If You, LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. (Introit for the 22nd Week after Trinity)
Each day we immerse ourselves in sin. We bask in the sinfulness of the world and we live like our Lord never rose from the dead. We live like the story stops at Good Friday. We are so sinful that we can’t even keep track of all the ways we sin. We sin against God and our neighbor, not honoring His name and not loving them in word and deed.
Amidst all of our sin the Lord sends His Son. He sends His Son to take on a lowly frame, mere flesh and blood – just like you and me. His Son is born of a virgin, whose name is Mary. Yet, hidden under what is human flesh and blood is contained the Almighty Glory of God. Perfect, without blemish is the Christ-child – totally unlikeyou and me.
When God the Father looks at you, dead in your sin, He does not see what you see. Instead, He sees His Son. He sees a perfect child, born of a virgin, and He sees a crucified Son, sacrificed on your behalf. You’ve been clothed in the perfection of that child. You’ve been washed in the blood of the Son that He sees. You’ve been clothed in His resurrection and made His own.
In Christ Jesus the Lord sees you perfect and holy. If He saw anything other than someone won by the blood of the Lamb He would see a destitute sinner headed for death and damnation. The Lord doesn’t keep count of your sins, though. In fact, He loses count of your sins at Golgotha. They are erased, wiped clean in Holy Baptism, and the Lord doesn’t even know that they were ever there in the first place.
In Holy Baptism the Lord wipes away the iniquity in which you were born. For this reason, when the Psalmist asks, “ Who can stand?” you get to say, “I, in Christ Jesus, can stand.” There is forgiveness with the Lord, and that forgiveness is yours in Holy Baptism.
In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Unworthy though I am, O Savior, Because I have a sinful heart, Yet Thou Thy lamb wilt banish never, For Thou my faithful shepherd art. (LSB 618.3)