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In the Freedom of a Christian, Dr. Luther says, "By the wedding ring of faith Christ shares in the sins, death, and pains of hell which are His bride's. As a matter of fact, He makes them His own and acts as if they were His own as as if He Himself had sinned; He suffered, died, and descended into hell that He might overcome them all. Now since it was such a one who did all this, and death and hell could not swallow Him up, these were necessarily swallowed up by Him in a mighty duel; for His righteousness is greater than the sins of all men, His life stronger than death, His salvation more invincible than hell. Thus the believing soul by means of the pledge of its faith is free in Christ, its Bridegroom, free from all sins, secure against death and hell, and is endowed with the eternal righteousness, life, and salvation of Christ its Bridegroom" (LW 31:352).
Luther concluded this little section by quoting Song of Solomon that says, "My beloved is mine and I am his" (Song of Solomon 2:16). Think about a wedding. Everyone focuses on the bride and her beautiful dress, the bridesmaids dresses, the groom all cleaned up, the pretty flowers, the Father giving away his little girl, and a bunch of other sentimental events. One of the moments that truly defines the wedding though has nothing to do with outfits or decorations, but rather with simple little promises. The exchanging of the vows is the main point of the wedding. The bride and the groom exchange vows and make a promise to be faithful to each other until death parts them. They vow to be faithful in sickness and in health, poverty and riches, good times and bad, and everything in between. The bride and groom promise to be faithful to each other and to keep the vows they make. The pastor then blesses the union and declares the couple to be man and wife and blesses them with the blessings given to Adam and the woman in paradise before the fall into sin. Everything that is the man's is the wife's and everything that is the wife's is the man's. This is a blessed union. However, we sinners get this union wrong on a regular basis. We either abuse our spouse and break these vows within the marriage union, or we break the vow completely in divorce. We don't keep our promises and we justify our inability to love someone besides ourselves. We fail at keeping promises and walking in the blessing of Song of Solomon 2:16.
However terrible we are at walking in the blessings of God, our Lord Jesus is greater than our failure. He does keep His marriage vow and seals His promise to claim us and our sin by spilling His blood on Calvary's cross. Because Jesus died on the cross, we are assured that He keeps His promise to save us, to forgive us, and to love us unconditionally. We have assurance, comfort, and confidence that Jesus will never go back on His word, and that He won't turn us away because we are too grave a sinner. All our sin is Christ's and all His righteousness is ours. All our failures are Christ's and all His victory is ours. All our weaknesses are Christ's and all His strength is ours. All our doubt is Christ's and all His faith is ours. All our lust, gossip, greed, anger, despair, slander, loose lips, evil eyes, lingering glances, lies, deceptions, laziness, good for nothing days, and down right transgressions against both God and our neighbor is Jesus' and His holiness and obedience is ours. Our death is His and His life is ours. Jesus is ours and we are His. Our beloved is ours and we are His. All that is wicked about us belongs to Jesus and all that is good about Him belongs to us. Jesus is always faithful and never breaks the vow He made on the cross that all the work for our salvation is finished and completed in the work He accomplished on the cross. Furthermore, Jesus assures us that the cross and the empty tomb is for us by baptizing us, communing us, absolving us, and declaring to us the good news of the Gospel that we are children of the Father and co-heirs of life eternal. May this truth comfort you as you struggle with all that is thrown at you this day and may the devil be driven away from you so that you abide in the assurance of Jesus' promises.
Peace be with you. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam be drowned anew so that you hear only the voice of your Savior Jesus who says, "I forgive you. I love you. I claim you as My own forever," Amen.