15 April 2019

Come Up to Worship at the Feast of Christ

If you wish to see Jesus, come up to worship at His Feast.  For the Hour has come in which the Son of Man is to be glorified.  It is for this purpose that He has come into His Holy City: to be lifted up and glorified in death, and thereby to call the whole world to Himself, both Jews and Greeks, slaves and free, male and female, young and old, even the living and “the dead.”

So it is that He will be handed over to the chief priests, scribes, and pharisees, crucified under Pontius Pilate, put to death, and buried in a tomb.  None of this comes upon Him by surprise.  Nor do suffering and death thwart His purposes; by His Cross and Passion He fulfills His purposes.

In all of this, He does not become discouraged or despair.  He does not wail and complain.  He does not revile or strike back against those who betray, revile, and hurt Him.  But entrusting Himself, His Body and Life, entirely to His God and Father, He enters the Holy City as it has been written of Him, and He proceeds in faith and love to sacrifice Himself upon the Cross.

It is in this way that He becomes the true Passover Lamb, who is given into death in place of all the sons of man, for the life and salvation of all the daughters of Jerusalem.  And because He is thereby given and dies for all the people, the Victory of His Cross and the free gift of His great Salvation are likewise for all people of all times and places, for all the children of Adam & Eve.

The Atonement of His Cross, His Resurrection from the dead, His Ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His Life everlasting — all of this He has accomplished in His own Body of human flesh and blood, conceived and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in order to redeem and rescue His own human creatures and reconcile them to God in His own perfect righteousness.

All of this is yours, as He is yours and you are His.  For by and with His voice of the Gospel, He has called you by name from death into Life, from out of your darkness into His marvelous Light.

In your Holy Baptism, you have indeed been crucified, put to death, and buried with Christ Jesus.  So are you also raised with Him to newness of life.  Not only that, but those whom He has raised from the dead are also given to recline here at His Supper Table with Him, here within His House.

The fragrance that fills this House has the odor of death about it — the smell of the Cross — which the world hates and sinful people abhor.  But the sacrificial death of Christ is a sweet-smelling aroma to His God and Father, who thus delights in you, as well, and gladly receives your worship.

Your presence, then, at the Table with Jesus, is a testimony to His Cross and Resurrection, by which some will be called to faith and life, and for which others will hate you and seek to kill you.

But either way, do not be afraid.

If you would see Jesus and live, come up to His Feast and worship.  Worship Him by receiving His Gifts with thanksgiving.  Worship Him, also, by serving within His Church, and by serving your neighbor in the world as you can.  Worship Him in the confidence that you have been raised with Him to recline at His Table forever.  Abiding here with Him, although you die, yet shall you live.

In the Name + of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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