The Draught is Drawn
Rev. Kurt Lantz Midweek Lent 1 Christian Questions 8-10
March 09, 2022 Resurrection Lutheran Church St. Catharines, ON
At our midweek services last Advent Season, we meditated upon the first seven of the Small Catechism’s Christian Questions with their Answers, under the less than catchy title, “The Gift of Justification.” Continuing on in this Lenten Season with the rest of the Christian Questions from the Small Catechism, we could use an even less catchy title, such as “Drinking of the Hypostatic Union.”
The peak that we reached by the end of our last Advent series was that Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, is also the Son of God, true God and true man, in whom we trust for our salvation from the divine wrath and punishment our sins deserve. It is pure gift that God justly metes out all the punishment for our sins upon this one man, Jesus, whose divine life is a just payment for each and every one of them. There is nothing that we have done or can do to earn this justification. It is God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ.
Now as we move forward in those Christian Questions we see how this justification is given and received, from God to us sinners. It comes to us through the person of Jesus Christ, who He is, what He has done, what He has given, and what we receive through His suffering, death, and resurrection.
The Second Person of the Blessed Holy Trinity, died for us and shed His blood for us on the cross as we will ponder in some detail throughout this Lenten Season. This is the act that secured for us the forgiveness of our sins, sins that are a part of our person some two thousand years after the payment for them was made in full.
It would surely not be right to think of this as some kind of a credit system, like when you have a diner’s gift card and you can go out and indulge yourself until the pre-paid credit is all used up, and with unlimited credit you can indeed indulge. Perhaps we often think of it this way and so our repentance is rather shallow. We know we shouldn’t have indulged our sins, but well, here you go, just charge it to Christ’s account.
No, your sins now today are the cause of the suffering and death of the Second Person of the Blessed and Holy Trinity. And they were all suffered in His human flesh. The Father, who is God only, did not die for you. The Holy Spirit, who is God only, did not die for you. The Son, who alone is true God and true man suffered and died. There is great mystery here to be excavated as you consider your sins now today. The Son of God suffered and died for you. That event two thousand years ago in which Jesus of Nazareth gave up Himself, was for you. And the forgiveness that He secured then and there He offers to you in the here and now.
It comes to you in that blessed Passover Supper transformed, which He instituted on the night when all of this was reaching the apex. While He took the cup of the Father’s wrath against the sins of the whole world, He drew a draught of His own blood and said, “Drink of it, all of you; this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”