June 6, 2017
2 Corinthians 5:21 - For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
Marty O'Connor was a healthy young man until the age of 24.
In 2012 O'Connor fell down a flight of stairs. It was a fall which made him a quadriplegic. Understandably, the fall was devastating. Plans had to be put on hold, and initially it seemed as if his dream of earning an MBA at Chapman University was over almost before it had begun.
In those days of reevaluation and redirection, O'Connor found himself blessed by two things:
1. advancements in technology made it possible for him to get around, and voice-recognition software on his computer translated his spoken words into a written format;
2. more importantly, his mother, Judy, a retired teacher, volunteered to help him.
I like that word, "help." To different people it means different things. To Judy it meant she would take class notes for her son; it meant she would transfer his answers on to the test sheets; it meant that for the next four years whenever Marty was in class, Judy was there, too.
Last month O'Connor graduated and received his MBA.
And the officials of Chapman University also called Judy onto the stage. There, in front of everyone, they presented an honorary degree to a mother who wanted to see her son succeed.
I like that story, probably, because it is the story of humanity.
You see, a good many years ago, we took a serious fall. It wasn't a fall down a flight of stairs; it was a fall from fellowship with our Maker.
That fall changed everything. Our perfect life was at an end. The things that once had been easy for us now were difficult. We had fallen and we had to pay the price. Thankfully, the despair and desperation of the hours after our fall were not permanent. It was changed by our Father in heaven, who, looking at His helpless children, volunteered His Son to save us.
This Jesus did by becoming one of us.
Beginning in Bethlehem and ending 33 years later in Jerusalem, Jesus experienced all the emotions, all the insults, and all the pains that we do. As one of us, He experienced the pains of temptations and suffered the insults thrown at Him by hateful minds. Eventually, Jesus had completed the work given to Him. On the cross of Calvary, He was able to look back and confidently say, "It is finished" (see John 19:30). His lifeless body was put into the grave, and that should have been the end of the story.
It should have been, but three days after His death and burial a living Lord Jesus came out of His tomb. That event became our graduation service. From that moment on, all who believed on Him were saved, not lost; they were delivered, not damned; they were heaven-destined and not hell-bent. And for the life He lived for us, Jesus needs to be honored -- not with a degree, but with all the honor His saved children can give Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there was a time when I was helpless. You have changed that through my Savior. Now, by His grace and sacrifice, I am restored, I am forgiven, and I am destined for heaven. May I always give thanks for what You have done. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by for Newser by Evann Gastaldo on May 23, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written. Please click here
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries