The Fifth Sunday in Lent

Today's Reading: John 8:42-59

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 1:1-22; Mark 14:12-31

"Amen, Amen, I say to you, if anyone treasures My Words, He will not see death to all eternity." (John 8:51)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You will never see death. In Jesus' words, clinging to His promises, in your Baptism, eating the Body and Blood of Jesus you will never die!

There's no hedging these words. There are no loopholes and there isn't any fine print here. God doesn't back off from His promises. In Jesus' promises, you will not see death.

Your heart may stop beating. Cancer may ultimately beat you. The test results may be awful. You may fall asleep. But it will only be sleep! You will not die, not die-die anyway. You won't die forever. You won't see hell. You can't see hell in Jesus. He's saved you from that.

And this salvation doesn't rest on you at all, but on the Lord's words and promises, whether you are holding tight with all your might or only have the strength to hold up one finger. In fact, in those moments when you don't have anything together at all and His words are the only thing holding you up, that's when He is most your Savior!

You see, the Lord's words to you today are so strong, they will try to kill Jesus for them. They will pick up stones in order to stone Him, for the only person who can keep anyone from dying is God Himself. So they did what sinners do against God: They tried to silence Him.

The thing is, Jesus will let them, too - just not today, or with stones! On Good Friday, He will be crucified for you. He will suffer for your sins and the sins of the whole world. He will die. God will die.

God cannot stay dead. Jesus rises again. You will rise again with Him. Death can't hold Him to all eternity. And death can't hold you, either.

The Lord won't back down from His promises. He won't try to get out of them. Backing up His words is His suffering and death. He's Calvary-committed to saving you.

Give up your sins today. Don't live in them. You don't have to live in them any longer. You are free from death. You are baptized. You are completely forgiven. You've been rescued from all that could possibly harm you and freed from all the condemnation that your sins can muster before God. You are free to give up your favorite things - your sins.

Holding fast to the Lord's Words you will never see death. You cannot die - not really and not ever. Now you are truly free from your sins and death itself! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

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