Sunday Devotion 3/29/20
Hope in Christ’s Resurrection
(Thoughts for Sunday, March 29)
Read John 11: 1 - 45
I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.
(The Apostles’ Creed)
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial
because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.”
(Acts 23: 6b)
The Man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his
face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
(John 11: 44)
The passage from John’s Gospel where Jesus raises his friend Lazarus from the dead is a tipping point
in the Passion Story. If you read on in this chapter you find that many people believe in Jesus after this event.
Also after this Jesus’ enemies really set their sights on killing him.
For us too, although in a different way, we see this as a momentous event.
Here we see that Jesus really has the power to conquer death, and not only that but also our sinful natures and the devil’s power over us. When I read the text this time I was struck by the fact that Lazarus is still tied up in the funeral cloths, the clothes of a corpse, when he comes shuffling out of the tomb. You and I too were captives, tied up and under sin’s control. But in the death and resurrection of Jesus you are set free and made a new creation in Christ. Paul even refers to this as “putting on Christ” in our baptisms (Galatians 3:27).
And “putting on immortality.” (1st Corinthians 15:53 - 55) In dying to save you and rising again Jesus tore the corpse bindings off of you. Through the power of the Holy Spirit he dresses you in faith in him
and puts you in the new clothes of eternal life. Thanks be to God. Amen.
If you have a hymnal handy sing as many verses as you’d like of hymn #352,I Know that My Redeemer Lives.
Questions to think about:
1) We experience different kinds of resurrection even in this life (finding hope in a sad situation; starting a new chapter in life, etc.). When have you had a resurrection experience? Sometimes you can recognize them because you give a sigh of relief, or even say some prayers of thanks.
2) Who are you looking forward to seeing in Jesus’ Kingdom after your resurrection?
God bless you and yours,
Rev. Aaron Albrecht
Sunday Devotion 3/22/20
Seeing and Being Blind (Read John chapter 9)
Jesus said (to the man who had been blind) "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
"Who is he sir?" the man asked. "Tell me so that I may believe in him."
Jesus said "You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you."
Then the man said, "Lord I believe," and he worshiped him.
Recently, I found my dad's old pair of anti-glare sunglasses. They are very handy for driving at the time of day where the sun hits you right between the eyes. Without them the glare of the sun is blinding. Martin Luther once said if you try to discover God in his glory the light will blind you, and even burn you up like a consuming fire. You must seek God whee he wants to be found, in the man Jesus Christ. In the Gospel story of man who was born blind, the man doesn't see Jesus even after he has been healed. It isn't until the end of the story after everyone else, his own family, and his community, has deserted him that the man meets Jesus. The man has some faith in Jesus even before he sees him. But when he hears Jesus say that he is the Messiah then John's Gospel says "he worshiped him."
This story reminds me of Jesus' transfiguration on the mountain top (Matthew 17:1-9.) When the disciples saw Jesus shining with heavenly light and heard God speak they were terrified. But after the blinding light was gone they saw only Jesus.
And they followed him down from the mountain. We need to hear God's word so that faith can grow in our hearts. Often God gets to us not by what we see but by what we hear. The man in the passage from John's Gospel believed and worshiped when he heard Jesus. We also need to read and hear God's word to rekindle and keep faith alive in our hearts.
God bless you and keep you in his love and grace.
Pastor Aaron Albrecht
Questions to think about:
- What Bible passages or words of Jesus are especially helpful to you during hard times?
- For you, what makes it possible to see Jesus and his grace more clearly?