Lent 3, Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Readings: Deuteronomy 6:4-13; Hebrews 5:1-14
Catechism emphasis: Lord’s Prayer: 2nd Petition and 3rd Petition
4 ” Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 10 ” So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 “houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full— 12 “then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13 “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name.
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness. 3 Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins. 4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.” 6 As He also says in another place: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek”; 7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,” 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Lord’s Prayer: Second Petition and Third Petition
THE SECOND PETITION: Thy kingdom come.
What does this mean? The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also.
How does God’s kingdom come? God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.
THE THIRD PETITION: Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
What does this mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.
How is God’s will done? God’s will is done when He breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God’s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will.
IN THE NAME OF JESUS.
Jesus gives us the Lord’s Prayer—it’s a gift! Would we even really know how to pray, but that he gives us the words to speak? The disciples, recognizing this, say to Jesus,
“Lord, Teach us to pray.”
And Jesus answers,
“When you pray, say, ‘Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, . . .’”
and the rest of the Lord’s Prayer.
When Jesus tells us to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come,” for what is Jesus bidding us to pray? The Catechism reminds us that there are two ways in which we understand the coming of our Lord’s Kingdom.
The first way is here in time, in our daily lives. Here in our daily lives, the kingdom of God comes to us through word and faith. So in this petition of the Lord’s Prayer we are praying that God’s kingdom would come to us when the Gospel is preached, and by the Gospel our sins are forgiven, and then that Gospel is received by us in faith, so that the word would live in us and work in our lives, so that by that word of Gospel, we would be cleansed of all sin and the Holy Spirit would dwell with us, the devil would be cast down, and we would live in blessedness and righteousness before the Lord.
The second way the kingdom of God comes to us is in eternity, forever, at the final coming of Christ Jesus, when he gathers all his people unto himself.
So at the point of the Second Petition of the Creed, “Thy Kingdom Come,” the Catechism asks the question,
“How does God’s kingdom come?”
And it answers,
“God’s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us his Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity.”
“Godly lives here in time and there in eternity.”
Our lives are godly when they have been sanctified and cleansed.
When Jesus was in the flesh, the letter the Hebrews tells us, he offered up prayers and petitions for you and me. Hebrews 5:7:
In the days of His flesh, [Jesus] offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and [he] was heard.
What was Jesus praying to his Father for on our behalf? That we would be sanctified, that we would be made holy.
Our lives are sanctified when the sacrifice has been paid for our sins, and that is the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Christ Jesus the Righteous. In that sacrifice, our lives are ransomed out of sin and into the kingdom of God, and the petition Jesus teaches us to speak to his Father is answered:
“Thy kingdom Come.”
Now, in Lent, we look back at the cross, and we see what it was all about, what it accomplished: the humiliation of Jesus, the prosecution of an innocent man, the murder of the Son of God on the cross, it was all about our King, Jesus, taking his Throne upon the cross, ransoming his people with his own blood, and teaching us to pray to his Father, Thy kingdom come.
It is the kingdom of mercy and grace, the kingdom of sin forgiven and shame removed, the kingdom of the Lord’s kindness and love, it is the kingdom delivered to us now, in time, in our Lord’s word of the Gospel of all sins forgiven, and received in the faith created in us by the Holy Spirit, and received on the last day and in eternity, as our Lord Jesus comes again to judge the living and the dead, gathering all his people unto himself.
IN THE NAME OF JESUS.