April 19, 2013 - Friday of the Third Week of Easter

Daily Lectionary: Exodus 39:32-40:16; Luke 8:22-39

Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned. (Luke 8:33)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Demons. Jesus' word. Plunged into water. Yep. Baptism. How can it not be a foreshadowing of Baptism? In Holy Baptism, Satan is renounced and sent packing. The water drives off the devil's hordes and saves you.

Baptism has always had a big Easter connection. St. Paul says that to be baptized is to be “clothed with Christ.” That's like a robe of righteousness. He also says baptism is to be crucified and raised with Jesus. Baptism is how you know that the death of Jesus on the cross was your death. His resurrection is your resurrection to new life, too.

Let's face it. This world is under the devil's power. Jesus' Easter victory is a throwing of demons into the lake. It's a slap in the face to the devil who thinks he owns you. Jesus' own descent into hell (like we confess in the Creed) is like His victory lap around the losers. Satan's kingdom falls by Jesus' death and resurrection.

Your Baptism into Christ is the mark of Jesus upon you that you no longer belong to the devil. Now, that doesn't stop the devil from trying to lie to you and convince you that you are not really God's child. But listen to what your Baptism says. Sins forgiven. Name of God put upon you. Promise of eternal life.

When Jesus drove the demons out of that man who was living in the cemetery, that once-tormented man sat down — quietly and in his right mind. So Christ has rescued you from death — from living among the dead. He has given you new life. He has raised you from the death of sin.

And that's a promise that He'll raise you from physical death on the Last Day as well. You have new life in Christ now and everlasting life on that day. And either way, whether now or then, all that Christ has done for you stands. And the devil can't have you. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus came, this word fulfilling, Trampled Satan, death defied; Bore the brunt of our temptation, On the wretched tree He died. Yet to life was raised victorious; By His life our life supplied. (Christ, the Lord of Hosts Unshaken, LSB 521:4)

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