INI + AMEN.
Τhe Lord Jesus finished His good work for you, for each of you. That’s Calvary, Good Friday. “It is finished.” That’s the empty tomb, Easter. He rose for you from the death He died for you. Now He lives and rules the universe on His Father’s throne for you. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” But the Lord’s not done working for you because the Lord’s not done working within you.
The Lord Jesus has begun His good work in you, in each of you. That’s His baptizing and teaching you. There He delivers all that He did for you, right to you. Jesus’ death and resurrection are made yours in Holy Baptism, as Paul says in Romans chapter 6. “Baptism now saves you,” Peter says. His Word does it, too. Through His Word, the Lord puts into your heart, soul, mind, and strength His Word of Law that kills your flesh and its evil desires, and He also delivers His Word of Gospel strengthens and enlivens your new self. You’re new. In Christ Jesus you’re new. In yourself, your flesh. But you’re in Christ, baptized into Him. And the Lord Jesus who began His good work in you, saving you, making you holy, will finish it at His coming on the Last Day.
Jesus is the disciple maker, He just uses us to do that. In John 4, “Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples).” How are disciples made? Water and Word (Baptism) and the preaching and teaching of His Word. That’s what Jesus has done for you. In His Holy-Spirit-filled Word and Gifts Jesus delivers right to you—over your forehead, into your ears, heart, mind, and strength—the forgiveness, life, and salvation His dead body on the cross and His empty tomb won for you.
You can reject it. You can choose other things. He’d love you enough to let that happen. Then you’d end up with a different sort of Lord. No longer the disciple-making Lord, who makes and protects and strengthens His disciples. You’d get the Jesus of the end of our Deuteronomy reading. He’s a jealous God, but He’d give you what want. Not Him. Then you’d have a world, a life—it might even be a good and successful one—but then on the Last Day you’d have an eternity without Him, too. Just what you wanted, destroying “you from off the face of the earth.”
Jesus is a jealous God because all He wants to do His save you and deliver His salvation to you. He died to make it happen, and He moved all of human history so that you’d have this place here today for His baptism to be given, His forgiveness got be delivered, His Gospel to be heard, and His body and blood to be received. “All authority in heaven on earth has been given to Me,” and He uses it to make sure He disciples you with His baptizing and delivering His Word to you.
Τhe Lord Jesus finished His good work for you, for each of you. That’s Calvary, Good Friday. “It is finished.” The Lord Jesus has begun His good work in you, in each of you. That’s His baptizing and teaching you. The Lord continues His good work within you. That’s Pentecost. “Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” “They clung to the fellowship of the breaking of the Bread.” “Teaching them to cherish all I’ve commanded you.” “Eat and drink; this is My body and blood given and shed for you.” That’s where He delivers His forgiveness to you for the rest of your life along with the promise that He will resurrect you on the Last Day. “Behold, I am with you always even until the end of the age.”
INI + AMEN.