Behold your King

April 16, 2022
After Jesus died, He was laid in a tomb in a garden. It’s as if we could just do a movie-type flashback from God the Son walking in the Garden of Eden. We can remember God promising to send the seed of woman to die, and then flashforward to that same Son of God taking on human flesh, dying, and then in a garden again. We cannot go back to Eden or that Tree of Life, but now we are able to meditate on the garden where the Son of God was laid to rest and how from His blood-stained cross flowed water and blood from the new Tree of Life. People of God, meditate and look with the eyes of faith. “Behold the man, behold, your king. Behold Jesus of Nazarth, King of the Jews.”
The faithful must conclude that from Jesus’ Word, “It is finished,” that Friday long ago became eternally Good for believers. Because Jesus declared that, “It is finished,” the New Testament texts were written to be proclaimed in the Church. That was so that the Holy Spirit would continue to gather repentant sinners together in the New Covenant in Jesus’ Blood. Scriptures declare for you who live under His New Covenant, as heard today: you are free to no longer continually be living to yourselves, but to the One (Who) for all of you died and was raised.
This Holy Thursday evening, following the helpful tradition of the Church catholic, we are celebrating the Lord’s Service to us by using its very ancient name: Maundy-Thursday. What does that mean? ...we will consider the themes that may lead us to consider why this day is given to us. We will briefly test and weigh the biblical realities we heard in the readings for tonight and their applications for the faithful.
Oh, how different this day could have been. Don’t get me wrong – • Jesus would still have instituted the Supper on Holy Thursday – • Jesus would still have given his life on Good Friday – • Jesus would still have lain in the tomb on Holy Saturday – and • Jesus would still have been raised from that grave on the third day… But how different this day could have been if only Judas had repented…
In order to be able to redeem us by His most holy obedience, Christ from the time of His conception until the time of His resurrection, by daily choice, refrained from the full and constant use of His divine characteristics, majesty, and glory. This state of self-renunciation we designate as Christ’s state of Humiliation.

From beauty into beauty

April 10, 2022
The 118th Psalm is the Church’s song that reminds the faithful in every generation that the central reason that frees us to give praise to the Lord is because He has heard His people’s pleas to, “Save Now!” He has given us everlasting success over all our enemies in the Messiah.

Divine patrimony

April 3, 2022
In many church bodies today (maybe even in the LCMS sometimes) you can hear of a “nicer” Jesus. Especially in other church bodies, you can pay to hear from whatever kind of nice, safe, politically correct Jesus you may want. However, a “nicer” or “safer” Jesus is not nice or safe because it’s not the real Jesus! The real Jesus stands up in a crowd of people who don’t believe in Him and says, “You are of your father the devil.”
Our text is the reading from John, and our topic is the Body of Christ confessionally. We will examine how we have unity as the Body of Christ as we boldly confess that Jesus is Lord. Before diving into the text, we must ask, what is a confession? Confession is a repeating back of what God has said about Himself in Holy Scripture.
God has, in His grace for us, protected us—by continuing to drive back from us the evil foe and his forces—to enable us to assemble again in person around His beautiful gifts of Word and Sacraments on another mid-Lent Sunday of rejoicing. Today’s color, Rose (or, pink, as some call it) heralds a week that centers us on the ability we have to rejoice in Christ’s miracle of continuing to provide the Bread of Life to those who are to dwell in the eternal city of God.