Reflections: Tuesday the Third Week of Lent

March 14,  2023

Today’s Reading:  Romans 5:1-18

Daily Lectionary: Gen 35:1-29, Mark 9:33-50

Romans 5:8: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Spiritual warfare is easier when it’s us against the devil, but I am a sinner.  The problem is me. It’s the devil who would have you think the only enemies are outside of yourself and outside of our walls. In true spiritual warfare, there is no us against them. There is only Jesus for sinners. WE were the enemies of God. Not the world. Not the devil. Us. So Jesus died for you. Your sins are forgiven. So are your enemies’. The devil lost.  

Now, the battleground is your conscience. It’s more than “this isn’t how it’s supposed to be”. It’s “I’m not how I’m supposed to be.”  I haven’t done enough. I haven’t trusted enough.  Spiritual warfare is the devil pointing away from the cross where Christ already won the victory for you. Christ was crucified. Christ is risen. But I’m still scared. I’m still struggling. I’m still sinning. Even if all the problems in the world went away, I’d still be stuck with me. This is where the devil fights.  

So Jesus wages war for your conscience and your soul both. He fights back against the accusations of the evil one. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” For you. The free gift is not like the trespass. The free gift is not found in the Law that accuses and shows what’s wrong.  It’s in the Gospel that reconciles enemies. “Now you are reconciled to God through the death of His Son.”  

I am a sinner Jesus died for. No, I haven’t done enough. I haven’t trusted enough. I haven’t fought hard enough. But Jesus has. Now there is grace given to sinners that reconciles us to God and so reconciles us to each other. If you can’t see past the picture the law would paint of your enemies and of yourself, your spiritual warfare is simply to receive the Gospel. Receive pardon and mercy. Receive forgiveness, life, and salvation that unite us to the victory already won when Christ burst from the tomb. That unites us even to each other. We are the enemies that were reconciled to God together. We are the sinners Jesus died for. We are the baptized. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Preserve Your Word and preaching, The truth that makes us whole, The mirror of Your glory, The pow’r that saves the soul. Oh, may this living water, This dew of heav’nly grace, Sustain us while here living Until we see Your face. (Preserve Your Word, O Savior LSB 658:4)

– Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

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.