Herrenhuter readings for Monday, the 29th June 2015

crucifixion-of-jesus-c

The Lord thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the Lord thy God loved thee. (Dt 23:5 – or 6 in some translations)  Jesus Christ says: „I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.“ (Joh 12,47)

The Triune  God does great things. He creates all out of nothing. He overcomes evil with good. He also turns curse into blessing. All this he does, because of his gracious goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness on our part, because he loved us in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son our Lord and God. In him he did not judge the world, but rather sought it out in all its misery and sinful corruption to forgive, repair, heal and restore. Countless examples go a long way to prove this. Many have been recorded for us by the apostles and evangelists, so that we too would believe and trust the loving goodness of our Lord. For example the story of Zacchaeus in Jericho, of the Samaritan women at Jacob’s well, of Mary Magdalene or that murderous villian hanging on the cross with Jesus. This history describes how our Lord brings forgiveness of sins and thus life and salvation to people, who were under the curse of evil and godlessness, who could not help themselves, but were sought out by him and restored to the family of God. They were brought out of the state of unrighteousness by his gracious pardon and restoration, justified by his holy and pure righteousness – vicarious justification – he for them – his righteousness coming from outside of them and imposed, imputed and put on to them as theirs. The curse is overcome, blessing has been granted. It’s a new creation, justified by grace, forgiven, restored and thus paradise regained. That is the wonderful doing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is proclaimed as the good news for the poor and those living in darkness and shadow of death. It’s meant for those, who can’t help themselves, who are lost and given up, outside of hope, without choices and desperate. Because his light overcomes and dispels even this darkness. Calling lost cases like Saul, the worst persecutor of the church to repentance, to a new and different life – not against, but with Christ the Lord and saviour. So that now those things that before were high and mighty seem but poor and lowly and those that before were deemed just to poor and abominable now are the sure foundation of all: The suffering and dying of the crucified Jesus Christ is no longer God’s obvious proof of his divine curse, negation and disqualification of an abominable life, but rather brings about his glorious justification of sinners and the restoration of life and holiness through the wonderful creativity and goodness of the living God. He, who previously persecuted the crucified Christ and his faithful people therefore now after his conversion proclaims that same Christ as God’s way to salvation for all who believe. It’s the fundamental change of all and everything, the true focal and crucial point, the hinge of true life, the deciding and critical issue. For him, who is in Jesus Christ, there is no judgement. He has come from curse to blessing, from darkness to light, from death to life.  For he is the truth, the very light, the only way to the Father. Amen.

1. Hail, Thou once despised Jesus! Hail, Thou Galilean King! Thou didst suffer to release us; Thou didst free salvation bring. Hail, Thou universal Savior, Who hast borne our sin and shame, By whose merits we find favor! Life is given through Thy name.

2. Paschal Lamb, by God appointed, All our sins on Thee were laid; By almighty love anointed, Thou hast full atonement made. Every sin may be forgiven Through the virtue of Thy blood; Open is the gate of heaven, Peace is made ‘twist man and God.

3. Jesus, hail, enthroned in glory, There forever to abide! All the heavenly host adore Thee, Seated at Thy Father’s side. There for sinners Thou art pleading, There Thou dost our place prepare, Ever for us interceding Till in glory we appear.

4. Worship, honor, power, and blessing Thou art worthy to receive; Loudest praises, without ceasing, Meet it is for us to give. Help, ye bright angelic spirits, Bring your sweetest, noblest lays; Help to sing our Savior’s merits, Help to chant Immanuel’s praise.

(Author unknown London 1757)

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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