Fourth Sunday in Lent – Sunday
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. – Ephesians 6:11.
About the dawn of Friday morning the Sanhedrin, the chief council, convened again to devise some concerted action in bringing this matter concerning Jesus before the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.
Their verdict that Jesus was guilty of death needed to be confirmed by him; for only he could order the execution to take place. And then Jesus was bound and taken to Pontius Pilate, into the Hall of Judgment. – When Judas, who had betrayed his Master, saw that He was condemned, he repented himself, took the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, from whom he had received them, and said: “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood,” whereupon they said: “What is that to us? See thou to that.” And he cast down the pieces of silver in the Temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. – And the chief priests took the silver pieces and said: “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.”
And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field to bury strangers in. Therefore that field was called, the Field of Blood. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me,” Zechariah 11:12-13.
Such was the frightful end of Christ’s betrayer. In desperation he “went to his own place”—hell.
Guard your soul, O Christian, against consenting to do any sin whatsoever. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For how does the devil go about it? First he makes sin appear sweet, small, trifling, and easy. He then leads man from one sin into another, blinding him and hardening his conscience. And finally, when he has reached the utmost stage, he shouts at him: “You are lost!” and drives him to utter despair.
Do withstand the first temptation, O Christian! Arm yourself with the Word of God! And when you realize that you have fallen into sin, flee to Jesus at once. He receives you and forgives your iniquity and helps you, according to the firm assurances of His Word.
PRAYER. – Keep me from the devil’s wiles, O my Lord and Savior! I cannot keep myself. Put on me Thy whole armor. Arm me with Thy Word and the Holy Spirit, and give me Thy strength. When I have sinned, draw me to Thee in penitence and faith, and forgive my sin, and satisfy me with the comfort of Thy salvation. And when my last hour comes, grant me a blessed end. Amen.
O Christ, turn not away from me,
Receive and hide me all in Thee,
Within Thy holy wounds inclose,
And keep me safe from all my foes.
In death’s dark hour with me abide,
And place me, Savior, at Thy side,
Where with Thy saints I shall adore
And praise Thee, Lord, forevermore.
Hymn 206, 4. 5. [ELHB]