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Archive for March 29th, 2013

He bows His head on the timber-trunk of the cross to kiss us in love. He stretches out His arms in order to embrace us in love. He prays for His crucifiers because He suffered out of love for them. His side is opened up with a spear so that the flame of heartfelt love might break forth from it, “so that we through the wound’s opening may behold the mystery of the heart.” In love He longs for us, and thus He said: I thirst [that is,] for your salvation. On the timber-trunk of the cross [as on an altar] He roasted in hot love as the innocent Lamb of God. Yes indeed, be the outward love ever so great, His inner love is yet even greater. Had [His suffering] not been sufficient, out of love He would have suffered even more for our sake. Such fiery flame of Christ’s love should now rightly also ignite our hearts.

 From An Explanation of the History of the Suffering and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Pr. and Prof. Johann Gerhard

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Matthew 26:47

Why all the swords and staves? Weren’t (the disciples and Jesus] a poor, unarmed band? But (these precautions) were brought about by Judas’ evil conscience, which feared where there was nothing to be feared. So it still is with the enemies of the Church; even though they have in hand swords and staves, i.e., external power, yet their heart is never still (at peace) and is constantly filled with fear, for they carry their accuser in their hearts. This is also shown by the fact that they carry out their undertaking, not in the clear light of day, but rather in the darkness of night: Whoever does evil, such a one hates the Light, John 3. Their hearts were darkened and widely separated from the true light of divine knowledge. Therefore, they also love the outward darkness, which they use to their advantage.

Finally, we see from Judas and his gang that the enemies of the Church employ hypocritical deception. Judas kisses Christ, and yet leads with him swords and staves. Thus it still happens. The enemies of the Church exude honey-sweet words from embittered hearts, Psa. 55: Their mouth is smoother than butter, andyet they have war on their mind. Their words are more soothing than olive oil and yet are naked swords. This they learn from their father, the Devil, who, while seeking to destroy mankind, nevertheless deceives by means of a loving, outward appearance…

Psalm 37 states: If he falls, he will not be thrown away, for the Lord supports him with His hand. Just as a mother, when she sees that her dear child is about to fall, spreads out her hands so that it does not come to harm, so also does the Lord when His dear children—the true Christians—somehow stumble into sin. He supports (upholds) them so that they do not suddenly sink into hell. Instead, He sets them straight once again, and speaks in a friendly manner to the heart. God grant this to us also through Christ. Amen.

O  Lord Jesus Christ, You who willingly gave Yourself up into the hands of Your enemies in order to atone for my disobedience, help, so that I give myself to You with my whole heart to live, suffer, and die according to Your will. Amen.

From An Explanation of the History of the Suffering and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ by Pr. and Prof. Johann Gerhard

 

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