Tuesday of the 12th Week after Trinity

Today's Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:4-11

Daily Lectionary: 2 Kings 2:19-25; 4:1-7; Ephesians 4:25-5:14

For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. (2 Corinthians 3:9)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Law condemns sinners but that doesn't mean the Law of God is bad. The problem is not the Law but our sins! But if the Law can condemn us, how much more awesome is it that the Gospel saves us by giving us Jesus?

The Law was given on Mount Sinai. There was smoke and fire and thunder. Only Moses could dare to approach at the Lord's invitation. There the finger of God wrote upon stone tablets the Law declaring that God's people would love God and their neighbor.

The Gospel was accomplished on a mountain, too--Mount Calvary. There was darkness and an earthquake. There the hands and feet and side of God Himself were pierced for every sinner on account of every sin--every breaking of those stone tablets we've done.

The Law teaches us what to do: how to live and how God says we should be. It declares that if we can keep it, we can have life. If we were to live life as the Lord's Law teaches, how much joy there would be instead of the misery and sorrow we make for doing our own things! Yet we cannot do it. And so, it condemns us.

The Gospel teaches us what has been done. What we could not do Jesus did. It teaches us His suffering and death for our sins. It teaches us that God the Son loved His Father above all things and His neighbor as Himself by taking our place under judgment. The Gospel says that what we could not do under the Law has been done for us, and so we are set free from condemnation.

The Law shows us our sin. The Gospel shows us our salvation. The Law condemns. The Gospel sets us free. The Law teaches us how to live. The Gospel shows us Christ living for us.

Two ministries--one of condemnation and one of righteousness. Both are wonderful, for they are from the Lord. But even more glorious than the Law which shows us God's holiness is the Gospel which shows us His salvation. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

To Jesus we for refuge flee, Who from the curse has set us free, And humbly worship at His throne, Saved by His grace through faith alone. (The Law of God Is Good and Wise, LSB 579:6)


This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.