“A Savory Feast”
Dear Members and Friends of our ELS:
Christianity is cohesive. Outwardly, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ appears so divided. Denominations hold their differences. Some stray widely from the truth. Others embrace nuanced deviations. Pew Research in 2018 indicated 20% of self-described Christians say they believe in a higher power, but do not believe in the God of the Bible. Clearly a number of those professing Christianity sadly do not know and believe key essentials of the Christian religion. The teachings of the Christian faith, however, as set forth in the Word of God are solidly interconnected in the truth that God intends for all sinners to embrace for forgiveness, life, and salvation. All who believe in Christ, regardless of denominational ties, will be saved eternally only by holding on to the truth, never by embracing error.
The certainties upheld and proclaimed by believers during the Lent-Easter season are at the heart and core of the Christian faith. The meat of Christianity is dished up pointedly and astoundingly for each of us inwardly to digest as we ponder the Passion of our Savior and his glorious rising from the grave and what all this signiﬁes.
You see, in Lent, we soberly consider our sinful condition and the great extent to which our gracious God went to enact our freedom from the just and damnatory punishment of our sins. His Son, Christ our Lord, “redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13). There was no other way. C. F. W. Walther vividly sums it up like this: “As God could not have had any assistance in creating the world, which he made out of nothing, so the Son of God could not have been helped by any kind of creature at the second creation, the redemption of the world. He trod the winepress of God’s wrath alone, and only he could have done this” (God Grant It, p. 252).
Amazingly, this has been done! The atonement for our sins has been accomplished! Due to Calvary, we are to know and trust that “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).
The resurrection of Jesus seals our salvation. If the one who died for our transgressions raised himself from the dead, how can we not be sure he is our God who indeed gives us life? In his Pentecost sermon, Peter exclaimed about our Savior: “…it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24). So fully did Jesus ﬁnish all that is necessary for sinners to be forgiven of sin and to be declared holy and righteous in the sight of God that the grave had to open and yield to the Life of all life! He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justiﬁcation (Romans 4:25). This we believe.
Lent-Easter dishes up the meat of the Christian faith, which truly satisﬁes. As we have opportunity, may we invite others to our churchly moments of meditation on the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord. It is a savory feast!
Rev. John A. Moldstad, ELS President