Today's Reading: St. Matthew 27:57-66
“And taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in a pure garment and laid it in a new tomb which he had hewn in the rock. And he rolled a great stone in the door of the tomb, He went away.” (St. Matthew 27:59-60)
Happy Holy Sabbath Day! In the name of Jesus. Amen. All that was necessary to save us from our sins, He has accomplished. He took upon Himself the whole of God’s Law—with all of its demands—and fulfilled it. This is what is known as the "active obedience" of Christ.
Then He took the blow of all of God’s anger for every sin that has ever been committed. From Adam’s sin, to Noah’s, to Moses striking the stone rather than speaking to it, to the doubt and despair of the children of Israel, to their rejection of God as their king—Christ has born it all. This is known as the “passive obedience" of Christ.
Christ’s obedience saves, not yours. Your “obedience” is the reason He had to die. Let’s not talk about your so-called obedience, because it will only get us damned. No, Jesus, who knew no sin, has become sin to save you from your disobedience. He became Saul’s unfaithfulness, David’s murder and adultery, and Solomon’s lust. He’s become every sin ever committed—every stray thought, word, and deed.
Now, we have no more sins. They all died with Him. Every last sin we have ever committed and will commit, He has answered for in His death.
Faith receives Jesus’ salvation in His gifts—in the water, the Word, the bread and the wine. The Father gives us forgiveness, on top of forgiveness, on top of forgiveness! How could He not, now that His Son has redeemed and bought back His creation?
It’s Holy Saturday. There’s nothing left to do now, but to bury Jesus’ dead body in the tomb and roll a giant stone into the entrance. We even put guards there to make sure nothing funny happens.
Finally, Jesus, having been obedient even unto death, now rests in the tomb. In doing so, He makes all the tombs of all those who believe in Him holy, too. Everything we will do—even being buried—He has done.
How could your grave not be pure now? How could the graves of your loved ones not be holy? Jesus has been obedient to His Father’s will and saved us. Happy Holy Sabbath Day! In the name of Jesus. Amen.
“O God, You made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord's resurrection. Preserve in us the spirit of adoption which You have given that, made alive in body and soul, we may serve You purely; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.” (Collect for Holy Saturday)
Reflections for the Epiphany and Pre-Lent Seasons are written by the Rev. George Borghardt, pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Conroe, TX and the Higher Things Conferences Executive. Comments may be sent to the author at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.