Reflections: March 26, 2021
Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
By Aaron T. Fenker
After Jesus let out a loud cry, He breathed His last. (Mark 15:37)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus won. At Calvary He won. Calvary wasn't a defeat. His death wasn't a loss. Far from it! It was always the plan. He and His Father--Spirit, too!--ruled the universe and moved history to make sure it happened just at the right time: born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate. He shed His blood, died--victory! And like any good victory, you take a victory lap. "He descended into hell and on the third day rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven."
Jesus didn't win for Himself. He came to win for you. He came to win. . . you! You were the prize He was after. From forever He chose you. From forever He planned how He'd win you for Himself. At the right time He put His plan into place, and at just the right time He did it. Crucified, died, buried. You, saved! Risen from the dead, ascended, coming again with glory. You're part of the eternal victory party!
You don't have to win your way to Jesus. You don't have to put away your sins. You don't have to do enough good. None of that. Jesus takes your sins. He's the Lamb of God, after all. He does good for you, in your place. His doing good is credited to your account, but even that doesn't save you. That's not His victory for you. That's just icing on the cake.
No, His victory is Calvary, and He gives that victory to you. You're baptized into His death, into His resurrection, too! In Holy Absolution, the Keys of the Kingdom, Jesus' Word comes true again and again, "Today, you will be with Me in Paradise." "I forgive you." Three words do it! "This is My body that was given for you; this is My blood that was shed for you for the forgiveness of sins."
Jesus won. At Calvary He won. He won you. You're His. His forever and ever. His resurrection proves that. So does your Baptism, His Absolution, His Supper. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Then, for all that wrought my pardon, For Thy sorrows deep and sore, For Thine anguish in the Garden, I will thank Thee evermore, Thank Thee for Thy groaning, sighing, For Thy bleeding and Thy dying, For that last triumphant cry, And shall praise Thee, Lord, on high. ("Christ, the Life of All the Living" LSB 420, st.7)
-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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