a virgin.
For the next decades His life was spent fulfilling the laws we had broken. Then, after having lived a perfect life, Jesus carried our sins to the cross and died the death our disobedience deserved. His descent into hell showed those regions the success of His mission, and His third-day resurrection proved to all who will take a serious look, that death itself has been defeated.
That's why, since Jesus' redemption is offered freely to all, on Judgment Day the only loser has to be the devil.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that because Jesus has successfully paid my debt, I have been moved from condemnation to salvation. May I give thanks for His sacrifice and do my best to tell the world that, because of Jesus, they no longer have to be losers. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries