Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent Devotional - March 15, 2023

Hymn: “Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow” (LSB #428, v. 2)

Here the King of all the ages,
Throned in light ere worlds could be,
Robed in mortal flesh is dying,
Crucified by sin for me.
Where? That is the next question our hymn addresses. Where has this Jesus Christ shed His blood for me? Here. That is how our hymn verse began. “Here the King of all the ages.” But where is this here? To say halfway around the world 2000 years ago is not exactly “here.” Jesus was crucified over “there” in Jerusalem. He did it 2000 years ago, or “then”. How can we sing and say then: “Here the King of all the ages, throned in light before worlds could be, robed in mortal flesh is dying, crucified by sin for me.”? Here implies that it is here and now, not there and then.

        Perhaps we can come to understand this word “here” when we sing that Jesus is the King of all the ages. Jesus is the Lord of Time itself. Jesus can make the past present. He can make the future now. Being seated at the right hand of the throne of God means that Jesus is sitting at the control room of the creation and guides things from there.

        So it can be that the crucifixion of Jesus can indeed be brought into the present time. Saint Paul would say it this way to the church in Corinth, which lived 20 years after the crucifixion and was 1,370 miles away from Jerusalem. He told them that when they partook of the Lord’s Supper that “as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

        In the Sacrament of the Altar, in the Lord’s Supper, Jesus makes the “there and then” into the “here and now.” The body and blood that we participate in is the body and the blood that was shed on the cross. Here you are joined with all the saints in glory in a mystery so sublime. Past and future become present. The not yet is made now. A glimpse of what awaits is given. Where is this? Here!

        The question that we begin to ask is: Why? Why does this King of all the ages come here? Why does the One who was clothed with light before the world began now come in mortal flesh to die? Why do I need to participate in His cross and passion? Why does this Lord, who hung on the blood stained cross of sorrow, come to me?

        Because it is for my sake that He has done this. “Crucified by sin for me.” It is the cost of sin that put Him upon the cross. Love for me that caused Him to bleed. He would not have you or me die, but live where His home is. He wants us to join Him in all eternity. He wants His life to become our life. He wants us wrapped in His immortal frame. He wants us to share in His glory. He wants eternal life and joy for me. Why? Crucified by sin for me.

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