Tuesday after Cantate
Scripture: St. John 8:21-29 (NKJV)
21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?” 23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” 25 Then they said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. 26 “I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” 27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. 28 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
“If a person will not hear preaching or read the Word of God, but despises the Word and the community of God, dies in this condition, and perishes in his sins, he can neither comfort himself with God’s eternal election nor obtain his mercy. For Christ, in whom we are elected, offers his grace to all men in the Word and the holy sacraments, earnestly wills that we hear it, and has promised that, where two or three are gathered together in his name and occupy themselves with his holy Word, he is in the midst of them. But if such a person despises the instruments of the Holy Spirit and will not hear, no injustice is done him if the Holy Spirit does not illuminate him but lets him remain in the darkness of his unbelief and be lost, as it is written, ‘How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!’ ( Matt. 23:37 )” (FC SD II par. 57-58).
Jesus uses the locking keys of Heaven. He tells them that they cannot come where He is going on the way back to Heaven. Three times He tells them “you will die in your sins.”
Jesus is the promised Messiah. Through the Word, the heavenly Father has been teaching us to believe in Jesus since the fall into sin. The Father is inseparably “with” Jesus, so that we know the gates of Heaven are open to all who know and trust in Jesus.
Prayer: We confess that we have been remiss and lazy in reading, hearing, and meditating on the Word of God, forgive and keep us in Your Word that we might be faith-filled unto the end and receive an open gate to eternal life. Amen.