For the Second Friday in Lent (St. John 2:13-22)
The Lord's Passover is at hand, and the firstborn Son of the Father shall be put to death as the Lamb of God, that His people may be spared from death, and saved from sin, and set free from bondage.
You live, therefore, by abiding in the Father's house in peace, where the blood of this Lamb marks the door, where His flesh is eaten in hope and with thanksgiving.
But you cannot remain in His house forever, nor can you live with Him in His presence, so long as you remain in your sin. For your sin has put you at odds with your Father and would separate you from His house and home altogether. If you are to abide under His roof, safe and secure, when the Angel of Death passes through Egypt, then you must be forgiven of your sins and reconciled to your Father; else you die.
Do not cast about frantically for some way or means of appeasing Him. You'll not buy or earn God's favor by any coin or sacrifice of your own. Atonement and reconciliation are not a business transaction that you may negotiate. Attempting to barter or bargain for your life with God only alienates you that much further from Him.
Rather, see here that the Son of God has been entirely consumed by His zeal for the Father's house, that it would be, not a marketplace of works righteousness, but a place of peace and rest for you and for disciples of all nations: a mighty fortress, a refuge and stronghold, a place where you are safe from sin, death, the devil and hell, and from the condemnation of the Lord's own Law.
It is by His Cross and Resurrection that Christ Jesus has become, not only the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, but also the true, divine eternal Temple of God among His people, established here for you.
His Body has been sacrificed, once for all, to atone for the sins of the world; and His Blood has been shed for reconciliation with God. Thus, His Resurrection from the dead is the opening of heaven to you and to all who believe and are baptized into Him. His open tomb is now the ever open door back into the Father's house.
It is by this authority of His Cross and Resurrection that Jesus calls you to repentance and brings you to faith by forgiving your sins. So also from His Cross and in His Resurrection, He feeds you with His own holy Body, which is the very Temple of God.
Thus, He abides in you, and you abide in Him, who is the Lord your God. And abiding in Him, you dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of your life, both now and forever.
For His House, His Temple, is no one building — neither here nor in Palestine, nor in any other single place on earth — but it is His own Body: conceived and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, risen and ascended to the right hand of the Father, but given to His disciples in His Supper in His Church on earth.
His Church also is one Body in Him, because His disciples from all nations eat of His one Body and drink from His one Cup. They are all together built into a living Temple of living stones, of which you also are one, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ Himself the Cornerstone.
Wherever in the world His Scriptures are read, wherever His Word of the Gospel is preached in its truth in purity, there is His Church gathered — His Body, His Temple — to feast upon His Body and Blood.
You, therefore, here receive what you are, and be what you receive: the Body of Christ. Be cleansed and sealed by His Blood for life and salvation in Him, and be at peace with God your Father. Here you are already at home with Him, and death shall not touch you forever. Though your body shall die and be buried, you also shall rise, in and with your body, and live.
In the Name + of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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