TITLE: A Bad Place Transformed
DATE: January 13, 2020
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: 1 Peter 1:18-19 - ESV - Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
John J. Harrington, past national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, and a 27 year veteran of the Philadelphia police force has said, "There is hatred today in this country that is growing." No revelation there, right?
In Memphis, Tennessee, confessed murderer Willie Lee Davidson, 21 apologized in court for beating and then running over a woman with a car. He said, "We aren't criminals. If we had gotten away with it, it would never have happened again."
In California an earthquake officially killed 48 people, but within six months the state received 400 requests for the $6,000 burial grants from federal disaster funds. 400 people who claimed their dead relatives died because of the quake.
Zion Illinois, Brenda L. Hunter shot her brother because she didn't like the kind of cheese he was putting on their chili dinner.
All I can say is the world is messed up. It's not just our country.
After hearing these incidents, not uncommon incidents, of our modern world, we see once again how much Jesus is needed. Jesus, the One Who makes us equal. Jesus, the one that dispels prejudice. Jesus, the One Who saves us from our sins.
Prejudice, you see, is nothing new to our world. The age into which Jesus was born was filled with the stuff. The Jews felt that anyone not of Abraham's seed was a gentile and they prayed frequently in their synagogues that all the Gentiles would be punished.
The Gentiles felt much the same. If you weren't a Greek, you were a barbarian. The Germans were prejudiced against the Italians for their effeminate ways. Adults were prejudiced against children, and the ancient records are filled with examples of people in debt, who paid their way out of penury by selling their children or who put unwanted children outside the city walls to be killed by exposure or wild beasts.
Prejudice extended to court and streets against women who were necessary in the bearing and raising of children, but considered pretty much mindless otherwise. Slaves were hardly thought of as human. Bought and sold at prices below that of a middle aged mule, they were branded to show their status and their lives could be terminated immediately and painfully at an owner's whim, even for something as small as missing dust on a table top.
The Bible is filled with examples of prejudice. And it is filled with the story of release from prejudice.
Each and every one of us, man, woman and child are equal in the Lord's eyes, for we have all sinned and fallen short of His wishes, commands, glory and perfection. We are equal, because we are all damned. Yes, it is Jesus that brings equality. But there’s more.
Our equality extends still further than being united in sin. We are equal in the fact that we cannot do anything to save ourselves. Luther said it, "I cannot by my reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord or come to Him." In our helplessness we are all equal.
And in our redemption through the Savior’s blood we are equal, too.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, to a world which is bad You have sent Your Son. Through His sacrifice all is changed and we can be saved., For this accept our thanks and praise. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html