HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
August 20, 2007, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

Sin brings death to our world

Rev. Gerald Boldt, St. John Ev. Lutheran Church, Winsted

The I-35 bridge collapses and the body of a 2-year-old child is pulled from the murky waters of the Mississippi River.

A woman in her home is attacked and murdered, and the suspect is seen on video camera using her check card in a convenience store.

Coal miners are trapped 1,500 feet below ground in a western underground mine. No word if they are still alive, and if they are alive, no idea how long it will take to get to them.

That war in Iraq and Afghanistan – another Minnesota service member is killed in yet another attack by Muslin extremists.

These and a multitude of other tragic stories must cause us to wonder if maybe, God might be angry with us.

Why would God allow the lives of those innocent people on the bridge to be taken away in such a sudden way? What did that small child do to deserve such a tragic end?

And that woman didn’t do anything to deserve murder.

Those miners were just doing their job and then that deep, dark tunnel caved in.

And what did that soldier do to deserve such a violent death?

It might seem that God is fed up, and has given up on us. Why would the Lord of mercy allow all these terrible things to happen?

It might even seem that the basic Christian belief of a loving and caring God is not really true.

Well, this might seem to be the case if it were not for a short passage in the Bible from Paul’s letter to the Romans in the sixth chapter, “For the wages of sin is death.”

Paul is telling us that it is sin that kills, not God. So even when little children, like that toddler killed in the bridge collapse, die, then it is because of sin. Without sin, death has no hold on a person.

So the question is asked, if Christ was perfect and without sin, how then is it that He died?

Again, Paul gives us the answer. In second Corinthians 5:21, he tells us, “God made Him (Jesus Christ) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Upon the cross, Christ became the greatest sinner of all because He put upon Himself all the sin of every person who lives. Because of your sin and mine, Christ died.

Nonetheless, we must not despair. God loves us and through Christ Jesus, His forgiveness, we have the assurance that sin will be removed and we will be made perfect and righteous, without sin.

In this life, we all will face death. But by Christ Jesus, and He alone, we should know with all confidence that when our lives are past, and we are in Heaven, we will no longer be infected by the sin that contaminates us in this life.

We know, with all confidence and hope, that because that sin will be gone, so will death be gone, as well.

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