John 9:1-41 – You Can Keep Your Karma

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John 9:1-41

1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

8 The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.”

Grace, mercy, peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jesus’ disciples ask, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

What a horrible question. And yet, you do the same thing. You and I are prone to fall for the same error as the disciples. Call it karma or luck or whatever you wish, but we bow down to the false (small ‘g’) god of justice. You live by the false presence, “What goes around comes around.” You live, think, and talk as though there it is some kind of fairness and equity that is behind everything that happens in the universe.

We figure that when we, or someone we know, does good things, good things should happen in return.

Someone dies at the young age of 53. “I can’t believe it. He was such a good person.” Get pulled over for running a red light. “Why is this happening to me? I just gave money to that homeless person.”

And we fall the other way too. We see someone suffering and wonder what that person has done to deserve it. Someone has cancer. “Yes. You know that he smoked for twenty years.” Someone has heart problems. “Not surprising. She ate too many processed foods and never exercised.”

Now, none of this is to deny that certain sins have specific consequences. Those consequences are built in to the way creation functions. But here’s the hard truth: Death, the wages of sin, is going to get you no matter how well you live. We all have sinned. And because of our sin, creation is broken and suffers.

“Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Repent. Repent of your false sense of justice. Repent of your looking for answers for suffering. Repent of your belief in karma and luck.

Repent and listen to Jesus’ answer. “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Do you hear what Jesus is saying? Sin and the horrible, destructive wake it leaves behind you, has set in motion a chain of events that ends not with disaster, but with blessing.

It was never God’s plan for us to fall into sin. It was never God’s intention that there would be illness and death. God never wanted men to be born blind.

And yet, in the mystery of God’s grace for you in Jesus, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:19-20), God took a fallen situation and didn’t just restore it – He remade it better than it ever was.

To rescue you from your sin, God became man. Lived a perfect, sinless life. Died a bloody death on the cross. Rose again. And ascended in His resurrected body to the right hand of God.

Through what Jesus has done, you see God as you never could before. You see that God is full of sacrificial grace and love for you. You see that God takes the punishment that you justly deserve and restores a paradise better than Eden ever was.

In Christ’s death and resurrection, your eyes are opened to a greater love. See His beautiful grace which has turned you, sinner, from being His enemy to being His child.

Jesus takes His spittle and restores a man’s sight. Through this miracle, Jesus shows you what He has come to do – to make a new creation.

The man in this text has his vision restored, and yet he still endures suffering from his parents, his religious leaders, and his community. But he has Jesus. He has faith. Faith that looks past the suffering he endures to the end, the completion of what Christ has come to do. And, believer, so do you.

When you suffer, when you endure the effects of sin, when you are overwhelmed by the cares of this world, don’t look for justice. Instead, tell the world, the devil, and your own flesh, “You can keep your karma. I’ll take the mercy, love, grace, and forgiveness of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

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John 4:5-30 – Drink

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This sermon was preached on the blessed occasion of the Baptism of Haylee Lundstrom.

John 4:5-30

5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

27 Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

Grace, mercy, peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

So much for chivalry, manners, and first impressions. Without so much as a ‘please’ Jesus commands this female stranger, “Give Me a drink.”

“Well, nice to meet You too.”

Jesus asks her for what she should be asking Him for. Jesus even tells her that He is asking her for water so she will ask Him for water.

Jesus says, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

You know what this shows us? You and I don’t even know what we need until God tells us. Our asking always falls short. But thank God that He is better at giving than we are at asking. We ask for a serpent, and He gives us a fish. We ask for a stone, and He gives us bread. If we ask for a sip of water, He gives living water.

Jesus says, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

Imagine how enticing that would have been for her. Think of what this woman had to do every day: Every day, she would wake up and walk to the well lugging an empty jug on top of her head. Every day, she would hook that jug to a rope, lower it down the deep hole, and heft it back up again. Every day, she would have to carry the water back to her house so her family could drink, cook, and clean. Every single day.

Hard work. Thirsty work. And she had to do it again and again. Outside of death, there was no end to her need, her work, or her thirst.

For this woman, getting water from Jacob’s well was a daily reminder of the Law and of sin. While your job is a blessing from God, it is also a reminder to you of your sin. Because of sin, you now get food and water by the sweat of your brow. Just to stay alive physically is work. But you need something more. You need to have a restored relationship with God so that you can live eternally with Him. But to do a work to merit eternal life is impossible.

Because of our sin, this world now runs by the Law. But the Law is all work, and it never ends. No matter how hard you work at keeping the Commandments, there is always more to do. With the Law, you can do all the right things, but if your heart is not right, even doing the right thing is still sinful.

The Law promises life but doesn’t deliver it (Ro. 7:10). It might quench your thirst for a little while. You might feel good when you do a good work, but it doesn’t impress God. And even when you feel good about your works, the thirst for righteousness returns quickly because the Law always demands more.

Repent. The water of Law and works does not work precisely because you work for it, and the work only makes you more thirsty. You need living water. You need grace water. You need what Jesus offers.

