August 15, 2022     8:15 am
131. Week of Sixth Sunday in Lent - Thursday
One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear
          This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.   1 John 5:6
          In Deut. 21:22,23 you may read that it was forbidden to let the bodies of hanged criminals remain upon the tree overnight, lest the land be defiled. And remember the day on which Christ died was the day preceding the great Easter Sabbath, called Preparation. Therefore the chief council sent to Pilate, and asked him to order the legs of the crucified to be broken and their bodies taken away. So the soldiers broke the legs of the two criminals who were crucified with Christ. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was dead already, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. The Apostle John was an eyewitness of this. And in his Gospel, where he tells of this occurrence, he says: "And he that saw it bares record, and his record is true, and he knows that he speaks truly, that you might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled: 'A bone of Him shall not be broken.' And again another scripture says: 'They shall look on Him whom they pierced.'" All the details of the death of Jesus proved that He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, prophesied and typified in the Old Testament, and that He is the Christ Jehovah, whom they were to pierce. (Exod. 12:46; Zech. 12:10.) Thus the blood and water that flowed from the cleft side of Jesus is the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness of which Zechariah prophesies. (Zech. 13:1.) And this fountain flows for us in Baptism and in the Lord's Supper. For when John says that Christ comes by water and blood, he means by water Baptism and by blood the Lord's Supper. And in the Word, too, which is spirit, the Saviour comes to us and makes the fountain flow for us therein. And the Word, which is spirit, convinces us through the divine power of the Spirit dwelling within it that this Word is truth, and so kindles saving faith within us.
          PRAYER: - Lord Jesus, Who suffered Your heart to be cleft that from it the fountain might flow which cleanses us from all sin and uncleanness, to the end that we poor sinners may stand before God righteous and be saved. I give thanks to You that You cause this fountain to flow freely in the Word, in Baptism and in Holy Communion. Grant me Your Holy Spirit, dear Saviour, that I may always eagerly seek Your salvation in these means of grace, in order that I may inherit life eternal which You have purchased for me at so great a price. Amen.

First Part : Festival Season
August 15, 2022     8:15 am