Friday of the First Week of Lent – February 27, 2015

Today’s Reading: Mark 8:27-38

“And he asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Christ’”   – Mark 8:29

Christ means “Anointed One.” St. Peter calls Jesus “the Christ” because he believes that Jesus is the One anointed by God the Father to save this world. St. Peter is right. At His Baptism, God anointed His Son Jesus with the Holy Spirit, sending Him forth to be our Priest and King.

In the Old Testament the priests were anointed to intercede for the Israelites, to offer sacrifices for their sins on the Lord’s altar. As God’s anointed Priest, Jesus interceded for all people, sacrificing Himself as the Lamb of God on the altar of the cross for the sins of the world.

Kings, too, were anointed in the Old Testament to exercise authority over the people on God’s behalf. As God’s anointed King, Jesus ruled humbly by hiding His divine son-ship in order to be crowned with thorns, offering His royal life in your place upon the throne of the cross, rising triumphantly, and ruling over you with His grace and forgiveness.

You are Christians. That means you are anointed ones too. You are royal priests anointed with the Holy Spirit in Holy Baptism (1 Peter 2:9; Acts 2:28). You are called to intercede now for your neighbor and to lay claim to your royal status as God’s children through faith in Jesus. For through faith in Jesus as the Christ you too, like St. Peter, stand upon the Rock of our Salvation. Like St. Peter, your confession as a Christian is that Jesus is your High Priest who by His blood has won access for you into the heavenly holy place. Your confession is that Jesus is your King who has passed through death for you and now lives to govern you by His grace.

Prayer: My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; No merit of my own I claim But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand (My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, LSB 575:1).

This devotion was written by Rev. Stephen Preus, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Vinton, IA.

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