“Higher Things” Reflection for July 16

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Exodus 20:2

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. “If you love God, you’ll keep His commandments.” “Jesus is hurt when you do that.” “Jesus doesn’t like that, so stop it.” It would be nice if we could just stop sinning. But then if we could do that, we wouldn’t need a Savior.

The Ten Commandments teach us how God wants us to love Him and others. But it becomes clear pretty quickly that we don’t love either God or others. The Ten Commandments are like a list of all the wonderful gifts God gives us: His Name and Word, parents, our lives, and so on. Yet, realistically, we always want other things than our heavenly Father has given us.

So why does the Lord lay out the Ten Commandments for us if He knows we can’t keep them? If they are just going to show us our sin? He does it because He’s our God. He does it to show that He will keep them. All of Jesus’ whole life is the keeping of the commandments. Always loving His Father. Always loving you. And most especially on the cross. There He loves His Father and obeys Him even unto death. There He loves you by taking your sin and taking your place.

So if Jesus keeps the Ten Commandments, does that mean we don’t need to bother with them? Of course not. Baptized into Christ, by His body and blood living in you, Jesus lives and keeps those commandments through you by forgiving you your sins and by making holy all the works you do in God’s sight. As St. Augustine once said, “All the commandments are kept when what is not kept is forgiven.” That means whatever of the Law you’ve broken you’ve actually kept in Jesus for He not only keeps it but has forgiven you for breaking it.

Therefore as new people in Christ, we delight in the commandments and want to learn them. We want to see God’s gifts to us and learn to thank Him. We want to order our lives so that they glorify God and serve our neighbor. And all that is what Jesus does as He keeps the Law for us and in us and through us. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

The Law of God is good and wise And sets His will before our eyes, Shows us the way of righteousness And dooms to death when we transgress. LSB 579:1

Source: Higher Things : July 16, 2012 – Monday of the Sixth Week after Trinity.

Advertisements