No one will be declared righteous in [God’s] sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. ~ Romans 3:20
The name of Leopold Loyka is not a household name. Nevertheless, Leopold Loyka is the man who made one of the most consequential wrong turns in human history.
Leopold was a chauffeur, and a prestigious one at that. His job was to serve as the official driver for a high-ranking official from Austria, a man by the name of Franz Ferdinand. In June of 1914, Ferdinand decided to visit Sarajevo, a city that harbored hostility towards Austrian rule. As Leopold drove the car through the city with Ferdinand as his passenger, he made a wrong turn. When he stopped to correct his mistake, it so happened that he passed directly in front of a man who very much wanted to see Franz Ferdinand dead. The man seized his chance and shot Ferdinand to death.
The assassination of Franz Ferdinand of Austria was the spark that started World War I. World War I, in turn, set the stage for World War II. In all, 77 million people perished. And it all began with a wrong turn.
There is another wrong turn in human history that has even greater consequences. It is the false assumption that we can make our own way into God’s favor. It is the false assumption that we can chart our own course into a right relationship with God. Such thinking is not only wrong-headed and self-absorbed; such thinking also has consequences that are fatal, and eternal.
Enter Jesus. Jesus did far more than chart a safe course. He created a path where none had existed. The path was himself. He alone is the way. As our Substitute he lived and died on our behalf. Through faith in him, God’s favor is ours, forgiveness is ours, peace is ours, life is ours. And not just for a while, but forever.
Through faith in Jesus, we are home.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive all of the wrong turns in my life—all of the times I have turned away from you. Wash me. Embrace me. Bring me home. Amen.