Reflections: March 22, 2021
Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
By Aaron T. Fenker
Abraham went, sacrificed the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering in his son's place.
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. "The wages of sin is death." Tough word. True word. We don't really like that word. I mean, none of us actually wants to die, right? So it's shocking for the Lord to ask Abraham to slaughter his son, and it's even more shocking that Abraham gets after it! What's even most shocking is that Isaac is willing! He keeps going with his dad even after Abraham hinted that Isaac would be the sacrifice. He allows himself to be bound by his 100+ year old dad.
What you do deserves death. Sure, we don't think we're all that bad. Maybe we have some bad habits that we're trying to work on to make ourselves better for God, better for those around us. But come on! Death? Really?
Yes, really. That's the Lord's assessment of you and your behavior. He's God. You're not. He's Judge. You're not. He's Doctor. You're patient. He's Potter. You're clay. We bristle at that. We don't really like it. Well, we'll really only let God be God in the areas of our life that we don't like. The sins we do like, well, we'll hang on to those, and God shouldn't bring that up. You can try that. You'll end up dead and in hell then. After all, He's God. You're not.
"A ram in his son's place." That's what Isaac needed. That's what Abraham needed. You and I need it, too. What we need, God gives. He gives not someone else's promised, only-begotten, and beloved son. He promises to send His own only-begotten and beloved Son.
Jesus is that Son, that Ram, that Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He does it where Abraham was told to do it--Moriah, a hill in Jerusalem. Jesus was willing! More so even than Isaac. Jesus willing from eternity to choose and save you. "For the joy set before Him He endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2). And Jesus was tired from carrying the wood. "They compelled Simon of Cyrene to carry His cross" (Matthew 27:32).
A ram for an Isaac. A Jesus for Isaac and for you. Your Lamb. Your sacrifice for sin. Not just by believing that He is for you, yours even more--baptized into Him, fed with His Bbody and Blood. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
This Lamb is Christ, the soul's great friend, The Lamb of God, our Savior, Whom God the Father chose to send To gain for us His favor. "Go forth My Son," the Father said, "And free My children from their dread Of guilt and condemnation. The wrath and stripes are hard to bear, But by Your passion they will share The fruit of Your salvation." ("A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” LSB 438, st.2)
-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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