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.
In the ancient world, the Greeks had an expression, "The garment makes the man."
That thought was recycled in 16th-century England where it became "apparel makes the man." One-hundred years later, people commented it was "the tailor who makes the man." Toronto, Canada, has at least one 18-year-old man who also agrees with the sentiment.
Let me tell you about the young fellow. He had made an appointment for a job interview but due to recent difficulties, he had neither a shirt, nor a presentable tie to wear. It was then he made a bad decision. He went to the local Wal-Mart and shoplifted the items. Well, he attempted to steal the items.
The boy never made it out the door before store security collared him and called the cops.
The call was answered by Officer Niran Jeyanesan. Evaluating the situation, the officer made some quick decisions. First, he decided not to book or press charges against the young fellow. Second, the officer decided to buy the shirt and tie for the boy with his own money.
Knowing he would be criticized for going soft on crime, the officer explained, "He wanted to go get that job. That was in his mind. I think he truly made a mistake."
It is my hope and prayer the officer is right, and the young man is touched by the gesture which has kept his record clean and him out of the hoosegow.
If you look at what happened when the Heavenly Father sent His Son into this world to reclaim sinful humanity, you will find some similarities, and some differences, in the stories:
Difference 1: Unlike the Toronto lad, our sins were already on record, and our punishment was a foregone conclusion.
Difference 2: There was no way that a just and fair Lord could ignore His Laws and forget about our transgressions.
Difference 3: If the Lord wanted to redeem us, the price to Him was going to be personal and painful.
As I said, there also were similarities:
1. Like the officer, the Triune God was saddened and moved by our helpless situation.
2. Like the officer, the Lord decided He would take care of the matter completely.
3. Like the officer, the Lord believed those who were redeemed would try to do better in the future.
This of course explains how it was that God's Son was sent into this world as true Man and God. As a human being, Jesus lived, suffered, died, and rose for our redemption. Now He sends the Spirit into the world to call people from what they were and direct them to be what God wants them to be.
Well, it may be that clothes can make a superficial change on the outside of a man, but it is the Christ who makes the changes which save both body and soul.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may be truly grateful for Your mercy that has rescued me from sin, the devil, and death. May my life be a model of thanksgiving to the Savior. In His Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by the Newser Editors on August 7, 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: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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