Today’s Reading: John 13:16-38
“Little children, yet a little while I am with you.” – John 13:33
Our Lord Jesus Christ endured being betrayed and denied. How quickly we utter, “Judas and Peter did those sinful acts, I surely wouldn’t.” Such unfounded and foolish words! An examination of our own thoughts, words, and deeds reveals that each of us has handed our Lord over so we could pursue “more important matters.” Betrayer: Our self-examination reveals that we have stood silently and comfortably, in the shadows cast by the world, rather than confessing Christ. Denier: Our thoughts, words, and deeds cry out, “I do not know Him.” Each of us is guilty for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The sins of betrayal and denial along with countless others belong to us.
Displaying love for the unlovable, Jesus states, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Only a “little while” He will be with the disciples, for Jesus willingly goes to the cross. On the cross, the innocent One died for us, the guilty ones. On the cross, the unwavering Lamb of God died for us, the wayward ones. On the cross, Jesus opened His holy arms to take our sin, our punishment, and our guilt upon Himself. On the cross, Jesus was the lightning rod for the Heavenly Father’s wrath. Our Lord’s precious and holy blood dripped forth upon the thorn infested ground. On the cross, Jesus cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30). Written across the ledgers of heaven, in the holy blood of Christ, is the word “forgiven.” Jesus Christ stepped forward and hung upon the cross for you. You are His baptized child, precious and redeemed, forgiven of all your sins. The One, once crowned in thorn, crowns you with steadfast love and mercy all your days. He will never hand you over to your enemies, for He loves you. He will not deny you, for you are His baptized child and next to the nail mark in His hand He has inscribed your name.
Prayer: If my sins give me alarm And my conscience grieve me, Let Your cross my fear disarm; Peace of conscience give me. Help me see forgiveness won By Your holy passion. If for me God slays His Son, God must have compassion! (Jesus, I Will Ponder Now, LSB 440:5)
This devotion was written by Rev. Kristian Kincaid – Pastor of Our Redeemer in Dubuque.