Malagasy Lutheran Church Song & Gospel 3rd Sunday before Easter – week of 23-28 March 2020 « The eternal covenant of redemption » *

The message: The main point of the theme ”the covenant of redemption” is the achievement of eternal redemption, which God gives to men in order for them to remain in God’s kingdom and not perish. For if men may go back on their word and the things they have agreed on, on the contrary, God remains faithful to His word and His pledge as it is written, ”If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” 2 Tim.2:13. It is written, indeed, ”God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Num.23:19. This is why Jesus fulfilled the redemption work, for ”the death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God” Rom 6:10. Accordingly Jesus says to those who believe and follow Him, ”Because I live, you also will live” Jn.14:19c. ”For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” Jn.6:40. Therefore eternal glory, eternal resurrection, and eternal inheritance is the portion that God gives to those who believe in Him. To this very end He made a covenant with them, which is ”the good portion that will not be taken away” (Lk.10:42 b), namely an unshakable covenant in agreement with His word, ”Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you” Is.54:10. For the covenant that God has made with His people was established and summarized through the shedding of the blood of His Son Jesus Christ, who ”was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” Rom 4:25. So both his death and his life were used by the Father to accomplish eternal redemption, for which He made a covenant.

Monday 23rd: The Messiah, “covenant of redemption” for men.
“I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people” Is.49:8b.
Reading 1: Mar.14:17-24. Reading 2: Isa.49:8-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Isa.49:8.
Introduction: God’s initial purpose is to be united with men, that’s why He created them to His own image (Gen.1:26). Unfortunately they have been separated from the Creator, and as a result of sin death rules over their lives since “the sting of death is sin” (1 Cor.15:56a). Neverthless He made a covenant of redemption through Jesus Christ, as it is written, “For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” Heb.2:17.

Tuesday 24rd: Happy are those who remain in the redemption of God.
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house;they are ever praising you” Ps.84:4.
Reading 1: Jn.8:31-35. Reading 2: Ps.84:1-4. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Ps.84:4.
Introduction: Those who dwell in the house of God enjoy perfect happiness, as the Psalmist says: “Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!” Ps.65:4a. This is the purpose of Jesus’s work of redemption, as He says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” Jn.14:3.

Wednesday 25th: Jesus is the garantor of redemption.
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” Jn.6:35.
Reading1: Ex.16:21-30 Reading 2: Jn.6:30-36. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.6:35.
Introduction: Jesus is the garantor of redemption for life. Indeed, it is written, “he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” 1 Jn.2:2. The redemption He accomplished aims to make us gain life. In this respect, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” Jn.10:11.

Thursday 26th: Eternal life is the redemption’s inheritance.
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life” Jn.6:27a.
Reading1: 1 Cor.15:13-22. Reading 2: Jn.6:24-29. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.6:27.
Introduction: “The food that endures for eternal life” is Jesus Christ who said, “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world,” “I am the bread of life” Jn.6:33,35a. Therefore He said of His sheep,“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” Jn.10:10b. So then, believe in Him, for “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life”Jn.3:36a.

Friday 27th: It is by faith that eternal redemption is received.
“And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die” Jn.11:26.
Reading1: Rev.14:12-16. Reading 2: Jn.11:17-27. Preaching 1(free choice). Preaching 2: Jn.11:25-26.
Introduction: The eternal redemption that Jesus gives is the power of life that overcomes sin and the work of the devil, the killer. In this regard, it is written, “He will swallow up death forever” (Is.25:8). Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Cor.15:54-55. This is received by faith, as “this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” 1 Jn.5:4b.

Saturday 28th: Receive the redemption that God gives.
“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” Jn.1:12.
Reading 1: Hos.11:1-11. Reading 2: Jn.1:6-13. Preaching 1 (free choice). Preaching 2: 2 Cor.6:17.
Introduction: The redemption that God gives freely is found in Jesus, according to what is written, “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” Rom.5:8. Therefore “Be reconciled with God” (2 Cor.5:20b) and live! Receive Jesus, the eternal redemption for us! (1 Cor.1:30)

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