Reflections: April 20, 2021
Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
By Alfonso Espinosa
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Believing God and trusting God that your sin (your core condition) and sins (all the sinful things you've ever thought, said, and done) have been taken away can be hard for us. In fact, without the Holy Spirit's working through the Word of Christ to give us faith, it is impossible for us to believe! But thank God it is true and thank God that the Holy Spirit is powerful in creating saving faith so that we personally receive Christ for us.
Still, even after we receive the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation, we are still in possession of a great mystery: Even though we still feel our sins, it is true that in Christ those sins we feel are also gone. Now that is a mystery, something too marvelous for us to comprehend. And yet, it is 100% true. Why? Because God did something for us called imputation. God, with all power and authority imputed, or cast upon Himself, our sin. There was no sin in Christ, and yet, because He imputed our sin upon Himself, Jesus took the place of all sinners! Your sin was on Him. My sin was on Him. The sin of all people of all time was on Him. He was so sinful in fact, that the Heavenly Father looked away from His own Son as He was dying for us (Matthew 27:46). By doing this, God was confirming that He accepted what His Son was doing for us that day. He was our sin and He bore our punishment and He died our death with sin still on Him. So, yes, as. Peter writes, "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree."
Because Jesus did this, we live in God's gift of faith in Christ and in this faith, we get back to our Baptism into Jesus every day. We "die to sin and live to righteousness." And when tomorrow comes, we do it all over again! By grace we live this way, because by the wounds of Christ we have been healed. God no longer sees sins on you. Jesus took them. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord Jesus, prepare us to receive Your very body and blood by giving us repentance to weep over our sins and then rejoice that in You the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have Good News preached to them; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
The Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa is the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Irvine, CA. He is also the author of two books: Faith That Sees Through the Culture and Faith That Engages the Culture.
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