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

By asking her for a drink, Jesus is reminding the woman that she is thirsty for something better than water from a well.

Only Jesus can give water that quenches the eternal thirst for righteousness. Jesus gives this water without you having to work for it. Jesus has done it all for you.

For you, Jesus lowered Himself into the well of death. When He died, His side was pierced with a spear and out came blood and water. After three days, Jesus drew Himself out of death and, now, He lives. He did this so that He could give you the living water that springs from His pierced side – water that wells up as a spring of eternal life.

Haylee, today you are baptized. Today, Jesus has given you this living water. This water of your Baptism has joined you to Jesus’ death and resurrection and is always enough to satisfy your thirst for righteousness.

Haylee, and all you baptized believers, because of what Jesus has done you have peace with God. God has demonstrated His love for you in that while you will still a sinner rebelling against Him, He died for you giving you His grace, His love, His forgiveness, and His mercy. God has poured His love into your hearts through the Holy Spirit whom He has given to you.

Jesus never gets His drink in this text. But that’s no problem. Your Savior, is always more interested in giving than receiving.

When Jesus tells this woman that He is the Messiah, she leaves her jar. That is an important fact. She left her work and her labor behind. Jesus had given her everything she needed. So, she went and told the whole town about this Jesus who gives better than she could ask.

You here today, drink. Drink from Jesus’ waters. Drink in His Baptizing you. Drink of His righteousness, His innocence, and never thirst again. Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

John 3:1-17 – From Above, From Below or Climbing Ladders in the Dark

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John 3:1-17

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Grace, mercy, peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For lack of a better term, this text is very vertical – it has a lot of up and down talk.

Jesus tells Nicodemus of earthly things but he doesn’t believe, so Jesus asks, “How can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” Jesus says that no one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven. Jesus reminds Nicodemus that Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness and that He, the Son of Man must also be lifted up. And all this vertical stuff starts back in v. 3, but most English translations miss it. Jesus says, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born from above (not ‘born again’) he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

In this whole conversation, Jesus is trying to get Nicodemus to see how a relationship with God works. Nicodemus thinks that his relationship with God is a from below effort.

You and I are the same as Nicodemus. We know that God is angry because of our sin, but we then conclude, wrongly, that God must be pleased with our good works. We think that we can get back to God by climbing up to Him. So we try to ascend to God from below by climbing up one of three ladders.

The first ladder is moralism. To be fair, I am quite certain that most, if not all, of you know that you cannot be saved by your works. Reading the Scriptures is a good vaccination against you attempting to climb this ladder for your salvation.

But it is still common among Christians to think that the ladder of moralism is still an important ladder to climb. You are tempted to think that even though you don’t do good works to get saved but once you are saved, then, you’d better get in gear. Many Christians will say, “Yes, I’m saved by grace, but now I need to do good works to show my appreciation for what God has done for me.” Maybe you think that the Christian life is all about living a sanctified life, but sanctification is a work of the Holy Spirit.

This is how the devil likes to point us to this ladder. He’ll even steady it for us while we climb up it because this ladder takes our eyes off Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, and turns our attention to our works and efforts. But the ladder of moralism will only reach so high, and none of your salvation depends on you climbing it.

The second ladder is mysticism. This is probably the most dangerous ladder for you and me. Mysticism is the ladder of the emotions and feeling close to God.

When your feel like God is far away, you start seeking things that make you feel closer to God than you were yesterday – maybe it is music, a ‘mountaintop experience,’ being in creation, or something else. The ladder of mysticism is a maze of different attempts to feel closer to God. And what worked a month ago might not work today. Mysticism is like a drug, you start to get accustomed to its effects. So you need a bigger hit, you need a stronger drug than last time.

The devil likes to use the ladder of mysticism to lead us into despair. Jesus has told us where He meets us – in His Word, in the Sacraments, and in the Absolution. Sometimes those things will make us feel close to God, but sometimes, if you are honest, they don’t.

If you don’t feel close to God, if you don’t feel peace and joy in the Word and Sacraments, it isn’t a problem with the Word and Sacraments. It is a problem with your feelings, not with God’s promises. And we get into a trouble when we try to get the feeling of being closer to God through anything other than where God promised to give us His forgiveness.

The devil drives you to mysticism by pointing out your sins and making you feel guilt and shame while the Bible tells that you are forgiven and saved. Nowhere does the Bible tell you to feel forgiven or saved. The Bible just tells you that you are forgiven and saved through faith, trusting God’s promised forgiveness which He delivers through His Word and Sacraments.

The ladder of mysticism is unstable and confusing. It leads only to doubt in God’s plain promises. You do not get closer to God on the ladder of mysticism.

The third ladder is rationalism. This ladder is an attempt to climb to heaven by having a perfect knowledge of God.

But here, again, you can only know God by what He has revealed to you in His Word. When you try to learn about God apart from the Bible, you end up in despair.

Salvation is not a matter of knowing about God. Rather salvation is about God knowing you. He knows your sin. He knows your shame. He knows your regret. And your God still came down knowing that you would not appreciate it enough, thank Him enough, or praise Him enough.

