Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Lord is Our Righteousness

And this is the name by which he shall be called, “The Lord is our Righteousness.” It’s a beautiful name. It is the name we use for him. The Lord is our Righteousness. When we confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, this is what we mean, he is our righteousness.
Behold the days are coming, Jeremiah says. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell securely. Israel will dwell securely.
No, he isn’t talking about the country. He talks about you. You are Israel. Those who believe as Abraham believed, are Israel. Those who receive the bread and wine as Abraham did, from Melchizedek the priest of the High God, you are Israel, even as Jesus is the Priest after the order of Melchizedek who gives you the sacrifice of his body and blood in bread and wine, you are Israel.
You shall dwell securely, Jeremiah says. And so you do because your salvation has been won for you. Judah is saved, and Israel dwells securely.
When Jeremiah wrote this Judah and Israel were answering for their sins. There was tumult everywhere. Israel was hauled off into captivity, into the north country, Judah was being laid siege to. It is a picture of us, the sins that unsettle us. They come at you and rage. The Devil throws them in your face. You stare at your afflictions the coming grave. This is how we must answer for our sins? With our lives? Yes, this is how we answer for our sin, with death, with suffering, with pain and unsettled anxiety.
Anxiety, it plagues us throughout life doesn’t it? Sleepless nights, days filled with the fog of half sleep and exhaustion. We can’t add an hour to our life with our anxiety. This the Lord tells us as he speaks of birds in the air, and hairs on our head and the Lord takes care of all of them. He does. How much more are you worth he asks? He is taking care of us.
How much more? Well he answers that question for us when he becomes our righteousness. He answers that question for us there on the cross, where for your life he shed his blood. How much is the blood of God worth? How much is the innocent suffering and death of Jesus Christ worth? Well he didn’t purchase sparrows that day. No halfpennies squandered on Golgotha. No, it wasn’t silver or gold spent, but his holy precious blood, his innocent suffering and death. This is what he gave for you when nothing else would do. But with it he ransomed us from the north country, the forsaken wilderness of exile and slavery to death and the devil. With this he became our righteousness, and now we dwell securely in the forgiveness of sins, knowing that his life is ours, because he took our death.
Now the peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

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