August 17, 2017
Isaiah 53:5 - But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.
Not so long ago, I read an editorial which had been sent into a newspaper. If you don't mind, I'd like to share that writing with you and see whether you agree with the feeling it tries to convey. This is what it said:
"The world is too big for us. Too much going on, too many crimes, too much violence and excitement. Try as you will, you get behind in the race, in spite of yourself. It's an incessant strain to keep pace -- and still, you lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. The political world is news seen so rapidly you're out of breath trying to keep pace with who's in and who's out. Everything is high pressure. Human nature can't endure much more."
So, what do you think, does that article make sense? Most of the people to whom I've read it nodded their heads in agreement. How about you? Do you think that paragraph accurately describes the world or not? I ask because that quote was first published in the Atlantic Journal on June 16, 1833. Amazing!
More than 175 years ago people were convinced society's pressure was too great and the world's pace was too fast. I guess some things just don't change.
We get upset at fate; we get upset at karma, kismet, fortune, and destiny.
We even get upset with the Deity. That's right, not even the good and gracious Triune God escapes humanity's challenge: "It's not fair! Lord, when are You going to be fair? When are they going to get punished, and when am I going to get what's coming to me?" I don't know if it's any consolation for you to know you're not the first to ask these questions of the Lord. In the Old Testament, afflicted Job wanted to know: "Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? ... Their houses are safe from fear ... They spend their days in prosperity ..." (see Job 21:7-13).
The author of Psalm 94 asks, "O Lord, how long shall the wicked ... exult? ... They crush Your people, O Lord ... They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless" (see Psalm 94:3-6).
Even the martyrs in the book of Revelation want to know: "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before You will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on this earth?" (Revelation 6:10b). Folks in the Bible -- you, me -- we all want to know when am I going to get what's coming to me?
You should know there's a problem with that kind of thinking. That's because the Lord, when He judges people, doesn't compare us with each other. He compares us with Himself. And that's where our problem shows up. You may be an Albert Schweitzer, a Mother Theresa, but compared to God you're a first-class, A-1 stinker. And, in Ezekiel the Lord says, "The soul who sins it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20a).
Which, my friends, is why we need Jesus. Look at His life and you will see Someone who got all kinds of things He never should have had. He was perfect, but He carried our sins. He was innocent, but He was still found to be guilty. We could go on. Instead, let us quote Isaiah: "But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for the Savior who got what was coming to me, so I would be forgiven, saved, and at peace. May I always share the glories of His love and gifts. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries