The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4:18
There's probably nothing more refreshing than a dip in cooling Lake Michigan on a scorching summer's day. On the other hand, there's probably nothing more dangerous than a dip in Lake Michigan when the weathermen are warning of "life-threatening waves and dangerous currents."
Unfortunately, on July 9th, both of those statements were in force.
The danger was all theoretical until word spread down Gary, Indiana's, Wells Street Beach that a child was -- figuratively and literally -- in over his head. Seeing the danger to the youngster, four people went in to make a rescue. One of the four said, "We had a purpose. We decided this kid's coming back to shore, no matter what."
By the time the emergency crews from the fire department arrived, there were five people in trouble. One of the men involved passed out, but was revived and rescued. A woman was taken to the hospital where she was listed as being in stable condition. The child and a third rescuer walked away from the beach, without a problem.
And two of the rescuers tragically and heroically died trying to save a child they didn't know.
Two thousand years ago, according to divine prophecy, the Son of God came into this world to bring about a rescue for sinners. Like the folks in our news article, Jesus also had a purpose and His entire life was dedicated to that purpose of seeking and saving the lost.
Of course, while there are similarities between Jesus and those folks at the Wells Street Beach, there are also some significant differences. For example,
* when those folks began their mission, they had every intention of surviving. Not so for Jesus. From the start He had known He was going to give His life as a ransom for many.
* there are other differences between the Savior and those Gary folk who died to save someone else. The child they tried to save was a stranger to his rescuers. In contrast the Lord Jesus knew each of us intimately and thoroughly. Not only did He know us, He also knew our manifold sins.
* we dare not forget the different reactions to these acts of self-sacrifice, which are separated by these many centuries. The people who died in Gary, Indiana, are being called "heroes," while the world has continued to vilify and malign the Christ for His substitutionary work, which has saved us.
Now Christians can leave that injustice stand, or we can do our best to let the world know that what Jesus has done was a great sacrifice, which came from the heart of a caring and gracious Lord. We can do our best to let them see, as we have seen, that faith in Jesus can change a person's outlook on the Lord as well as the wonderful and blessed work He has done.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, it is difficult to understand how and why the world hates the Savior for all He has done. Grant we may bear witness to how Jesus' action has changed us, our present lives, and our eternities. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"