February 14, 2013 - Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Daily Lectionary: Genesis 1:20 - 2:3; Mark 1:14-28

God threatens to punish all who break these commandments. Therefore, we should fear His wrath and not do anything against them. But He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. Therefore, we should also love and trust in Him and gladly do what He commands. (The Small Catechism: The Conclusion to the Commandments)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It's simple. Just fear, love and trust in God above all things. If you do, you'll be blessed. If not, you're doomed. So get to it! How's that going for you? Working? Or are you failing at fearing, loving and trusting in God. Do you love yourself the most? Do you only care about others for what they can give to you or do for you? Do you trust in God no matter what bad things happen?

The Lord gives us the Ten Commandments, not to teach us that we can keep them, but to teach us that we cannot. Not to show us how to live and so be holy but to show us that we can't even come close. The Law is given for this reason: to damn you for not keeping it. These Commandments are given to slap you with the stark reality that you cannot save yourself or be such a good person that God has to love you. So what do you need? You need someone to save you from this Law or it will destroy you.

So Jesus comes. To fulfill the Law. That means as He lives, He lives perfectly, keeping every commandment for you. He dies to pay for every commandment you've broken. His blood is spilled on the cross to cover all your sins. Where you don't even come close, Jesus perfectly fears, loves and trusts His Father above all things. Jesus gladly does what the Father commands, which means obeying His commandment to die for your sins. Yes, Jesus does all of that. And by your Baptism into Him, He gives you the Holy Spirit by which He lives in you and works in and through you to do the good works the Law teaches you to do to glorify God and love your neighbor. The Law points you to Jesus. It shows you that you need a Savior. And Jesus does that saving. He's got you covered. Now the Law cannot condemn you. Ever. Jesus has taken care of it. 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.