Sexagesima Week – Tuesday
I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Savior. — Isaiah 43:11.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying: “Master, which is the great commandment of the Law?” (Matthew 22:36). Jesus said unto him: “Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
So, instead of walking into the open trap, and setting one commandment above the other, our Lord recited the sum of all commandments and of all their explanations, which is the love toward God and love toward the neighbor. But who dare boast of this love? Who can thereby become righteous before God and be saved? Not one. Now, while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them: “What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?” (v. 42a). They said unto Him: “The Son of David” (v. 42b). He said unto them: “How, then, doth David, in spirit, call Him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool?’ If David, then, call Him Lord, how is He his Son? ” (vv. 43-45). And no man was able to answer Him a word. And the testings came to an end, for a time.
True, Christ is the Son of David. But, at the same time, Christ is He who, through the prophet, said: “I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Savior” (Isaiah 43:11). Just as Jesus had recited perfectly the two great commandments of the Law, that is, the First and Second Tables, He had come to fulfill them. And in order to do this on our behalf, the Messiah needed to become true Man. As the disobedience of one man, namely Adam, caused many to be judged as sinners, the perfect obedience to God’s commands by one Man, namely the Son of David, the Messiah, would result in many being judged “righteous” (Romans 5:19b). But Christ is also true God, David’s Lord, so that His fulfillment of the Law might be sufficient for all people, so that the righteousness obtained and acquired by His obedience would avail before the Father’s throne, so that “as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21). And Jesus is the Lord who became David’s Son and our only Savior. And He, through His vicarious life, suffering, death, and resurrection, procured for us that righteousness which we sinners could never bring about by our own fulfillment of the Law.
Let us continue to look to and continue to receive Him in faith; then shall we remain righteous before God and enjoy the wonderful gift of life eternal.
PRAYER. O Jesus Christ, my Lord and God, Lord and God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and David, and of all who in all ages desired Thy salvation, I give thanks to Thee, for Thou hast kept Thy gracious Word, and, by Thy salutary birth and by Thy bitter suffering and death, did make Thyself our Savior. Truly, besides Thee there is no Savior. Grant that by Thy Holy Spirit, continuing to work through Thy Word, I may continue to bow my knees before Thee in firm confidence, and continue to be and remain a partaker of Thy salvation, who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, art true God, blessed forever. Amen.
Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, great David’s greater Son!
Hail, in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free;
to take away transgression, and rule in equity.
(Hymn 59, st.1; TLH)