“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Wages are what is paid you, what you earned. What do we deserve because of sin? We deserve death, eternal death at that.
Dear Christian, people die because people sin. Or better put, because people are sinners. If you ever think you do not need Christ saving you, His Word, His Water, His Bread and Wine – just put your hand inside your shirt and see if you are flesh and blood. If so, then you can die.
There is one thing every faithful pastor will make clear at every funeral – the person in the coffin was a sinner. That is preached loud and clear when sinners take their final breath.
It is preached loud and clear with every anguished moment leading up to death. Sometimes, death comes very early, and life is shorter than we ever dreamed. Babies are sinners, too.
But there is eternal life in Jesus Christ, and that is different than our wages. It is our inheritance. Unlike wages, an inheritance is earned by someone else – a rich uncle, hard-working parents. Someone else does all the work, saves money in the bank, and then puts names into the will. Our names. That makes us heirs.
Dear heirs of God’s vast fortune, Christ Jesus did the work of saving you. He suffered, and He died, though He Himself was not a sinner. His is the only innocent death there ever was. More unjust was the death He died than any tragedy befalling children born of sinners.
By His unjust dying, Jesus won for us salvation, paid the penalty for all our sins, made us richer than we ever dreamed of being. Before He died, He made His Will, His Last Will and Testament. In it, He left His Body and His Blood and named us beneficiaries. Each time we eat His Bread and drink His Cup, we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes again, and then we Feast upon the Treasure He has left us!
Wages come to those who’ve done the work to get them. Your wages and mine are death. We would get it all, every last little bit that we deserve, if not for Jesus!
For His sake, however, on account of all He did to save us, we get an inheritance instead, something that makes us wealthy beyond belief, and just because Somebody died! Christ died, and He is risen! And we are wealthy now beyond compare, and set for life in heaven.
Daily Lectionary: Romans 6:19-23
Higher Things would like to thank the Rev. Rick Sawyer (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School, Brandon, MS - email@example.com) for writing this season's Reflections.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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