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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

He Suffers for All

"It is our comfort (and we are therefore exhorted to take comfort in this) that this High Priest has prayed for you and me and for us all, for his crucifiers. For just as he suffers for us all, so he also prays for us all. Thus his crucifiers are not only the Jews and Gentiles, who at that time laid hands on him and nailed him to the cross, but also we ourselves and the whole world. For it was our sins which crucified him, wounded, and crowned him with thorns. Those crucifiers were simply our sins' servants and lackeys. Had your sins and mine not nailed Christ to the cross, those crucifiers would have had to let him alone. Christ is there the true Priest and Lamb of God paying for the sins and death of the whole world with his offering... For that reason his prayer covers the entire world. When Christ prays for those who crucify him, he is praying for all men, also for us who by our sins were the cause of his cross and death; and he does not pray for our condemnation but for our salvation."

--Martin Luther, "Fourth Holy Week Sermon," 2 April 1534. Luther's House Postils, vol. 1, 424-425.

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