Today’s Reading: Third Article of the Creed, part 2
Daily Lectionary: Leviticus 23:23-44; Luke 12:35-53
In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. (The Small Catechism: The Creed, Third Article)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Atonement is a bloody thing. All of the Mosaic sacrificial system is bloody, in fact. Purification after giving birth? Blood. Redeeming a first-born son? Blood. Passover? More blood. The Day of Atonement? Buckets and buckets of blood. The pavement stones of the temple were permanently stained dark red from all the centuries of blood that was shed in payment for the sins of God’s people.
Ultimately, though, all that blood was for nothing, wasn’t it? God our Father says through Hosea, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” And David writes, “You would not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it.” All that blood, from all of those sacrifices, pointed to the one sacrifice that truly mattered, that truly forgave sins—the suffering and death of Jesus.
One sacrifice, one blood-shedding, for all of mankind. One death in which the blood of Jesus covers every one of your sins. And where is this forgiveness given? How is this blood poured out upon you? In your Baptism, where you die and rise again with Jesus. Where His blood covers you.
Since it is one sacrifice for all, made only once, though, how can you be sure all your sins are forgiven? Because of the Lord’s promises to you in His Word and Sacraments. Because of your pastor’s declaration that, by the command of His (and your) Lord, Jesus Christ, he forgives all your sins. And He doesn’t forgive you in a stingy way. He heaps it upon you. The Holy Spirit makes sure that your church is a place where God’s forgiveness is abundantly poured out upon you and for you. It is a never-ending flood of forgiveness.
Rejoice that you have been given such a gift, that your Lord and God bathes you so freely in forgiveness that you never need to fear that it will come to an end. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. Duane Bamsch
We all confess the Holy Ghost, Who, in highest heaven dwelling With God the Father and the Son, Comforts us beyond all telling; Who the Church, His own creation, Keeps in unity of spirit. Here forgiveness and salvation Daily come through Jesus’ merit. All flesh shall rise, and we shall be In bliss with God eternally. (We All Believe in One True God, LSB 954:3)