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First Tuesday in Lent Devotion

First Tuesday in Lent - February 23, 2021

Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)

LSB 420 – Christ, the Life of All the Living

(Verse 3 of this week’s hymn served as inspiration for today’s devotion.)

Humanity is a cursed race.  Ever since the Fall in Eden each of us bears a fatal wound both physically and spiritually.  Our image of God has been lost and our hymn is “Sin, the Death of All the Living.”  But the Heavenly Father is not idle in our plight.  He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to author a new hymn for humanity in giving up His life.  A great reversal and new hymn for humanity is produced at the Crucifixion.  Do you hear it?  Christ, the blameless Son, bore the smiting and physical wounds of death that our wounds might be healed.  Christ, the Lamb of God, suffered spiritual rejection and damnation from God that our spiritually depraved souls might be renewed.  Christ, the Prince of Peace, provides a profound exchange – His taking up of a curse that belongs to us while blessing us with His righteousness and holiness that we might be reconciled to God.

Christ is the life of all the living.  Apart from Christ, there is no life, only sin and death.  Indeed, salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.  Thousand, thousand, thanks shall be, to dearest Jesus who gave life for you and me.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, what sinful, cursed person can stand before Your presence?  You know our story, we turned against you, and brought about a curse into Your beautiful creation.  Day after day, we continue in our depravity, sinning much and bringing forth more iniquity upon ourselves.  And yet, You would not allow this curse to continue. You paid its price by giving up Your One and only Son, Jesus Christ.  We ask, dear Heavenly Father that you would author our lives as a living testament to Jesus Christ.  Let us die to sin and live in the righteousness of Christ.  Let us live as a healed people, rejoicing in Your Son, Jesus Christ, to witness to other enemies of God.  Let the words You give us to speak transfigure the hearts and souls of those walking in darkness, that they may turn from wickedness and live.  Help us to do this, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen!

Rev. Eric T. Stacy – Grace Lutheran Chapel