Reflections: Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 24:1-23; Luke 12:54-13:17

“And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” (Luke 13:16) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The great reversal of Luke takes place again. Jesus heals on the Sabbath and is reprimanded for breaking the laws. He just cannot win with these picky church leaders. Nothing is ever right for them. Christ reads Scriptures and explains it, and the leadership wants to stone Him. He shows up at the temple and heals a man with a withered hand, and they accuse Him of Sabbath violations. He heals a woman on the Sabbath and again He is chastised for violating God’s ceremonial laws. Christ heals on the Sabbath.

The work laws for the historic Jew were strict. No work on the Sabbath was a primary one. Yet there were all kinds of exceptions that could be invoked so that you would not be accused of violating the law. 

When Christ heals on the Sabbath, it is because that’s His day to work. The whole concept of resting is reversed when it comes to Christ. At creation God worked for six days and then rested on the seventh. He declared the seventh day to be a holy day. A day of rest. The Sabbath Day connected God’s people to His work and rest cycle. 

As Christ comes into the temple and synagogues on the Sabbath, a reversal takes place. He is the one working now. Today, Christ works on our Sabbath. As we gather in His Holy sanctuaries on Sunday, the eighth day of the week as well as the day He rose from the dead, we rest while He works. His Holy Word is spoken to us. He absolves us through the work of the Office of the Holy Ministry. He places in our ears His comforting words of reconciliation and forgiveness. He points us back to our Baptisms and gives us comfort in knowing that we belong to Him. He comes to us in His precious Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Altar for the forgiveness of our sins and strengthening of our faith. He is doing all the work and we are merely resting and receiving. Sunday is the day of our rest and the day that Christ conquers sin, death, and the devil. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Now have I found consolation, Comfort in my tribulation, Balm to heal the troubled soul. God, my shield from ev’ry terror, Cleanses me from sin and error, Makes my wounded spirit whole. (“Jesus Comes Today with Healing” LSB 620, st.6)

-Rev. Timothy Davis is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Athens, GA.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Over eight sessions, The Messiah: Revealing Jesus in the Old Testament will lead you through the entirety of the Old Testament with daily readings, questions, and discussion prompts. After a brief introduction that reviews Christ’s earthly ministry, you will dive into the heart of the Holy Books that have spiritually nourished God’s people from creation to today! Now available from Concordia Publishing House.