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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 127

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From the Word: 22 And he said to them the third time, “Why? What evil has this man done? I have found no guilt in him deserving death. I will therefore chastise him and release him.” 23 But they lobbied with loud voices, demanding that he be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate resolved that their demand should be granted. (Luke 23:22–24) 

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Jesus, innocent man and holy God, was condemned to suffer the cruelest death the Romans had at their disposal. He would be crucified. His crucifixion was mere expedience in Pilate’s mind; it would silence the mob. Yet, the rabble continues to shout. Humanity’s sin persists in its piercing petition for the death of its Savior.

Nonetheless, Jesus, only Savior of a lost and condemned world, has already died. His death was no expedience, but a suitable sacrifice to God, one that redeems the world, and frees it from sin and death. This redemption is received through faith in Christ Jesus, the holy and innocent God-man, who suffered and died so that we might live—forever.

Prayer: Thank you again, Lord Jesus, for your obedience, even to the point of death on the cross. Amen.

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The Spiritual Realms is a nine-session Bible Study series on Heaven and Hell and places beyond this world. Specifically, the study looks at the many “place names” that are found throughout Scripture, referring to spiritual realms of existence that underlie and comprise the universe God created. This Bible Study series is a challenging one, in that it explores realities of existence beyond what we know and experience everyday.

The study not only addresses matters of life, death, heaven and hell, it steadfastly affirms that Jesus Christ is at the center of all these things. Our ultimate faith and hope rest in Christ’s death and resurrection for our sake. We live in faith by the biblical promise that: “God raised the Lord, and will also raise us up by his power” (1 Cor 6:14).

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