Show us your steadfast love, O Lord,
and grant us your salvation.
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints;
but let them not turn back to folly.
Yes, the Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase. Psalm 85:7-8, 12
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. Proverbs 30:5-6
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,“Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
. . . Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.John 20:19-23, 30-31
Now, someone may say: Look, my friend, you are saying a lot about faith, and claiming that our salvation depends solely upon it; now, I ask you, how does one come to faith? I will tell you. Our Lord Christ said, “Peace be with you. Behold My hands, etc.” [John 20:26-27]. [In other words, He is saying:] Look, man, I am the only one who has taken away your sins and redeemed you, etc.; now be at peace. Just as you inherited sin from Adam–not that you committed it, for I did not eat the apple, anymore than you did, and yet this is how we came to be in sin–so we have not suffered [as Christ did], and therefore we were made free from death and sin by God’s work, not by our works. Therefore God says: Behold, man, I am your redemption, etc. Christ is our justification and redemption, as Paul says in [I Corinthians 1:30]. [The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, pastor, theologian, reformer 1483-1546.]
DAILY PRAYER for FRIDAY
Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, we thank You . . . that You have redeemed us poor and condemned creatures not by any of our works, merit, or worthiness, but by Your holy suffering, death, and shedding of blood. O Lord, Your suffering was great, Your torment was heavy; we cannot comprehend how may Your stripes, how deep Your wounds, or the bitterness and painfulness of Your death! How inexpressible is Your love that reconciled us to Your heavenly Father. In great fear of death, You sweat blood on the Mount of Olives, drops of blood that fell upon the earth, and there, abandoned by all Your disciples, You willingly gave Yourself into the hands of those who led You mercilessly, bound hard and cruel, from one unjust judge to another. You were falsely accused and condemned, spit upon, scoffed at, and struck in the face with fists. For the sake of our misdeeds, You were hit, whipped, crowned with thorns, and treated wretchedly—like a worm and not a man. You were despised and rejected by men, a Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief, so that even a heathen heart took pity and said, “Behold the man!” For the sake of our sin You were counted a sinner and hung up between two evildoers as a curse. You were pierced in hands and feet with nails, and in Your highest thirst You were given vinegar and gall to drink. Finally, in great pain, You gave up Your spirit so that You could pay our debt and we could be healed by Your wounds.
O Lord Jesus Christ, for this and all Your other suffering and pain, we give You thanks and praise. We pray You, let Your holy, bitter suffering and death not be lost on us, but grant that at all times this may be our comfort, and that we may boast in it; and that as we ponder it, all evil desire in us may be snuffed out and subdued, and all virtue may be implanted and increased, so that we, having died to sin, may live in righteousness, following the example You have left us, walking in Your footsteps, enduring evil with patience, and suffering injustice with a good conscience. Amen.