January 31, 2009 - Saturday of the Third Week after Epiphany

Daily Lectionary: Zechariah 10:1—11:3; 2 Timothy 3:1-17

O God, behold our shield, And look upon the face of Your anointed. (Psalm 84:9, from the Introit for Transfiguration)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Who is the Lord's anointed? Jesus. He is anointed, chosen, set apart by the Father to accomplish the salvation of sinners. Tomorrow, when we hear the story of Jesus' Transfiguration on the mountain, we will see Peter, James and John, Moses and Elijah looking on the face of the Lord's anointed. They will look at Jesus and see in Him the Divine Glory that is wrapped in flesh to save sinners.

The Psalmist prays that the Lord look on the face of His anointed, His Son. If God were to look at us, He'd only see sin and death. But when He looks at His Son, He sees His Beloved. The Father says that, too, at the Transfiguration. We pray in the words of the Psalm that the Father would look upon His anointed, that He would “behold our shield.” We're asking, “Lord, when you look at us, look at Christ so our sins don't count against us!” The Father does look upon His anointed Son. He sees His perfectly obedient Son who is going to the cross for sinners. And there, on the Cross, the Father can behold the agony and the pain-twisted face of His anointed, doing the work of salvation.

Then how about you? Baptized into Christ, you are united with Jesus' death and resurrection. Absolved by your pastor, you are guilt-free before God. Filled with the body and blood of God's anointed Son, you are now God's anointed. Now you, being in Christ who is the Lord's anointed, are also the Lord's anointed. This is a prayer to behold you with His mercy. For you have hidden behind the sinless shield of Christ and have been anointed in Christ as God's own child. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Hail to the Lord's anointed, Great David's greater Son! Hail, in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun! He comes to break oppression, To set the captives free, To take away transgression And rule in equity. (LSB 398:1)