Today's Reading: Isaiah 6:1-7
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" (Isaiah 6:3)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Lord gives Isaiah a vision of the heavenly throne room and you would think he would be dancing for joy like King David on his way into Jerusalem, but he's not. He heard the seraphim singing, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!" He felt the shaking. He saw the smoke. And he cried out, "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!"
Left to our own holiness, which isn't holiness at all, this is what it's like to be in the Lord's presence. In our sin, we are like dried tinder before the Lord's consuming fire. Like Isaiah, our lips, hands, head, and heart are unclean. In our sin we are lost.
And yet the judgment Isaiah deserves doesn't fall on him. One of the seraphim took a burning coal from the altar, touched his lips, and declared, "Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." Isaiah was clean, holy, and forgiven. In the Lord's presence, holiness is received, not achieved.
The Lord does the same for us, too. The judgment we deserve doesn't fall on us. Instead, God's wrath is poured out upon Jesus on the cross for you. Jesus is judged unclean to make you clean. Jesus becomes unholy to give you His holiness. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for you to declare you righteous. In Jesus, it is safe to be in God's presence, where we join the angels in singing, "Holy, holy, holy" as we come into the Lord's presence. And from the altar comes the burning coal of Jesus' Body and Blood. Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. In the Lord's presence our holiness is received, not achieved. And in Jesus we are clean, holy, and forgiven. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
With cherubim and seraphim Our voices join the endless hymn, And "Holy, holy, holy" sing To Christ, God's Lamb, our Priest and King. (The Infant Priest Was Holy Born, LSB 624:7)