Reflections: Friday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 43:25-44:20; Revelation 11:1-19

I, I am he, the one blotting out your rebellions for mine own sake, and your sins I will not remember.

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Blotting out rebellions?  What?  It’s almost Christmas Eve. That little Advent calendar almost has Jesus nestled in the manger. Blotting out rebellions?  We know how the game works this close to Christmas, why don’t we just keep it simple?  If you’re naughty, you get nothing. If you’re nice, well then today, tomorrow and the next day look pretty good for you.  But Isaiah the Prophet writes that naughty and nice aren’t going to figure at all into “I AMs” becoming Emmanuel. Isaiah says; Jesus comes regardless. In fact, Isaiah says this Jesus is coming for the rebellious ones, the sick ones, the dead ones, and He’s not just come to blot out rebellions but literally to wipe out/ annihilate sins.  

Like an old-fashioned floppy computer disk that’s had a magnet run over it (ask your parents or google it),  Jesus comes to annihilate sin and even the memory of YOUR sin.  Then Isaiah says why Jesus is going to do it “for Mine own sake.”  Jesus is true to His promise but also we see that this text infers that Jesus does it for us. He comes for rebels (and He’s not talking about whether you’ve dyed your hair or some other crazy cool thing). Jesus comes for those who have spoken and acted against Him. He’s come for the sick ones that can’t heal themselves, the ones who’ve spoken out against Him, called Him names, tweeted, snap chatted and tik-tocked all sorts of slanderous, nasty things about Him. He’s even come for you as you hold yourself in higher regard than your neighbors, classmates, and so on. He’s come to annihilate, wipe out your sins of chastisement, gossip and self-righteousness and He’s come as a lowly, meek, and humble child.

It’s not about naughty or nice. Jesus the Savior came not to remember your sins, but to annihilate them.  It is His coming to us that reminds us that it is Christ alone who Has, IS, and will sustain us. He will willingly take that which causes our death, make it His own, put it to death (annihilate it) by His death all in order to save us; to provide the most blessed exchange, our sin for His Redemption and forgiveness; our rebelliousness exchanged for His perfect obedience; our death exchanged for His life given freely to us.    

You and I have a future, not because we’ve been nice, not even because we’ve only been a little naughty. Ours is a future pinned on the certainty that not even our sins could defeat our Lord and God. No amount of guilt, shame, or remorse is a match for Our Savior, as Isaiah says “He does for His own sake.”  Jesus your God, came as your Servant to willingly bear the burden. He’s borne the burden to remove even the slightest spot of rebellion and transgression away by becoming a man like us, to forgive (blot out) sins by His innocent suffering and death, by His blood shed that covers us in His righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

The One Whom angels tended comes near, a child, to serve; Thus God, the judge offended, bears all our sins deserve.  The guilty need not cower, for God has reconciled through His redemptive power all those who trust this Child.  (LSB 337 “The Night will soon be ending” St. 2

-Pastor Adam DeGroot is Pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

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.