Thursday of the Ninth Week after Trinity

Today's Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:6-13

Daily Lectionary: 2 Samuel 7:1-17; 1 Corinthians 9:24-10:22

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. It would be nice if every time we were confronted with the temptation to sin, we'd avoid it, do the right thing and make good choices. But sin is always right there, ready to trip us up. St. Paul gives us the Israelites as an example to warn us of what happens when we let sin rule: death.

But there was a way out for the people. When they sinned and the Lord sent vicious snakes to bite them, He also told Moses to lift up a bronze snake on a pole and whoever was bitten could look at it and not die.

Jesus speaks more than once about His being "lifted up" like the snake in the wilderness--lifted up on the cross, covered in our sins, sacrificed to take them away. It's this lifted up Jesus that St. Paul has in mind when He says the Lord always provides a "way of escape."

The way of escape from your sins is Jesus. Oh, sure, you should try and avoid falling into those sins. But when temptation and sin overwhelm you, there is Jesus to look at so that you may be saved. We bear temptation because Jesus bore temptation. We don't shoulder that load alone. He carries our sins for us. Therefore, when we fall into sin, we look to Jesus who has died and risen to take it away.

As long as you are in this life, you will sin. The way out, the way of escape is not to ignore the sin, or try harder to avoid it, or make a deal with God to be better next time. The way out, the way of escape, is Jesus. Lifted up for you. Lifted up and covered with your sin--taking the heat so you can escape and making sure by water, Word, Body and Blood that you get away and are safe. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

If my sins give me alarm And my conscience grieve me, Let Your cross my fear disarm; Peace of conscience give me. Help me see forgiveness won By Your holy passion. If for me He slays His Son, God must have compassion! (Jesus, I Will Ponder Now, LSB 440:5)

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.