Reflections: Friday of the First Week of Advent

Today’s Reading: Romans 13:8-14

Daily Lectionary:Isaiah 8:9-9:7; 1 Peter 4:1-19

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” (Romans 13:11)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Apostle Paul gives a great summary of the Second Table of the Law and how one loves their neighbor. This isn’t the easiest thing for us to do; in fact, it’s impossible for us to do. However, Jesus has come and has kept the Law, all of it, in our place. He has kept the First Table with regard to God and has kept the Second Table with regard to our neighbor. Jesus has shown love, great love, the greatest love to us, His redeemed brothers and sisters.

St. Paul tells us that the hour for us to wake up has come. The reason for that is important – salvation is near. As we embark on this Advent journey, we draw ever closer to God’s promise of salvation coming to fruition. We see the great love of God for us in that He sends us Jesus. Because we cannot keep God’s Law, salvation by the Law is not possible. In fact, the Law can do nothing but condemn. Man failed to keep God’s Law in the Garden and sin was the result. From that moment on, keeping the Law was not possible. 

Because we could not keep the Law, God sends Jesus as the only one who can keep the Law. He keeps the Law perfectly in order to make full satisfaction for our sins. So that you do not have to face God’s all-consuming wrath for sin, Jesus comes into creation and makes the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. He comes into creation and becomes one with creation, one of creation, in order to redeem creation. 

It’s hard to imagine that an ordinary-looking baby born to average parents could be the fulfillment of God’s promise. What’s even harder to imagine is that this baby will grow to be a man who has a date with the cross. Jesus comes to fulfill the Law in its entirety. What we could not do, Jesus does. As Paul says, “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13:10).

That is what Jesus does, He fulfills the Law. He shows the greatest act of love by standing in our place. Even more, He dies in our place. He dies and you live. There is no greater act of love than that someone lay down his life for his friends, of which you and I are counted (John 15:13). Salvation is near, near to you as the promise comes to you in the manger. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

“The everlasting Son Incarnate deigns to be, Himself a servant’s form puts on To set His servants free.” (The Advent of Our King, LSB 331:2)

– Pastor Jared Tucher serves the dual-parish of St. John – Farmer’s Retreat in Dillsboro and St. Paul, Cross Plains, Indiana.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Harrison Goodman

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.