June 15, 2015
If You, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, that You may be feared. Psalm 130:3-4
Victoria Bascom needed a ride ... a 30-mile ride.
To get from where she was to where she wanted to be, Bascom hired a cab. As planned, the cabbie dropped her off at her destination and waited to be paid. He waited a long time. Actually, he would have waited forever because Bascom decided she wasn't going to pay.
This upset the cabbie, and he took Bascom to court.
Bascom's excuse didn't please the judge -- Judge Cicconetti. After some thinking, Judge Cicconetti asked, "If you hadn't found this cab, how would you have gotten to your destination?"
Bascom said she would have walked.
To that Judge Cicconetti said, "Fair enough. Your sentence is to walk 30 miles." Beginning at the fairground in Painesville, Ohio, and wearing a GPS device to record her route, Bascom began her trek. It took her a while, but eventually she managed to fulfill the order of the judge, who believes a person's punishment ought to fit his crime.
As proof, let me tell you of a Painesville man who called some policemen a few nasty names. The most printable of those names was Pig. Judge Cicconetti ordered the man to stand on a busy street corner with a real pig. In his hand the man held a sign saying "This is not a police officer."
Then there was the time a man passed a stopped school bus. As a punishment, the judge ordered the man to ride with a school bus driver, so he might see just how dangerous his action had been.
That being said, I give thanks our Lord doesn't work like Judge Cicconetti.
Now you need to understand the Lord does hold us accountable for our sins. Indeed, Scripture tells us that the souls which sin will die. Yes, the things we have done wrong need -- and will be -- punished. That is justice. But along with being just, our Lord is also gracious.
Knowing we could never survive the punishment we had coming, the Lord came up with an alternative, a creative plan. Rather than punishing us, the Lord decided to punish His Son for the transgressions of the world. That's a punishment Judge Cicconetti has never tried.
So we might be saved Jesus was born into this world as a Man. To that end He lived a perfect life, resisted the temptation to sin, and carried our sins to the cross where He died. His victorious resurrection from the dead says that Jesus has successfully taken our punishment upon Himself.
Now, all who believe on Him as Savior no longer need to fear their last moment. The punishment for our condemnation has been taken care of.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for Your love which was so great, that it paid the price for my sins. May I always be deeply appreciative for the innocent Jesus who died and rose to rescue guilty me. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries