16 April 2019

Glorified with the Glory of God in Christ Jesus

It is the Glory of the Son of God to do the will of His Father for the salvation of the world.  It is no weakness on His part, but the exercise of His divine strength, steadfast faithfulness, holiness, and righteousness, that the incarnate Son says and does nothing of His own initiative but speaks as the Father has spoken and does what the Father has given Him to do.

The Lord Jesus loves the Father perfectly with His whole being and life, and He trusts the Father fully and completely, even in the midst of sin and death.  He proceeds in the bold confidence that His Father will honor Him, vindicate Him, and glorify the holy Name of God in Him.

It is therefore in such perfect faith that Christ Jesus comes to the Hour of His Cross and willingly lays down His life, in order to bear much fruit.  That is to say, He dies in order to save the world and to raise up sinners from death unto eternal life.  He comes down from heaven into the depths of the earth, knowing that His Father will raise Him from the dead — and so raise all men in Him.

Having accomplished all things in accordance with the Law and the Prophets, and having glorified His God and Father by His voluntary suffering and His sacrificial death upon the Cross, now the Christ is lifted up in the preaching of His Cross and the administration of the Fruits of His Cross — in the proclamation of His death until He comes again in the open glory of His Resurrection.

In His Passion, the condemnation of sin and the judgment of the Law have been fully laid on Him; so now the whole world is judged righteous in His faithfulness, in His innocence and holiness.

The tyrant who has ruled the world with his assaults and accusations and the terrifying threat of death is silenced and cast out, because Christ Jesus, the beloved Son, has borne the accusations and suffered the death of all men.  He, the Lord Himself, true God in the flesh, has made Atonement for the sins of the world, satisfied the Law forever, and broken the power of death and the grave.

That great Salvation of the Son of God is the Light that now shines for you here, by which you live and walk in faith, although it is hidden under the painful sign and foolish weakness of the Cross.

Do not shut your eyes to the sight, nor stop your ears to the Word of the Cross.  Do not harden your heart against the Crucified God by loving your life in the world and craving the approval of men.  But look to the One who is lifted up for you in the Gospel, to the One who is elevated and highly exalted here at His Altar, and hear His Voice in the preaching of His forgiveness of all your sins.

His forgiveness is as sure and certain as His Cross and Resurrection, as tangible and real as His own Body of flesh and blood, and as powerful and permanent as His own indestructible life.

It is by this Light of His Gospel that you see and believe the Glory of God in the Cross of Christ.  And so it is that you now walk, no longer in the darkness of your sin and death, but as a child of God in Christ, as a child of the Light in whom the Name of the Lord your God is glorified.

Therefore, draw near to Him here, where He draws near to you in love and mercy for you.  For in the Ministry of His servant, in the preaching and administration of His Gospel in His Name and stead, you hear and see your Savior, Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead, given and poured out for you and for the many, for the forgiveness of all your sins unto life and salvation.

The God and Father of your Lord Jesus Christ honors you with this Gospel, He glorifies you in body and soul with His divine and holy Name, and He raises you up from death to life by His Word and Holy Spirit.  And as surely as the incarnate Son, Christ Jesus, was crucified for your sins, raised for your justification, and remains forever at the right hand of His God and Father in heaven, so do you live and abide with Him where He is, here in time and hereafter in eternity.

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

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