1 Peter 3:18 - For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.
Maurice was the name I gave to my first car: an Oldsmobile.
Over the years, Maurice became a faithful, trusted friend who took me from a great many point As to just as many point Bs.
Of course, there are times when something happens, and a vehicle can become more than simple, reliable transportation. Indeed, there can even be an emotional relationship between owner and auto. That was the way it was for Candida Torre of Huntington Beach, California.
Torre loved her car, well actually, the car of her son, Army Specialist Jose Torre. Jose's car became his mother's vehicle of choice when, in 2011, he was killed in Iraq. Understandably, every time she got in that car she thought of her son. It was a place of good memories.
But then something happened. There was an accident. The insurance company totaled the vehicle. Mrs. Torre was heartbroken.
Police Officer John Baggs was one of the men who responded to Mrs. Torre's mishap.
He also responded to her tears. Without letting her know, Officer Baggs got the remnants of the car and made something special happen. With help from AAA, and 120 hours donated by 27 different car repair employees, Officer Baggs bought about a $15,000 repair job.
On Veteran's Day, something special happened when Officer Baggs returned the restored vehicle to overwhelmed Mrs. Torre.
Emotionally, they stood in front of the vehicle and the thankful Mrs. Torre said, "With all my heart, it means a lot to have it back, it really does. It's nice to know that there are people in the world that have good hearts."
In truth, something special happens when an individual receives a precious gift they could not pay for or deserve. That is the way it was 2,000 years ago when, on a Roman cross which had been erected on a skull-shaped hill outside the city walls of Jerusalem, Jesus Christ died. In those days, crucifixions were a dime a dozen. Still, that being said, it should be noted something special happened:
* Something special happened because Jesus was the sinless Son of God.
* Something special happened because Jesus was making repairs on the relationship between God and man which had been totaled by the fall into sin.
* Something special happened because Jesus' life and death were a gift from God to us, a gift we could not afford, a gift we had not deserved.
* Something special happened when three days later Jesus rose from the dead and gave us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life. Now we, like Mrs. Torre can give thanks for the Lord's gracious heart and death-defeating Son.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may we never take Your gift of eternal life for granted. May we appreciate and share with others. This we pray in the Name of Jesus who made redemption happen. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by the Good News Network on May 31, 2018. 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: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/watch-officer-surprise-mother-of-fallen-soldier-with-sons-prized-possession-tbt/
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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