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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"An Unfair Sentence"

December 8, 2014

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Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18

Tondalo Hall was being abused by her boyfriend, Robert Braxton, Jr.

It was a tragic situation. Still, Hall was willing to trade off living in fear for a certain amount of security. That changed when she took her young son to the doctor because his leg was swollen. She was shocked to be told the boy's leg had been broken. A quick visit with her other child revealed that little one also had injuries.

Although she had never seen her boyfriend abuse the children, there was no other explanation possible. Both parents of the children were arrested and Hall testified against Braxton.

Both were found guilty.

Braxton received a reduced sentence because the prosecutors were not sure they would be able to get a conviction. Hall also was found guilty and received a reduced sentence because she had been cooperative. So far, nothing is unusual. What is remarkable is the length of those sentences.

* Robert Braxton, Jr., the abuser of the children, ended up serving two years in jail.

* Tondalo Hall, the one who testified against the abuse, was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

While abuse of children by anyone, under any circumstance, is inexcusable, those two sentences don't seem very fair to me. Indeed, most of us wouldn't have a big problem if the penalties awarded had been switched between the two parents.

Still, if a person wants to discuss unfair penalties, there is no better example than that of Jesus Christ, God's Son, our Savior. Jesus was born into this world to seek and save the lost. During His ministry, Jesus called people to repentance and spoke words that encouraged us to love our enemies and worship the Lord with all of our hearts, souls and minds. His was an extraordinary life filled with sacrifice and care for others.

And for His numerous acts of love, innocent Jesus, perfect Jesus, was lied about, beaten, spit upon, whipped, crowned with thorns and, at the end, He was condemned and crucified.

That, my friends, is true injustice.

Still, our Heavenly Father used those unfair and horribly tragic events to accomplish His own purposes. You see, when the Christ went to the cross He carried our sins, and when He gave up the ghost, He died in our stead. With His third-day resurrection from the dead, Jesus offers to all the assurance that forgiveness and eternal life is theirs if they have faith in Him.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, while I regret the unfairness of Your wrongful death, I give thanks that through Your wounds and stripes I am healed. May others be brought to faith in You and be given the salvation You have won for them. This I pray in Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Zechariah 1-4    3 John

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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