September 25, 2014
... you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23b
When Cain killed and hid the body of his brother, Abel, he probably thought he had covered his crime. When Moses murdered an abusive Egyptian and buried the body, he, too, thought he had managed to escape detection.
Both were wrong.
Cain's murder was known to God, and he was marked because of what he had done. Moses soon found out he had been even less successful in covering his misdeed.
Still, there are those who think they can get away with their wrongdoings. For example, in 1888, there were a number of murders committed in the Whitechapel District of London. The criminal whom the police referred to as "the Whitechapel Murderer" or "Leather Apron" has gone down in our history books as "Jack the Ripper" (JTR). Over the decades many suspects have been suggested for those crimes, but nobody was ever positively identified as the JTR murderer.
Using a shawl taken from one of the victims, a molecular biologist has identified blood from Catherine Eddowes and DNA from Aaron Kosminski, a Polish immigrant who came to England to escape Russian persecution. Although the shawl has been handled by hundreds of people over the years, the DNA from these two has been positively identified. That information, along with the fact that the killings stopped when Kosminski was institutionalized, are leading many people to say, "We're almost 100 percent positive that Kosminski and JTR were the same person."
Amazing, more than 130 years after the murders were committed, the killer's name is known.
Of course, his name was always known to God. Our passage from the book of Numbers tells us when we sin against the Lord, our sins will find us out. In truth, the Lord who knows everything is always fully aware of, is displeased with, and is obligated to punish our evil thoughts and our many misdeeds.
Do you find that frightening? I hope not.
If Jesus is your Savior, you know the punishment for those sins has already been given, and by God's grace it was not given to you, but to His innocent Son. Think about that. How many of you would send your child to pay the price for the JTR murders? It would be unthinkable.
Still, that is what our Heavenly Father did. He sent His Son into this world to fulfill the Law, resist temptation, and carry our sins to the cross. Now, by Jesus' resurrection we are assured the sins that once would have sent us to hell are gone. We are forgiven, freed and promised eternal life in heaven.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, forgive my transgressions as well as my ingratitude. May I never minimize the work of my Savior who gave His life so my sins might be covered and forgiven. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries