Holy Wednesday 2019
As we ponder Our Lord’s Passion, we often talk about His emotions. The ones we think of the quickest are emotions like sorrow, anguish, heartbreak, depression, pity, sorrow, and the like. Our first thoughts are sadness. But as Isaiah talks about the Lord winning salvation for His people, he gives us a noticeably different list. Some of the emotions he ascribes to Our Lord are anger, fury, and a desire for vengeance. For whatever reason, that’s not the first place we go. But it does help present us with a fuller picture of Jesus’ heart and mind while He suffers and dies. As much as it might sound backwards, those hot emotions are a sign of His love for His creation.
Why does the Pastor preach? Scripture explains that the role of preaching the Word of God is how saving faith is created: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:14-17). The Augsburg Confession, seeing this connection between the Preaching Office and saving faith, summarizes Scripture on the Office of the Holy Ministry in this way: “To obtain [saving, justifying] faith, God instituted the Office of Preaching, giving the Gospel and the Sacraments. Through these, as through means, He gives the Holy Spirit who produces faith, where and when He wills, in those who hear the Gospel. It teaches that we have a gracious God, not through our merit but through Christ’s merit, when we so believe” (AC V 1-3). The whole reason the Pastor preaches is so saving faith can be created, so we know that “we have a gracious God” who loves us and has saved us from our sin by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.