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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 130

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From the Word: From that time, Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scholars, and be killed, and the third day be resurrected. (Matthew 16:21)

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: In order to emphasize the fact of Jesus’ death, the creed states that he was buried. Burial is necessary for those who are truly human and have died. In other words, Jesus was not an apparition; he was a man who had actually died. And so, he was buried, as the Scripture states and the Creed confesses.

The importance of this accentuated history is that Jesus did indeed suffer and die for our sins. That he was buried stresses the reality of his death. It also underscores the reason for his dying. His death is a fulfillment of the scriptures (1 Cor 15:3–4). Through his suffering and death, Jesus satisfied God over the matter of our sin, paying him what our iniquity had left in the balance. This was God’s requirement and Jesus’ mission (John 3:16). God in the flesh satisfied his own requirements of holiness and justified the world to himself.

Prayer: Help me, O Lord, to take up my own cross and follow you. Amen.

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Family Matters is a nine-session Bible study that focuses on the first generations of God's people—Abraham and his descendants. It looks at how God's covenant promise sustained them as they navigated family relationships.

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