Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Today’s Reading: Genesis 3:1-21

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” – Genesis 3:15

Both judgment and comfort are given with this word of God. This word is first a judgment of Satan. He who was cast out of heaven sought his revenge by seeking to destroy the beauty of God’s creation. He knows that open warfare against God is impossible. Instead, he becomes a crafty serpent and through a lie wrapped in a question – “Did God really say…?” – leads mankind into sin and death. We were marked with ashes yesterday to remind us that sin and death came into the world by the disobedience of our first parents.

Yet, this word of judgment isn’t spoken for the devil’s sake. They’re spoken to comfort Adam and Eve in their grief and shame. They reveal God to be a loving Father. God doesn’t abandon them as orphans of sin. He fights for them by giving them the promise of His Son, Jesus Christ, who will deliver them from their sin by crushing the head of the devil. This crushing blow is accomplished on the cross. There on the cross, Jesus overcomes evil with the goodness of His love and mercy. Jesus takes away the  sins of the whole world and opens heaven to all believers.

In love Jesus dies for us and speaks the words we need to hear daily in contrition and repentance: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). This is Satan’s defeat and our salvation.

Prayer: O Thou who, when we loved Thee not, Didst love and save us all, Thou great Good Shepherd of mankind, O hear us when we call (In Adam We Have All Been One, LSB 569:4).

This devotion was written by Rev. Duncan Sprague – Pastor of Zion Lutheran in Wilton, IA.

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