He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
Some time ago, I read about a zookeeper who saw a mouse fall into the glass enclosure of a large snake.
Although the snake was sleeping in a bed of wood shavings, the mouse knew it was only a matter of time before he became supper. The man could almost see the gears of the mouse's mind turning and churning, as he tried to find a remedy for his situation. He tried climbing the glass walls to freedom, but that didn't work. He knew he couldn't tackle the snake in direct confrontation.
In desperation, the mouse did the only thing he could do; he tried to cover the snake with wood chips.
The chips flew fast and furious and eventually that mouse managed to bury the snake. Now the mouse might have been content with his paw work, but the man realized the mouse was living on borrowed time. The moment would come when the snake would awake and ... and the mouse would die. That's when the man took a wooden rod and placed it into the snake's cage. The mouse grabbed hold and was freed.
That, my friends, is the story of humanity, and we are the mouse.
Because of sin, we find ourselves face to face with death and the snake, Satan. We can philosophize; we can scheme and do our best to escape. Still, no matter how hard we try, on our own, there is no way out. We, like that mouse can try to bury our problem, cover it up, make it go away. We might even be satisfied with our work and think we are safe, but God knows better.
God knows the day would eventually come when death would train its eye on us, and we would be sunk. It was only a matter of time.
Seeing us in our helplessness, God, like the man observing the mouse, had pity on us. That's when God, like the man, extended a pole, in this case -- a wooden cross -- which could lift us to salvation.
Upon that wooden cross, God's Son, having lived a perfect life for us, ended up dying the death we deserved.
In an act of unparalleled grace and mercy, God's Son died, and three days later, rose from the grave. His repeated appearances showed to all that He had been successful in His work of offering Himself as our Substitute.
Now, because of what the good Lord has done, sin, the devil, and death have been defeated and eternal life is given for all who are brought to faith in the Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I was lost, destined to die temporally and eternally. There was nothing I could do to change that. Seeing my helpless condition You sent Your Son to take my place and through His sacrifice I am saved. May my life be lived in thanksgiving and praise for this wonderful act of charity You have performed for me. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries