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Sixth Monday in Lent Devotion

                                                 Sixth Monday in Lent - March 29, 2021

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.  For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”  He redeemed us in order that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Galatians 3:13-14)

LSB 454 – Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle

(Verse 4 of this week’s hymn served as inspiration for today’s devotion.)

The fall of humanity into sin came about through eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  But the redemption of humanity from sin, death, and the power of the devil comes about by the fruit of Jesus Christ which hangs from the tree of the cross.  It is a strange fruit indeed.  A hanging man, nailed to the tree, stricken, smitten and afflicted.  A crown of thorns and stripped is he.  And yet, from this dying man, this cursed man, upon a wooden instrument of torture comes a true sign of triumph!  There is no other tree in foliage, blossom, or fruit that can grant the forgiveness of sins.  The symbol of the world’s redemption is the Son of God hanging from a cross.  This is how the Heavenly Father chose to address sin which entered creation.  So, may we marvel at this mystery, how God at His weakest defeated sin and death at its strongest. 

And Christ’s resurrection from the dead ensured that the fruits of His victory would be shared with His faithful.  For indeed, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.  It is finished, the battle is over, and the faithful share in the vine of Christ’s fruit.  Baptism connects us to the vine; we are grafted into Christ’s identity.  His death becomes our death, and His life becomes our life.  Through Holy Communion we partake of the truly present body and blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.  The forgiveness of sins that we receive is personal, it is “for you.”  We have done nothing to earn this baptism or to receive the body and blood of Jesus.  No, this amazing grace, which was earned by Christ alone, is shared with us and freely given.  For apart from Christ we can do nothing.  Let our voices rejoice and sing Christ’s victory won on the mysteriously grotesque, and yet beautiful tree of the cross.

Prayer

Lord you are faithful to all of your promises.  You promised to take care of sin in the garden through the birth of a Savior. You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to bear our curse and be our Savior.  Through your means of grace in Baptism and Holy Communion you connect us to Jesus Christ.  Let us grow as good fruit connected to vine of our Savior.  Help us to grow in strength, dependent upon the power of the Holy Spirit.  Let the good works we produce from being nurtured by Your Word bring glory and honor to You.  When our final hour arrives, harvest us into the storage of Your kingdom.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Rev. Eric T. Stacy – Grace Lutheran Chapel