Monday, September 8, 2008

Time in the Word - Holy Cross - September 8-13, 2008

In the Lessons for this week we encounter the cross. For Jesus His upcoming death is an hour of glory for both the Son and the Father. From His suffering, Jesus learns obedience. The cross is the only means of fulfilling Good’s demands. The solution to the problem is in the cross where the price of disobedience was paid and where perfect obedience to God was demonstrated. Since Christ has fulfilled the demands of the Law, believers in Christ are free from the curse of the Law as a means of finding favor with God.

Collect for Holy CrossO Merciful God, Your Son Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that He might bear the sins of the world and draw all people to Himself. Grant that we who glory in His death for our redemption may faithfully heed His call to bear the cross and follow Him, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Monday, September 9, 2008Psalm 98:1,4, 6 Antiphon, V. 2, “made…known…revealed…to the nations.” God’s saving acts in behalf of His people are also His self-revelation to the nations; in this sense God is His own evangelist. (see Isaiah 52:10) “salvation…righteousness.” God’s saving acts reveal His righteousness.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008Numbers 21:4-9 – Sunday’s first reading recalls one of the many hardships the Israelites experienced in the desert. More importantly, it offers another example of God saving his people. Because of their grumbling and complaining, the Lord exposed the people to poisonous snakes which bit them, and some even died. This led the people to acknowledge their sinfulness to Moses and ask his prayers. The Lord then instructed Moses to mount a serpent on a pole so that anyone who had been bitten and looked upon the serpent would recover. Moses did this and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked on the pole, he or she recovered. The important thing in this story is not any magical powers that the bronze serpent might possess, but the faith and repentance on the part of the people, and the forgiving, healing love of God for his people. Much later in history, the bronze serpent is portrayed as a sign of God's salvation.

Wednesday, September 10, 20081 Corinthians 1:18-25 – The crucified Christ is preached a the power and wisdom of God. The Jews demand sings. The Greeks see wisdom. What do Christians do? They “preach.” What do they preach? They preach Christ crucified. What is in this account of an innocent man meeting his death on a cross? Christians know what this death expressed the infinite love of God for sinners who by faith are reconciled to God.

Man has knowledge resulting from books and years of education in schools. God has wisdom which is more than knowledge. Christ is the personification of God’s wisdom. God’s wisdom is shown in the fact that Christ had to become man to reveal the Father. His wisdom is revealed in directing Jesus to suffer and die on the cross, for without suffering there can be no redemption.

Thursday, September 11, 2008John 12:20-33 – Jesus sees the cross as an opportunity to glorify God. The time for Jesus’ passion has come. The immediate occasion is the visit of Greeks wanting to see Jesus. They turn to Philip probably because of his Greek name. when Jesus hears they have come to see Him, He interprets it as the time to go to the cross, which is to glorify Him. Jesus announces the principle of His mission – the necessity to die in order to rise in glory. Jesus applies this to those who would follow Him: they too must die in order to live. This decision to go to the cross was not easy, for the human Jesus faces the cries and tears of a Gethsemane. Since the cross cannot be avoided, He asks God to glorify His name. Fro heaven comes god’s confirmation of Jesus and the people who hear the voice as thunder are assured of Jesus’ being God’s Son. As the cross approaches, Satan will be defeated and Jesus will by His crucifixion draw all men to Himself.

Friday, September 12, 2008 Psalm 40:1-11 - The Psalm appointed for next has as the key verse, verse 1, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.” David’s experience of God’s past help in time of trouble move him to praise and others to faith.

Saturday, September 13, 2008John 12:20-33 – This passage is the inspiration for the hymn. “Lift High the Cross” Jesus states the fundamental principle of salvation. The principle of death. There is no gain without pain. Without the shedding of blood there is no redemption. The cross is the path to the crown of glory. If a seed is to become a plant, it must be buried and die to self in order to rise in glory. Jesus applies this not only to Himself, showing the necessity of the cross, but also to His disciples. To save their lives, they must lose them for Jesus’ sake.


Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

LUTHERAN SEVICE BOOK © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO

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