Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent Devotional - March 25, 2023

Hymn: “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” (LSB #438)

When the voice of God speaks, it is important that His people listen attentively. On the Mount of Transfiguration, the voice of the Father urges the gathered three, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35). Jesus Himself said, “My sheep listen to My voice. I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). And Saint John reminds us, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:29). Whenever the voice of God is speaking, God’s people had best be listening.

Thrice we hear the voice of God in our hymn. Though these words are not Scripture, they are based on Scripture, so it is good to pay attention. Twice we hear from the Son. Once we hear from the Father. Father, Son, and Spirit together are talking. Our God is a verbal God who has been speaking even since before the foundation of the world. Here, this conversation which we overhear is talking about us and our salvation. We are especially interested in this topic, so let us listen in.

At the conclusion of the first stanza, Jesus speaks and says, “All this I gladly suffer.” He was happy to do all of this for us and for our salvation. In a strange sort of way, Jesus is glad to suffer the cross. He’s not a masochist who delights in pain or anything like that. He just loves you that much. He was happy to do it all because He knew that He would win you back from the kingdom of death and Satan.

In the middle of the second stanza, the Father speaks and says, “Go forth, My Son, and free My children from their dread of guilt and condemnation. The wrath and stripes are hard to bear, but by Your passion they will share the fruit of Your salvation.” The Father knows that what He is asking of His Son is difficult. He knows that the road on which His Son will walk is dark and hard, but He is asking it because He loves His children, the ones who are stuck in guilt and condemnation. That’s us. The Father asks this of His Son for our sake.

In His response at the beginning of the third stanza, the Son speaks and says, “Yes, Father, yes, most willingly I’ll bear what You command Me. My will conforms to Your decree, I’ll do what You have asked Me.” Jesus does not drag His feet at the Father’s command. He doesn’t undertake the passion, suffering, and death out of some sense of compulsion or law-based obedience. It is an act of love for His Father and for His Father’s children. That’s us. He wants us to share, as His Father said, in the fruit of His own salvation.

God has not fallen silent in this present moment. He continues to speak a powerful Word, though no longer with audible voice from the cloud. Instead, He speaks through His Word, preached and read in worship, studied and discussed in Bible studies, shared and taught by parents, children, friends, coworkers, and neighbors alike. Our God has always been a speaking God and when He speaks, His children must listen. Therefore, do not neglect to hear the voice of God through the Scriptures. Come to the services at church where God’s Word is read and preached. Participate in the Bible studies of our congregation where God’s Word is studied and taught. Read your Bible at home and hear God’s voice speak…for you and for your salvation.
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