Reflections: November 12, 2020
Thursday of the Third-Last Week
By Aaron Fenker
For thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me, "Take this wine cup of wrath from My hand and make all the nations, to which I am sending you, drink it." (Jeremiah 25:16)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Lord pours out His wrath on His people and the nations. His wrath over sin and against sinners seems unquenchable. It's not just fire and brimstone or lightning bolts from heaven. It's not plagues and pandemics, at least not always. The wrath that's coming in Jeremiah is a little bit different.
The wrath in Jeremiah is nation rising against nation. Babylonians over Israel. Persians over the Babylonians. Eventually Greeks over them, Romans over them, and on down the line to the nations we have today. But what's the big deal? That's what happens in a sinful world. Right?
It wasn't supposed to be that way for Israel. The Lord would give them power, protection, prosperity. But Israel wanted to be just like the other nations, not only by having a king. That was just a symptom. The real problem is they didn't want the LORD to be their King, and truth be told, they didn't want Him to be their God. So the Lord gave them just what they wanted. They got the false gods. They used sex as their god and sacrificed their own children. They got the kings and alliances and treaties. They also got being conquered. That's what it's like for the other nations.
None of that sort of turning away from Him will do. He can't stand false gods, false worship, and sins WE produce. So, the Lord pours out His wrath on His people and on the nations. The Lord's wrath seems unquenchable. He pours it out, but not in the way we suspect.
"Father, let this cup pass from Me. Nevertheless not My will but Thy will be done" (Matthew 26:39). Jesus, the Son of God, takes the wrath of God into Himself. He drinks that cup to the dregs, nothing left. He drinks the wrath that means hell itself. Jesus drinks that up for you. He is conquered by death and forsaken by His Father so you won't be. He is counted as a sinner so you receive the overflowing cup of God's mercy and forgiveness.
That Cup is yours (more on that tomorrow). Jesus gives it to you overflowing with forgiveness in the Supper. There is no wrathful cup for you. So in a world full of sin and death there are forgiveness and life and salvation and peace for you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
And when Jesus finished all these words, He said to His disciples, "You know that the Passover happens in two days, and the Son of Man is handed over to be crucified." (Matthew 26:1)
-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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