FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT

31 March 2019

 

Isaiah 12:1–6

2 Corinthians 5:16–21

Luke 15:1–3, 11–32

 

Jesus Christ Has Reconciled Us to the Father

 

God the Father has opened His heart to us in love. While we were “still a long way off,” He saw us and “felt compassion” (Luke 15:20). Therefore, He gave His only begotten Son for us, making “him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). By the ministry of reconciliation, He runs to us, embraces us in mercy and clothes us with His glory as beloved sons in Christ Jesus. And so we give thanks unto the Lord our God, who has taken away our sins and turned His anger from us (Is. 12:1). Because He has become our salvation, our strength and our song, we “will trust, and will not be afraid” (Is. 12:2).

THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT

24 March 2019

 

Ezekiel 33:7–20

1 Corinthians 10:1–13

Luke 13:1–9

 

Jesus Calls You to Repentance

 

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). By this warning, the Lord would turn us away from wickedness and bring us to life in Himself. For He is patient with us, that we not be cut down in our sin but live and bear fruit in Him. As He lives, the Lord has “no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezek. 33:11). So the Scriptures have been “written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Cor. 10:11), that we should not desire evil but trust in Christ. He alone is faithful, the Rock who feeds us with His “spiritual food” and pours out His “spiritual drink” (1 Cor. 10:3–4).

SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT

17 March 2019

 

Jeremiah 26:8–15

Philippians 3:17—4:1

Luke 13:31–35

 

Jesus Rescues Us from Death and Brings Us into Heaven

 

The prophet Jeremiah faithfully preached “all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people” (Jer. 26:8). He called the people to repentance, lest the Lord’s judgment come upon them. The violence that Jeremiah suffered for this preaching foreshadowed the cross and Passion of Christ Jesus, who suffered the judgment of God for the redemption of all people. For Jesus “comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:35) in order to lay down His life for the sins of the world. Earthly Jerusalem was blind to His gracious visitation, and it put Him to death like the prophets before Him. Yet, His sacrifice upon the cross became the cornerstone of the new Jerusalem, His Church. He visits us today in mercy with His preaching of forgiveness, to gather us to Himself within that holy city, “as a hen gathers her brood under her wings” (Luke 13:34), for “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).