Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sunday, 03/04/12

New Testament: Romans 6:3-14
Old Testament: Genesis 41:14-45
Gospel: John 5:19-24
Psalms: 24, 29, 8, 84

Paul writes, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized unto Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead...even so we also should walk in newness of life.” 

This book of Paul’s letter repeats an image of death.  When anyone repeats the same idea, he’s saying, “Listen! Listen, even you who may not believe.  I’m talking to you!”  Perhaps Paul mentions death to reach out to those who feel most harshly the burden of sin, or who feel sin as a sickness unto death, or perhaps he mentions death to reach those who feel guilt so deep as to be inescapable, as to be in despair. 

When Paul says “he that is dead is freed from sin,” perhaps those very words are intended to pick up yet another listener.  Perhaps he is saying that this means it is for you, too, no matter how bad you feel your sins may be. 

Paul contrasts the affliction of sinfulness and death, with the answer he believes our Lord provides, which is grace and life.  This tells me that one’s sinful burden can die, as Paul says, “…that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed...”

JE

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