Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 9:9-18, 26-37; Luke 11:14-36

His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. (Psalm 98:1, from the Introit for Easter 5)

He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. With a mighty arm, God saved His Old Testament people. Yahweh destroyed Egypt, their gods, their Pharaoh, and their army for how they treated His holy people, Israel. He won the victory for His people, and He delivered them through the Red Sea, brought them through the wilderness, and gave them the Promised Land.

God's people were in slavery. They were stuck. They couldn't get themselves out. And even though He brought them out, they wanted to return to their old and familiar ways. It was so much easier to live in the habits and culture of their surroundings. That's us!

We really can't get ourselves out of our troubles. When life gets stressful, we so often go back to our bad, sinful habits. It's the devil's trick to get us back in bondage to our sins, and our flesh so easily wants to go back to it. Like a dog returning to its vomit (Proverbs 26:11), or an addict back to the bottle. It's like we're addicts to our sins!

That's why the Lord Himself must save us, and He does. He comes, but not with a mighty hand. It's mysterious and wonderful, but it's not in a way that we would consider mighty. But, with 10 little fingers and toes, God Himself is born. He lives a hard life of casting out demons, bearing people's sins and diseases, being rejected by His family, and being betrayed and disowned by His closest followers--with nowhere to lay His head!

Then, with His right and left hands stretched out, His holy arms nailed to the cross, He wins the victory. All is finished. He cries out in victory and breathes His last. But He breathes again. He comes back to life.

His hand still delivers His victory. Your pastor's hands are Jesus' hands, and He baptizes you, absolves you, feeds you His own Body and Blood. The victory is yours. He's done it, and you've received it from Him. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Alleluia! Now we cry To our King immortal, Who, triumphant, burst the bars Of the tomb's dark portal. Come, you faithful, raise the strain Of triumphant gladness! God has brought His Israel Into joy from sadness! (Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain, LSB 487:5)

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