Reading: 1 John 5:6–12
No matter how much the world tries to convince you otherwise, your sins have a consequence. As Paul writes in Romans, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Your sins will kill you and you deserve it. God has told you how to get heaven. Yet, you insist to try on your own. No matter how hard you try, you will always lose and you will always die.
However, you’ve already died. You drowned in the waters of the baptismal font. When you drowned, you were created anew, having received the eternal promise of the new covenant founded on the blood Christ shed on the cross, for you. On the cross a new covenant was made, one not of death but of life. On this day, Holy Saturday, Christ kept the perfect Sabbath rest so that we might forever look to Him and find our true rest (Matthew 11:29). By His descent into hell, He proclaimed His once-for-all victory over sin and death so that we would no longer have to fear death. Because He has freed us from its grasp, we can live freely to love, serve, and testify to our neighbors so that God might be glorified and all might come to faith in God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ.
Most holy God, our Redeemer, we pray that You allow us to serve You through service to our neighbors, so that we might give thanks and testify to your salvific work on the cross and at the baptismal font; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
O rejoice, ye Christians, loudly,
For our joy has now begun;
Wondrous things our God has done.
Tell abroad His goodness proudly,
Who our race has honored thus,
That he deigns to dwell with us.
Joy, O joy, beyond all gladness,
Christ has done away with sadness!
Hence, all sorrow and repining,
For the Sun of Grace is shining! (LSB 897:1)
Tim Barber (Sem II, CSL)