Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent Devotional - March 4, 2023

Hymn: “Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing” (LSB #421, v. 5)

O my God, my rock and tower,
Grant that in Your death I trust,
Knowing death has lost its power
Since You crushed it in the dust.
Savior, let Your agony
Ever help and comfort me;
When I die be my protection,
Light and life and resurrection.

We find our final hope in Jesus because of what has happened to Jesus. Jesus suffered and died, but He didn’t stay dead. He arose physically from the dead. Jesus was attacked by the most powerful tool of the enemy, death itself, and has overcome it. Jesus absorbed all the wrath of God.
All of this is great for Jesus of course. But this is what Jesus promises will happen to you too. Jesus’ victory is not just His victory, but it is my victory too. Jesus Christ has conquered and won the field not just for a day or an age, but for all time, and also for you and me. This is why we call Jesus our Lord, because we are under his Lordship now.

Knowing this, we can face our own suffering and death. Knowing that death has lost its power. The book of Hebrews says that Jesus came to disarm the devil who had the power over the fear of death. This means that the death that you die will be the death that Jesus died because Jesus has the power over death.
Jesus is the One who has crushed death in the dust. He is the promise that God spoke in Genesis 3 that from the fruit of Eve’s womb would come One to crush the serpent’s head and who would have His heel crushed.

“Savior, let Your agony ever help and comfort me.” It is almost as if the cries of anguish and pain that we hear Jesus say turns into our forgiveness and life. It is a cry of pain for Him, but a sigh of relief for me. In fact, as they crucified Him, we hear those very words. As they beat nails through his wrists, Jesus cries out in pain and we hear, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. “

So, knowing that Death has a Master and Lord, we know that it is but a little sleep for us and that Jesus will call us back from death one day and we shall stand again in the land of the living. So, when we do die, we ask Jesus to guard us when sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.

In death, Jesus is our light. “Awake O sleeper and rise from the dead for Christ shall shine on you.”
In death, Jesus is our life and resurrection. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he die, yet shall he live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”

Do you believe this? “Yes, Lord. We believe that you are the Christ who is coming into the world.” Amen.
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