If salvation is about you knowing God, then despair. We finite, mortal creatures cannot know the eternal, infinite God. You cannot be saved by climbing the ladder of rationalism.

All three of these ladders – moralism, mysticism, and rationalism – are our failed attempts as creatures from below to ascend to God by our work, feelings, or thinking.

Repent. At best, each of those ladders is a stair climber. You can do a lot of work and waste a lot of effort, but you never make any progress getting nearer to God. Left to itself, your sinful flesh is doomed and cannot accomplish any work that earns or deserves God’s favor.

Nicodemus views his relationship with God from below. He keeps thinking that salvation is about him and his efforts. We see this clearly when Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born from above, and Nicodemus is already trying to figure out what he needs to do to be reborn. “So, Jesus, should I climb back into my mom?”

But Jesus refocuses him. Jesus shows Nicodemus and you here today the true way to get back into a right relationship God – the from above way.

Salvation is always God’s gift. God loves you. You get to God in this way:

He comes down. He comes giving His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for you. He comes to you in Word and Sacrament not to condemn you, but so that you would be saved through Him.

As our Epistle text said (Ro. 4:5), to you who do not work by climbing ladders but believe in Jesus who came down to justify the ungodly, that faith is counted to you as righteousness. Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Matthew 4:1-11 – Eat This

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Temptation of Jesus ModernMatthew 4:1-11

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Grace, mercy, peace be to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Jesus, the Son of God, true God and true Man, is the only one who can undo what happened in the Old Testament lesson – the Fall (Gen. 3:1-21). So if the devil can get Jesus to sin in just one, tiny way, there would be no Savior, no one to undo the damage of the Fall. But, praise be to God, the devil fails.

The Holy Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. It is interesting to see these three temptations in light of Genesis 3.

The first temptation of Jesus is the, “Eat this,” temptation. “Here Jesus, eat this. If you are the Son of God, You can command these stones to become bread.”

The same happened in the Garden. The devil had asked Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Since it worked so well on our first parents when they weren’t even hungry, the devil tries it on Jesus.

But Jesus trusts God. Forty days earlier, God declared at Jesus’ baptism, “You are My beloved Son. In You I am well pleased.” And Jesus trusts His Father’s word, so He responds, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Jesus trusts God’s provision.

The second temptation of Jesus happens at the pinnacle of the Temple. The devil says to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, go ahead. Throw Yourself down. God will protect You from harm. He will not let you even strike Your foot against a stone.”

The same thing happened in the Garden of Eden. The devil made a false promise to Eve, “You will not surely die.” It worked then, so the devil tries it again.

Again, Jesus trusts God. “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” God’s Word is enough, Jesus doesn’t need to test God’s promise.

The third temptation of Jesus is on the high mountain. The devil shows Jesus the kingdoms of the world and all their glory and promises, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

The same thing happened in the Garden when the devil told Eve, “You will be like God. You can be something more than what God has already made you to be.” It worked then, so the devil tries it on Jesus.

But again, Jesus answers with God’s Word. “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve. So, get out of here, Satan.” Jesus stands strong where we did not.

Jesus resisted all of Satan’s temptations. The devil fails, and failing, he flees.

There is all sorts of talk today about “fake news.” Some stories that get reported are blatant lies, stories of things that never happened. But “fake news” can be much more subtle than that. Adding a little information here, or omitting a little information there turns the truth into a lie.

This can happen on a larger scale too. People will impose our 21st century ideas on historical events and try to re-write what happened in the past. It’s called “Revisionist history.” Both of these things are bad. They are lies and break the Eighth Commandment.

good-friday-jesus-comes-to-rescueWhy do I bring this up? Glad you asked. In the Temptation of Jesus, we see Him obeying God and not giving into the temptations of the devil. In doing this, Jesus doesn’t just re-write history, instead, Jesus re-writes history truthfully. The one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so Jesus’ one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men (Ro. 5:18).

Jesus has done what was demanded of you, but you failed to do.

Your first parents wrote a terrible history for humanity – a history full of sin and death. But Jesus’ obedience has written a new, truthful history for you.

Jesus always obeyed God. He actively obeyed His Father and never gave into sin. Because of that, you who are in Jesus, you who believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, God now looks at and sees Jesus.

When Jesus resisted temptation, He resisted it for you. When Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life, He did it for you. When Jesus was hung on a cross to endure God’s wrath, He did it for you. When Jesus rose from the dead, never to die again, He did it for you.

So now, when God looks at you, He sees one who did not eat from the tree. He sees one who did not fail to trust God’s Word. He sees one who did not bow down and worship Satan. He sees one who did not ever break the first, fourth, second, or any of the Commandments.

God looks at you and sees Jesus and His perfect obedience that we see in this text and in all the Scriptures.

Cross and CommunionNow, what does God say to you? He says, “Come back to the Garden. Be guiltless again. Here, eat this. To undo the curse of sin and the curse of the Fall. Take, eat. This is My Body given unto death for you. Take, drink. This is My Blood shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.” Amen.

The peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.