Reflections: Saturday of the Second-Last Week

Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 38:1-28; Matthew 28:57-66

“Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool!” (Psalm 39:5)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “We’re all going to die!” is something you hear a character exclaim in a movie as the plane goes down, the ship sinks, or the building explodes. More often than not, in many movies, these words are used as comic relief as if the notion of death is something to be laughed at. Truth be told, death is no joke. It is the one thing that we all have in common. Someday each of us will die. The end of the church year offers us the perfect opportunity to reflect on all things eschatological including the end of our own lives. 

At first glance, the words of Psalm 39 that make up the Introit might seem to offer no help. They describe our lives as fleeting, nothing but a few handbreadths. No matter how many years we have, our lifetimes are nothing before God. If our lives are nothing, then do they mean anything? If death is what awaits us all after a life that puts a breath before God what is the point?   

As it turns out, death is not the end of the world. Death is not final, death is not the end, and even if our earthly lives are nothing before God, we are something before God. In other words, your death is not the end of you. God has seen to it that you continue after death. Here is the truth of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus for you. You were baptized into the death of Jesus and now He is your hope. Death did not hold Jesus, and death will not hold you. Jesus conquered death on the cross and he will lead you through death to eternal life in the new heavens and the new earth that awaits us all. Your life may be a few handbreadths before God, but it is not the only life that you have.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O Christ, who shared our mortal life And ended death’s long reign, Who healed the sick and raised the dead And bore our grief and pan: We know our years on earth are few, That death is always near. Come now t us, O Lord of Life; Bring hope that conquers fear. (O Christ, Who Shared Our Mortal Life LSB 552, st 1) 

-Pastor Grant Knepper is the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, 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.