Reflections: Saturday of the 18th Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Introit for the 19th Sunday after Trinity 

(Psalm 78:1–3, 4b; antiphon: Psalm 35:3b; 34:17a, 6b; 48:14a)

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 21:1-23; Matthew 16:1-12

Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!” (From the Introit for the 19th Sunday after Trinity)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The psalmist says to God, “Speak to my soul and say, ‘I am your salvation.’” And indeed, God does speak these words to our souls! This is what happens every Lord’s Day. The saints draw near to God and the Lord speaks to us. He speaks in the Absolution, in the lessons from Holy Scripture, in the sermon, in the Words of Institution, and in the Benediction. And He always says the same thing: “I am your salvation!”

In Matthew 9:2, Jesus spoke to the soul of the paralyzed man. He said, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” In other words, “I am your salvation!” He demonstrated His power to save this man from sin by reversing one effect of the curse—his paralysis. Sin brought death into the world, along with disease and disability. This man lay still like a dead man, but when Jesus told him to rise he got up and walked.

Jesus demonstrated the extent of His power when He laid down His life and then took it up again. He stepped into the jaws of death, allowing the grave to swallow Him. Then, the grave was opened up and the body was not there. Death was reversed in this Man. And if the curse of death is reversed, then sin has been dealt with once and for all.

Thus, the risen Lord comes to us, saying, “I am your salvation!” He comes proclaiming that He suffered the full effects of the curse, so that we might be spared. Your sin was punished in the body of Jesus. Then, His body was resurrected, proving that the curse has been reversed! 

Therefore, take heart! Your sins are forgiven! And everyone will know that your sins are forgiven, when your body leaves behind its grave and is granted the very immortality and glory of the risen Lord. The paralytic lay still, until he heard the voice of Jesus. Likewise, your dead body will get up at the Lord’s command. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Speak, O Lord, Your servant listens, Let Your Word to me come near; Newborn life and spirit give me, Let each promise still my fear. Death’s dread pow’r, its inward strife, Wars against Your Word of life; Fill me, Lord, with love’s strong fervor That I cling to You forever! (“Speak, O Lord, Your Servant Listens” LSB 589, st.1)

-Pastor Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.

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.