Today’s Reading: John 12:1-11
“So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.” – John 12:10-11
Being associated with Jesus is a magnificent thing. Think about all the wonderful benefits: the entire history of Christianity is your history. The beauty of the liturgy (Divine Service) and our ancient and modern hymns that enrich the Divine Service are yours. You have the comfort of the Holy Spirit working through the Word and Sacraments in a world that’s filled with sin and death. You have fellowship with the prophets and apostles and all the faithful of all times and places through the Church.
However, being associated with Jesus isn’t an easy thing. Despite the beautiful thing Mary does for Jesus, unbelieving Judas persecutes her. Then you have Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. The chief priests sought to kill him! Being associated with Jesus has always carried these consequences. What is more, Jesus even promises hardships for the Christian life (John 16:33). How often have we suffered or witnessed Christians suffering for their faith?
But, dear Christian, Christ bears this with you and for you in His innocent suffering and death. And let’s be honest: the benefits of being identified with Jesus in His suffering are pretty great, too. Your sins are forgiven, and life and salvation are yours through Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Almighty God, grant that in the midst of our failures and weaknesses we may be restored through the passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
This devotion was written by Rev. Jordan McKinley – Pastor of St. Paul in Bennett and St. Paul in Stanwood.