Today's Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-21
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. (2 Peter 1:16)
In the Name of Jesus. Amen. The world pretty much thinks the Christian faith is a joke. A made-up story. Nonsense. That might be a reasonable explanation for a religion whose main message is that a dead man came back to life. Except for one thing: witnesses. Real men and women actually saw Jesus do His signs and wonders. They saw Him alive on the third day and beyond. Peter, for one, as he points out, was there on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured.
Peter declares what He has seen. After the Transfiguration, Jesus told him and the others that He would go to Jerusalem to suffer many things, die and rise the third day. Peter didn't believe him. But then he saw it all come true. And then He preached it. Declared it to the world so that, by the preaching of this Word, the Holy Spirit would bring others to faith who had not seen it.
This is how Jesus delivers His salvation. He accomplished it. He showed His apostles who He is. True God, demonstrated by His shining in glory and the power of His signs that He did. True man, who could suffer and bleed and die and be buried. True God and man who could be bodily alive the third day.
Then He sent His Apostles to preach this Good News to the world. That Jesus did this to save sinners. To redeem them. To give them eternal life. And the Apostles bore witness to what they had seen and heard and passed it on to the preachers they ordained after them. And so on down to today.
Now, when your pastor proclaims Christ to you, he is not telling you something he's seen with his own eyes, but he is delivering the eyewitness testimony of the Apostles, which has been written down in the Bible. And by that Word, the Holy Spirit brings salvation to you. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
And faithful hearts are raised on high By this great vision's mystery, For which in joyful strains we raise The voice of prayer the hymn of praise. (O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair, LSB 413:4)