Devotion 120 – Ash Wednesday

Opening Prayer

Great is the Lord’s mercy upon us. God, let us know this. Amen.

Text: Isaiah 53:6–9

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked – but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Devotion

The human race is like a flock of sheep, being torn to pieces and scattered in all directions by a wolf in their midst. Proud minds don’t want to hear this. Are they supposed to be sheep, straying sheep? Nonsense, they are not sheep, they are lions! But it is the devil’s cunning that they are ignorant of his existence and don’t recognize their own wretchedness and need. Pride and blindness are his doing. Many don’t see that the human race is torn apart, that everyone has turned to his own way! And they don’t feel that this is a terribly evil power, a strange force, that has come into the human world! O that the blindness might give way, so that each of us might see his own straying! We let the devil in among us, into our hearts. That was the deadly sin, for we had the power to resist him. And each of us since then has acted badly. That is condemning sin. We are miserable, but it is our own fault. And we have only strayed farther and farther.

Then God gave us His Son as Savior. He became the Shepherd of the miserable flock and took the punishment of our misdeeds on Himself. All the host of hell and all the arrows of death came upon Him. He was called to account for all the sin of the world. He, He was served notice and He paid the debt, and we, we are free. How the Lamb of God then was shorn! See Him under the scourge! See Him on the way to Golgotha! See Him on the cross! But He goes to death with perfect patience. He did not stray. He was wounded for our transgressions. As His life is free of guilt, His suffering is quiet and holy. He lives and suffers perfectly obedient to the death of the cross.

Then He became the spiritual Father of a renewed human race. The Branch of Jesse’s rod is cut down and replanted, and we are grafted into Him. Christ dies and lives again. We are baptized into death with Him and live with Him. So His Israel is a countless number. Misdeeds are atoned for, sins are put away, and eternal righteousness has come. Whoever believes is a member of Christ’s Body and lives a new, holy life in Him.

Closing Prayer

Give us Your Holy Spirit’s grace, that we may heartily believe in You, Lord Jesus, receive Your holy life in our heart, and no longer come under the devil’s power. When we go astray, lead us right back, and keep us with You forever. Amen.

Hymn

I will now praise my Savior
Who took away my sin.
My faith in Him forever
My heart doth keep within.
His name I write there freely
And keep it to the grave;
He from my woes doth free me
He all my sin forgave.

God, grant me learn the story,
Myself, I never can!
To Thee all thanks and glory,
From woman and from man:
God grant me so to ponder
To praise the Lord so well
Wherever I may wander
My anger He doth quell.

He, like the sun arising
Above the earth so wide,
So wondrously in rising –
In Him I shall confide.
He closes ev’ry sorrow
That may be found with me;
My service let Him borrow,
My heart I give to Thee.

Thomissøn: Jeg vil mig Herren love L 265:1-3 tr. DeGarmeaux;
tune: Jeg vil mig Herren love (ELH 178)

0 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.