Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
[“These are those who are coming out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”]
“Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain, whose blood set us free to be people of God.” Jesus Christ is that “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” “He died for [you], and shed His blood for [you] on the cross” “for the forgiveness of sins.” “He was crucified for our transgressions, but raised for our justification,” our forgiveness.
All Saints’ Day isn’t about the saints themselves or what they do. It’s not about what you do either. Saints’s aren’t set apart and marked based on their works. They’re not people with enough good works so that they can be called saints. “All our good works are like filthy rags.” Rather, All Saints’ Day is about what Jesus has done for you being for you forever.
Saints have been marked with God’s own name on their foreheads, clothed with Christ’s own righteousness, and washed in the blood of the Lamb. Saints are made holy by Christ. Saints are people who are with Christ in eternal life, and saints are people on earth now who are waiting for Jesus to come again. We believe in “the communion of saints.” Saints are united together in Jesus, sealed with His Name, clothed with His righteousness, washed in His blood. That’s you and me, too. The truth of All Saints’ Day, the truth of Revelation 7 is this:
YOU’RE MARKED, CLOTHED, AND WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB.
((I. You really are.))
You really are. You are marked “with the sign of the holy cross both upon your forehead and upon your heart to mark you as one redeemed by Christ the crucified.” [Cooper Dean was today!] You’re marked that way in Baptism because in Baptism the seal of God was put upon your forehead. The Seal of God is His own name, and you were baptized into that Name in the water and Word of Holy Baptism.
You really are clothed. Clothed with Christ’s own righteousness. Clothed in His white robe that He won for you at Calvary, and delivered to you[—even to Cooper—]at the font. “Anyone who is baptized into Christ has been clothed with Christ.”
You are washed. The rosy-red water from His spear-pierced side flowed over you at the font. The blood of the Lamb made you holy through the “washing of water with the word.” You’re “nourished” with it, too. No more “hungering or thirsting for righteousness.” Jesus’ body and blood in His Holy Supper for you. “They shall be satisfied.”
The blessings given to the saints in Revelation 7 are given to you. You’re saints! In Jesus you are. YOU’RE MARKED, CLOTHED, AND WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB.
((II. This means salvation for you at the End.))
And this means salvation’s yours at the end, at the end of the world. As it said in our reading, “Don’t judge the earth until we seal God’s servants on their forehead.” Why? So that they will be marked for eternal salvation and not judgment.
This is received by faith. When Jesus marks, clothes, and washes, faith receives it as a gift. Faith doesn’t look to its own works, like trying to make up for our mistakes, failures, or sins. Faith doesn’t just live however we want. Neither are very saintly. That’s rejecting His Name, His holiness, His washing. Both works righteousness and worldly living reject what the Lamb has done for us.
Trusting what Jesus has done for us, eternal life isn’t ours just at the end of the world, but also at the end of our life, when God “will take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.” When our body dies, we will be with Him, but on the Last Day He will also resurrect us from the dead. Death and “tribulation” won’t end us. The Lord’s too good for that to happen. Oh, we may die, but so what? Jesus died. He rose. He’ll raise you, too. He’s marked, clothed, and washed you, of course He’ll raise you, too.
((III. Revelation 7 is your now and not yet.))
YOU’RE MARKED, CLOTHED, AND WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. The promises of Revelation 7 are yours now and not yet. One day, from where you’re sitting right now, they will be. One day, you’ll die. One day, you’ll rise from the dead. Then when there are no more day, you’ll live with Jesus “sheltered in His presence.”
The promises of Revelation 7 are also yours right now by faith and through the Gifts. Jesus marks, clothes, and washes you in His blood right now. All the saints are gathered here today. In Holy Communion, we are united in the body and blood of Jesus for us, and so we are united with all those who’ve been marked, clothed, and washed in His blood.
Today , “all the company of heaven” is here with us, those we love are here—“angels and archangels,” too. Jesus is here today to give us His blood yet again, and where He is, there they are. There’s only “one holy church.” There’s the “communion of saints.” It’s all rooted in one place—Jesus. His doing. His saving. His marking, clothing, and washing in His own blood.
“Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain, whose blood set us free to be people of God.” Jesus Christ is that “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” “He died for [you], and shed His blood for [you] on the cross” “for the forgiveness of sins.” Saints are those who are made holy, washed in that blood, who’ve been clothed with Christ’s own righteousness, and marked with God’s own name on their foreheads.
That’s you[, even Cooper]: MARKED, CLOTHED, AND WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. Jesus did it all for you: at Calvary, at the Font, again today at His Supper where He gives out His body and blood.
He brings us into His temple, today. “With angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven.” [(It’s why there used to be angels painted around the altar.)] Jesus gives us food and drink, leading us to “streams of living water.” It’s also not yet, though. And so, “the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ will strengthen and keep you in body and soul unto life everlasting.” He’ll surely do it, and “wipe away every tear from your eye,” too.