03 April 2012

Life and Light in the Cross of Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ is Life and Light in Himself, the very Son of God from all eternity. He has no need of anything, for all things are made by Him, and apart from Him there is nothing.

But in love He has come in the flesh in order to give His Life and Light to you; that you might not die in the darkness, but live and walk in the Light of God, as a son or daughter of the Light.

In order that you may be with Him where He is, with the Father forever, He has come to be with you where you are, even in the deep dark valley of death and the grave. So does He hide Himself under the Cross, which has the appearance of defeat, as though He were not the Christ, the King of Israel, at all, but a loser and a fool.

In truth, the Cross of Christ is the Hour of His Glory as the Son of Man, your Savior. It is the pinnacle of His faith and love, as the true and perfect Man, your merciful and great High Priest.

By His death, He glorifies the Father, doing exactly what the Father has sent Him to do. And in being lifted up from the earth to His God and Father, by the Cross, He bears much fruit. That is to say, He draws all people to Himself, that He might bear them up to God in His Body by atoning for all their sins, redeeming them from death and the grave, and reconciling them to God.

So does He draw you to Himself, and He bears the good fruits of faith and love in you, by the preaching of His Cross.

That Word of His Cross puts you to death. It puts you at odds with yourself and with the world. For the ruler of this world, and your former way of life in this world, are cast out by the Cross. And as you follow after Christ, and serve and honor Him, so that you begin to speak and act as He does, that is, in faith and love, you lose the approval of men and your place among them — who walk in darkness and don’t know where they are going.

But take heart, and do not be discouraged. For as you die by the Cross of Christ, bearing His reproach among men, so do you rise and live with Him in His Resurrection, being lifted up to God in Him, and gaining the approval of God in Him.

Therefore, do not be afraid — no matter what anyone may say or do to you on account of Jesus — for the Father honors you in Christ, His Son, and glorifies His Holy Name in you.

By the Word of the Cross, He calls you out of the darkness into the Light of Christ, by working repentance in you, converting you from sinful unbelief to faith and life in Him.

That Light is with you here on earth for a little while in the preaching of repentance, which is not just the booming thunder of the Law, which crucifies you, but also the sweet message of the Gospel, which forgives you all your sins and gives you the Life of God.

By that Light you here perceive that His grain of wheat, having been crucified, dead and buried, has also been harvested, and has indeed become the very Bread of Life, which is given for you.

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

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