Reflections: May 19, 2021
Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
By Alfonso Espinosa
Today's Reading: Small Catechism: Apostles Creed, Second Article, pt.2
Daily Lectionary: Numbers 16:23-40; Luke 19:29-48
Daily Lectionary: Numbers 16:23-40; Luke 19:29-48
Christ] has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and earth. (Small Catechism: Apostles Creed, Second Article)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Luther wrote the above explanation for the part of the Creed describing what Jesus did to save us from sin, death, and the power of the devil. Luther was just being Luther, relying on Scripture as his guide. Luther knew, for example, 1 Peter 1:18-19: ". . . knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." A wonderful and very biblical way of teaching how Christ saved us is expressed in this idea of redemption.
We lost and condemned ones were "purchased and won" by Jesus. Jesus paid for us to be forgiven and saved. So, okay, but what currency did Jesus use to purchase us from death to life? He didn't pay with gold or silver. That would not do. Not good enough. Instead, He paid with what is more valuable than anything in the universe: His blood, God's blood (Acts 20:28). Alright, but who did He pay? Did He pay the devil? No, that would have been giving the devil far too much credit! Only God has the power to release from death to life, so God paid God. Jesus paid His blood to the Father, and our heavenly Father accepted His Son's payment. It was enough. It was more than enough to purchase us back to life. It was the payment that was necessary to get us out of the clutches of death. It was that strong and powerful a payment.
We learn from Leviticus 17:11 that life is in the blood. Well, the life of God was in Jesus' blood, so yes, that blood has the greatest purchasing power in the universe! It's true: You have been "purchased and won" from "all sins, death, and from the power of the devil; not with silver or gold, but with [Christ's] holy, precious blood!" In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O King who comes in the name of the LORD, through Your birth and death, earth and heaven were joined together in peace. May your coming as King into Jerusalem in humility on the donkey help us to see that You continue to come to us as our King hidden in humble water, humble words, humble food; 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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