Sunday, April 22, 2012

Time in the Word - Easter 3

The Preaching of Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins Makes Us Pure

The risen Lord Jesus taught His disciples “that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead” and “that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations” (Luke 24:46–47). Therefore, St. Peter preaches repentance and forgiveness to the people of Jerusalem. As he proclaims that Jesus fulfilled all that “God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets” (Acts 3:18), he also convicts the people of their sin, because they “delivered over and denied” this Lord Jesus and “killed the Author of life.” Yet God “glorified His servant Jesus” and raised Him from the dead (Acts 3:13–15). St. Peter calls the people to repent, so that their “sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19–20). Through this forgiveness of sins, and by faith in this forgiveness, the Father shows His love for us, in order that “we should be called children of God, and so we are” (1 John 3:1). Thus we hope in Him and are made pure even “as He is pure,” because “He appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).

Monday, 16 April 2012Psalm 30:1-5; Antiphon, Psalm 16:11b— In Psalm 30, David exuberantly worships the Lord, who has drawn him up, healed him, and brought up his soul from Sheol (the grave.) He calls upon all saints—including us—to sing praises to the Lord and give thanks to His holy Name, for we, too have been delivered from sin death, and the power of the devil by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012Psalm 4—This psalm of David is a cry for deliverance, with confidence that the Lord hears and answers prayer. Because Christ Jesus has delivered us from our mortal enemy—sin and its consequences—we can confidently say with David, In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012Acts 3:11–21—The people in the temple were astonished when Peter healed the crippled beggar (Acts 3:1–10). Peter told them that it was God, not he, who had healed the man. He then related the details of Jesus’ death and resurrection—We are witnesses—and proclaimed the Gospel to them, urging them to repent and trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins.

Thursday, 19 April 20121 John 3:1–7—St. John contrasts those in the world, who do not know the Father because they have rejected the Son, with believers, who put their trust in Christ, and, thus, have been made the children of God.

Friday, 20 April 2012Luke 24:36–49—The early Church Fathers had to deal with heretics called Docetists who denied the physical resurrection of Jesus, saying it was only a spiritual resurrection, and that His appearances were that of a phantasm, or else hallucinations by His followers. This heresy persists to this day: the Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the bodily resurrection of Christ. But Jesus dispels any sort of nonsensical ideas in Sunday’s Gospel. He appears in the flesh—Why do doubts rise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have—and eats food. This eyewitness account also gives us the assurance of the physical resurrection of Jesus, and of all believers, as we confess in the Creed.

Saturday, 21 April 2012—The Hymn of the Day, With High Delight, Let Us Unite (LSB #483), is a song of jubilation and high praise to our risen Lord, who has vanquished death and the grave by His death: True God, He first From death has burst Forth into life, all subduing. His enemy Doth vanquished lie; His death has been death’s undoing. “And yours shall be Like victory O’er death and grave,” Saith He, who gave His life for us, life renewing.

Collect for Easter 3O God, through the humiliation of Your Son You raised up the fallen world. Grant to Your faithful people, rescued from the peril of everlasting death, perpetual gladness and eternal joys; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

This week’s Time in the Word was written by Pr. Jeffrey M. Keuning, who serves the Lutheran parishes of St. John Casey and Zion, Dexter IA

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