Reflections: Saturday, The Third Week of Epiphany

Today’s Reading: Introit for Epiphany 4, Ps. 22:27-31; antiphon: Ps. 22:22

Daily Lectionary:Zech. 6:1-7:14, Romans 16:17-27

I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you… (Psalm 22:22)

Today, our reading is the last section of Psalm 22. It speaks of the power and glory of Christ Jesus. We glorify Him who conquered sin and death by His crucifixion and resurrection. We rejoice that the light of His Gospel shines forth to all nations and will continue to be proclaimed from generation to generation until He returns in glory. Amen.

The main part of this psalm has a very different feel however. It describes His crucifixion in graphic ways. It’s a vivid description of how Jesus suffered when He was nailed to the cross.  It’s such an important prophecy of the crucifixion that Jesus Himself quoted the beginning of the psalm while He was on the cross: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Read the rest of Psalm 22. Behold Christ on the cross. Think for a moment about what he endured. Realize that He suffered this for your sake. He died like this to bear your punishment. He shed His blood to wash you from your sins. The agony He endured was great, but He obeyed His Father and suffered it for you to save you from sin, death, and hell. He did this to rescue you because He loves you with an everlasting love.

Toward the end of the psalm the message shifts from describing the crucifixion to celebrating the resurrection. Verse 24 says, “For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.” The Father raised Jesus from the dead. Christ did not stay in the tomb but rose again in glory! Alleluia, Christ is risen!

The Gospel of salvation —that Jesus died and rose to save people by grace —has been preached from generation to generation until it came to us today. In Baptism you were joined to the death and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6). This is such a wonderful thing that we cannot keep it inside! We praise God for rescuing us. And we join with our family at church, and with believers around the world speak of the glory of Jesus who triumphed to save us. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O Jesus, light of all below, the fount of life and fire,

surpassing all the joys we know, all that we can desire:

May every heart confess Your name, forever You adore,

and, seeking You, itself inflame to seek You more and more! 

(LSB 554 vs. 3,4)

-Pastor Jeffrey Horn is Pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA,

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

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.