March 27, 2014
But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26
In 1960 there was a song which played incessantly on my new transistor radio. It was called, "Teen Angel." Here are some of the lyrics (without the chorus):
"That fateful night the car was stalled upon the railroad track.
I pulled you out and we were safe but you went running back.
What was it you were looking for that took your life that night?
They said they found my high school ring clutched in your fingers tight."
At the time I thought that doesn't make much sense. Sure, Lot's wife foolishly looked back at the destruction of her home, but what person would risk her life to reclaim a class ring?
Apparently, going back for things which aren't really that valuable isn't as strange as I once thought.
For example, earlier this year two men died trying to reclaim a cell phone, which had been dropped in the Chicago River, and a few weeks ago a 14-year-old girl lost her life trying to reclaim a phone she had forgotten on some railroad tracks. That happened at about the same time a Texas man ran back into a burning building to try and rescue his phone from the flames.
You probably agree with me when I say, there are things worth dying for in this world, but a cell phone isn't one of them.
Which takes me to the spiritual question: why would God send His perfect Son into this world to give His life and rescue sinful humanity?
It doesn't make sense.
In numerous ways, over many centuries, we had shown we had no use for the Lord, His will, or His kindness and care. Each person in each generation had been born in sin and then had forged forward and committed new and terrible transgressions.
To make the Innocent pay the debts of the guilty, especially when the guilty are unappreciative, is unthinkable.
Still, Jesus came into this world to give His life as the ransom price, which would procure our release from sin, the devil, and death. This He did through complete commitment and total obedience to the Father. From the cradle, to the cross, to the open tomb, Jesus did all that was necessary to win our forgiveness and eternal freedom.
In truth, Jesus' sacrifice still doesn't make sense to me, and I certainly don't understand that level of love and commitment, but I'm glad He did what He did.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Jesus' offering of Himself is more than I could expect or hope for. May I, in all I do, be appreciative of His sacrifice for sinners like me. In His Name I ask for this spirit of appreciation. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries