Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 24:1-18; Luke 5:1-16

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it. (Small Catechism: Third Commandment)

He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do no work. Hear God's preaching and His Word. Receive His gifts: His Holy Absolution, His Body and Blood. In this way, live in your Baptism.

But there are better things to do. There's vacation or hunting or sports or work or just sleeping in--it's your only day to do that, right? Yes, the Lord commanded there to be a Sabbath, to rest, but the true rest that the Lord gives isn't found on the beach, in a tree stand, or in your bed. That's the sort of R&R the world has, but that's not what God has in mind.

We find our rest in Him who rested. That's right: God rested! From our perspective it was certainly a hard week for Him. All the leaves on the trees, the beasts of the field, the shouts of praise, the setting in order of His Holy Place (Paradise), the betrayal, arrest, and condemnation, the mocking, scourging, and crucifixion, the rejection by the Father, and then death itself.

"But, for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despising its shame" (Hebrews 12:2). He did all that working for you. He bore all our working instead of being about God's gifts and Word, and His doing that work was His fulfilling His Word and securing for you His gifts. Then, He rested! With His body being buried, God fulfilled the Sabbath FOR YOU. He kept it, cherished it, guarded it, did it FOR YOU.

What He does counts for you. He delivers that eternal rest to you in His gifts and Word. Enlivening us by His death, burial, and resurrection, He gives us new life to live and love His Word and gifts and in this way receive our rest, our true rest, from Him. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

The foe in triumph shouted When Christ lay in the tomb; But lo, he now is routed, His boast is turned to gloom. For Christ again is free; In glorious victory He who is strong to save Has triumphed o'er the grave. (Awake, My Heart, with Gladness, LSB 467:2)

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