Pastor's Pen for 03/07/2018Jesus began to show his disciples that he MUST go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. (Matthew 16)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Jesus MUST go to the Cross. It is NECESSARY. There is no other way for you salvation. Adam and Eve had to leave God's presence – after the Fall into sin. Children of Adam – the Fall into sin corrupts us all – we are born sinful and unclean. As sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. (Romans 5)

Jesus’ face is set resolutely on the Cross. Jesus marches to His death. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. (John 1) God's righteous anger burns against sin. I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me. (Exodus 20)

The Holy God coming in judgment against law-breaking-sinners. God pours His wrath into the cup – the Cup of Wrath. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs. (Psalm 75)

Hours before Christ’s Crucifixion, Jesus prayed. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26) Jesus prays this three times. THY WILL BE DONE. Jesus takes the cup filled with the wrath of God and He drinks it down to the dregs. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5)

On Good Friday's Tree all the sins of the world are buried in the Body of Christ. Jesus kills your sin on the Cross. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. (1 Timothy 1)

Golgotha by Munkácsy Mihály (1884)
Golgotha by Munkácsy Mihály (1884).  Oil on canvas on display at the Déri Museum in the eastern Hungarian city of Debrecen.  

Christ prays from the Cross Jesus for you. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23)

This Holy Absolution is the same one proclaimed to you each week by your Pastors. Pastors are sent by God to proclaim to the penitent sinner that their sins are forgiven. That is the GOSPEL.

You are to believe God's Word that is faithfully preached into your ears and hearts. This same forgiveness that Jesus has finished in His death is what the Christian lives in. Hearing and believing that your sins are forgiven ALL FOR CHRIST’S SAKE.

God's steadfast love that endures forever. This forgiveness is the GOSPEL TREASURE. You are to speak this word of forgiveness one to another. As Jesus taught you in the Lord's Prayer. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4)

You have been reconciled to God. Living in the forgiveness of sin. Speak this forgiveness to those who sin against you. Happy life free from all your sin. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Rev. Lance D. Berndt is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church ( in Omaha, NE.