. . . Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
—2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV)
It is written. That is your sure and certain defense. For our Lord has already overcome the devil in word and in deed. He was tempted, but won the victory. He was crucified, but is now risen and alive, the victor over death and the grave. This why our Lord came. To save us from this temptation by overcoming it himself. And in so doing he shows us how to make use of His victory in our own temptations. It is written. That is your cry. That is your hope and your victory. It is written: I am the resurrection and the life, I am the bread come down from heaven, whoever believes in me, whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever. So come, eat, drink, and live.
Quinquagesima Luke 18:31–43 Audio Only
His Word was sent to become Flesh and dwell among us. His Word was sent to bear all the accusations that might have been leveled against you justly but of which He was innocent. His Word was sent to go to the slaughter, to accept the verdict of guilty in your place, and to be killed for crimes that you committed. His Word was sent to die and rise to set you free. His Word was sent to create saving faith, and its fruit, the confession of faith in this event. And by faith in this Word, you are forgiven, declared innocent and righteous.
So the Lord lines them up in reverse order: the last are first. Grace reigns. Sins are forgiven. Pagan rebels become sons.
But more than simply accomplishing it for you. He distributes it to you. For everything our Lord does he does for us. He provides a way for what He accomplished for you by means of his active and passive obedience to be given to you here in time for all eternity. He applies it to you in the preached Word. He pours out His mercy upon you by means of the Word-infused Water of Holy Baptism. He gives to you His perfect life and holiness through the eating and drinking of His Body and Blood in the Holy Communion and sanctifies you though the same. You receive the Holy Spirit. You become living, breathing, walking, talking Temples of the most holy Trinity.
It is altogether fitting then that the eternal Word that in the beginning created all things, became flesh to dwell among us. For since by the Word all things were created and shaped, and that by Him we live, move, and have our being, so by and in that same Word are we re-created, reshaped, given new life and being in Him. And it is altogether fitting that the eternal Son of God became flesh to dwell among us. For since we are by nature the children of wrath because of our disobedience, because of His obedience as the natural and only-begotten Son of God, we are made the children of grace and receive the adoption of sons through Him.
“The birth of Jesus separates us from our fears.” “The birth of Jesus frees us from the [sinful] habits we are unable or unwilling to break ourselves.” “The birth of Jesus allows us simply to drop the false security we have been grasping so tightly, [so that we will trust and cling to Him instead],” letting go of the unreal for what is real.
He did not promise to take away your cancer or give you great wealth or success or raise your loved ones from the dead in this life. He gave that to them. To us, he has given far more.
This is what He promises you: the forgiveness of sins. And with it everlasting life and salvation. Your faith in Christ does more than heal your illness or raise the dead in this life. Your faith saves you. It reconciles you to your Father in heaven so that you will be healed of your illnesses and be raised from the dead in eternity, forever, in the life to come.
But our Lord Jesus Christ came as the image of the invisible God, and He rendered unto His Father that which is His Father’s. He rendered everything, not sparing even His own life, so that you could be reconciled to your God in heaven.
The Feast of All Saints Revelation 7:9–17; Matthew 5:1–12 + IN NOMINE IESU + A saint’s life is nothing other than the Beatitudes in action (Parsch, The Church’s Year of Grace, Vol. 5, 320). This is what St. John saw in his vision. He saw a great multitude, which only God could number, of the…