Reflections: November 9, 2020
Monday of the Third-Last Week of the Church Year
By Aaron Fenker
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Your servants. To them You swore by Yourself… (Exodus 32:13)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Salvation. Freedom. Life. All those things the Lord Jesus worked for His people Israel. It was Him. Jesus says, "Before Abraham was, I AM" (John 8:58). He doesn't just save us from sin and death, but He also saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and from death by Pharaoh. (The exodus is a type, a picture, of Jesus' salvation at Calvary.)
Ten Plagues. The Red Sea. That's how He did it. "With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm" (Deuteronomy 4:34). No one could oppose Him, stop Him from saving His people. So also you: Nothing could stop Him. Not your sins. Not Pilate. Not the religious leaders. Not even death itself. In fact, the Lord used all those things to save you. Israel was saved, safe and secure, dwelling at the foot of the Lord's mountain, in His presence, until He would bring them into the Promised Land of Canaan. (A type, a picture, of Jesus' Church and His bringing you to eternal life with Him.)
Unfaith. That's what it was met with. The Israelites were stiff-necked, stubborn. They didn't have faith in Yahweh. They wanted a god just like the gods in Egypt they'd been rescued from. That's right, they weren't just rescued from slavery to Pharaoh but slavery to the false gods of the Egyptians. We, too, turn back to false gods: money, success, political leaders. Whatever or whoever will promise us a better life or at least make us feel better. "Behold, O Israel, the gods that brought you out of the land of Egypt."
What's the Lord to do now? Wrath. Punishment. More plagues! Maybe a virus or an economic downturn. Those are certainly consequences of a sin-filled, sin-broken world. But is that what the Lord will do with you? Wipe you out? Not so with Israel! "Remember," Moses says. He throws the Lord's promises back in His face. So also you. Jesus stepped in for you. He took your punishment at Calvary, and when you get caught in your sins, which really do deserve wrath and hell for you, the Lord's promises stand for you. The true Red Sea of your Baptism has saved you, delivering forgiveness. The true manna of Jesus' Body and Blood give you new life, set apart from your sins, and also eternal salvation.
In His crucifixion, in His dying for you, in His empty tomb, rising for you: "Behold, your God, who brought you out of the Land of Egypt." In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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