Daily Reformation, 3 John 2-5
From the Reformer
According to Leviticus 16, the high priest must once a year enter into the holy place with the blood of rams and other offerings, and with these make formal reconciliation for the people. This ceremony typified that Christ, the true Priest, should once die for us, to obtain for us the true atonement. But the former sacrifice, having to be repeated every year, was but a temporary and imperfect atonement; it did not eternally suffice, as does the atonement of Christ. For though we fall and sin repeatedly, we have confidence that the blood of Christ does not fall, or sin; it remains steadfast before God, and the expiation is perpetual and eternal. Under its sway grace is perpetually renewed, without work or merit on our part, provided we do not stand aloof in unbelief.
—Martin Luther, Assorted Sermons, “Christ Our Great High Priest”
Pulling It Together
Dom Augustin Guillerand said, “God will know how to draw glory even from our faults. Not to be downcast after committing a fault is one of the marks of true sanctity.” Indeed, saintliness was never dependent upon you but upon God’s work, despite you. Luther is correct: though you fall repeatedly (admit it), Christ does not fall. And so, the saint is one who simply follows the Master—though perhaps with a limp. Pick yourself up and obey the command: “Follow me.” Limp on!
First I will rest awhile, Lord, or, After I get over my embarressment. No! The sanctified follows without a fuss. It does not matter how bad she appears to some; what matters to Jesus is that she follows. Of course, the longer she follows, limping or not, the better she appears to others. Christians mature through the perseverance of getting up and walking on—not because perseverence is a terrific quality that automatically makes one a better person. The perseverence of the saints simply keeps them close to Jesus. That is how God fulfills your promise.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers