Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Stiff Upper Lip.


Christians are told during times of great trouble to not be concerned because that would be lack of faith and therefore sin. The person saying this is seeking self interest of not wanting to hear of another person’s trouble. Instead of receiving encouragement this leave the grieving one in more distress. This is another example of teaching the grace of God as a spiritual steroid. It is believed that with grace and a lot of effort one can build the character to face tragedy or uncertainty with a stiff upper lip.

Luke 22: 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done." 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. ESV

Jesus was looking ahead to His crucifixion taking on the sin of the world and shameful death on the cross. Was He sinning in his agony? I doubt anyone else have been so troubled so that he or she is sweating great drops of blood. No, Jesus was tempted in every way that we are but without sin. He was tempted in this manner for us and His having the temptation and not sinning fulfilled our requirement to endure it perfectly.

Most assuredly when we are anxious sin is involved for we are sinners. But the anxious thoughts in themselves are not sin. The reaction to them will fall short of the glory of God. When Jesus experienced this He did not lose any trust in His Father but it was still very real. That is another of a long line of mysteries of how the Creator of the universe would be the least bit anxious. However, Jesus is God become flesh which in itself is the greatest mystery.

When we receive His true body and blood in the Holy Supper He comes to us in a real way to forgive our sins and strengthen our faith. He is able to do that because of His deep agony, being tried falsely, beaten and being nailed to the cross. We can rejoice to receive the risen Saviour in His meal as he promised; “This is my body broken for you.” “This cup is the new covenant in my blood shed for you for the forgiveness of all your sin.” That is always the response of our merciful and gracious God to our sin. You are forgiven.

Thanks be to God. †

2 comments:

Rob W. said...

Thanks for the blog! It is comforting and assuring to actually hear the Gospel being preached. Sometimes, I feel alone as a Confessional Lutheran.

David said...

Thank you for stopping by Rob.