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In the meditation for the "Treasury of Daily Prayer," this morning, Martin Luther comforts us with the work of Jesus saying, "Faith...is a firm trust that Christ, the Son of God, stands in our place and has taken all our sins upon His shoulders and that He is the eternal satisfaction for our sin and reconciles us with God the Father. He who has this faith...devil nor hell nor sin can harm him." (Treasury of Daily Prayer 116).
Jesus didn't wait for us to petition Him to save us. No. While we were still sinners, ones who reject God, Christ Jesus died for us. He died for Adam all the way down to the last man. He died for you. He assumed, claimed as His very own, all of your failures, sins, transgressions against God's Law, and harms you've done to your neighbor. He claimed all these as His own so that He could put them to death and die for them, as if He had committed all of them Himself. God the Father, on the cross, didn't see His pure Son, but saw you and all that's wrong with you. He saw your lust, doubt, anxiety, worries, back talking, gossip, idolatry, anger, jealousy, lies, and pillow worshiping on Sunday mornings. Jesus claimed all of your sin, all of you as His own, and died in your stead so that He could consume all the Father's wrath, ransom you from the debt of sin, and conquer the devil for you.
Now, my friends, we receive the benefits of that death in the reception of the means of grace. Jesus took our sin, and now, in the Gospel proclaimed and the sacraments given, we are given His righteousness, life, and holiness in the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus took the wheel, took control of our eternal salvation on the cross, and now, in the means of grace says, "Stay behind Me, as I go before you. Nothing will harm you as I usher you into heaven." Jesus fights for you, and more than this, forgives you when you are fighting Him. We fight Jesus every day in our doubt and in our trust in the things of this world. We fight Jesus. He doesn't come and punish us for this, but instead forgives us and strengthens us to withstand whatever may come our way. He doesn't strengthen us in and of ourselves, but rather strengthens us in the forgiveness of our sins, in the knowledge and assurance that we are children of our loving God. Let us rest assured then my friends, because we are safe, we are secure, we are loved, and we are destined for heaven in the wounds of our Savior Jesus.
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 peaceful voice of your Savior Jesus who says, "I love you. I forgive you. I claim you as My own forever," Amen.