Friday of Easter Week

Today's Reading: Daniel 3:8-28

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 18:5-27; Hebrews 12:1-24

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "If this happens, our God whom we serve can deliver us from the burning furnace of fire, but He will deliver us from your hand." (Daniel 3:16a,17)

He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Will the Lord save you from a car wreck or from cancer? Will He save your youth group member from the drunk driver? Will He save your dad from a heart attack, your grandma from her COPD? He certainly can. He might even do that, or He might not--in this life. But He certainly will and already has taken care of all that for the life to come.

That's what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew about Yahweh. They were His. He'd made them part of His people, and He'd promised never to leave or forsake them. Sure, He could rescue them from the furnace or not. But they knew, that is, they believed and trusted, that no matter what happened they would be delivered from the King.

You can have the same faith, hope, and confidence in the face of certain death that those men had because "Yahweh who saves" (that's Jesus) already passed through death and left His grave empty.

No cancer, car accident, or heart attack can overcome Jesus' cross and empty tomb, and those things can't really overcome you, either, because you've been baptized into Jesus' death and resurrection. Death for you, whether it's from an accident or old age, is just a nap, and it's one the Lord Jesus will surely wake your body from on the Last Day.

When Jesus does that, and He certainly will, then it will be just like it was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. "The fire had no power on their bodies; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them" (Daniel 3:27 NKJV). Your body will be resurrected from the dead. Your body won't smell of death. You'll be raised to a life of eternal perfection.

That's the promise you have in Holy Baptism. Your Baptism "rescues you from death" (Small Catechism). And if that promise weren't enough, then Jesus also says, "Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day" (John 6:54). Those are Jesus' promises, and besides, He's already died and risen for you. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Death, you cannot end my gladness: I am baptized into Christ! When I die I leave all sadness To inherit paradise! Though I lie in dust and ashes Faith's assurance brightly flashes: Baptism has the strength divine To make life immortal mine. (God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It, LSB 594:3)

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