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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Most Important Part of the Passion -- Luther

Jesus before Caiaphas

"Dear friends, you have heard how all of these things happened for our sake. It was for us that our dear Lord Jesus Christ took upon himself this burden of indescribable distress of soul and mind, not for his own sake, but rather for our sake. No one forced him to do that, neither an angel nor a devil, for he said, I could have summoned twelve legions of angels. But he was determined that by his suffering he would save us, just as it was for our benefit that he did everything, including the conquest of hell and death. "

"And that is the most important part of the passion of Christ, which was a spiritual suffering far greater than any kind of physical and temporaal suffering which result in the dying of our five senses. But spiritual suffering, which is experienced by a person's heart and soul, that is a torture immeasurably greater than physical death. That is why Christ, through his agony in the Garden, took upon himself the poison and bitter hatred of the devil. At the same time he also took upon himself the full wrath and condemnation of our Lord God and drained that cup to the dregs, so that we would not have to suffer those things, or, even if we might be asked to bear suffering, being in Christ, we would be able to bear that suffering and overcome it. God wants us to seek our comfort and consolation in that fact, and then, if spiritual terrors and despair do attack us, cling to our baptism in that man who for our sake has overcome all such suffering. This we must firmly believe and not harbor any doubts about it."

The second part of the passion... "in the house of Caiaphas false witnesses were brought forward to level charges against him..."

Second Sermon, Holy Week, Martin Luther, 25 March 1534. Sermons of Martin Luther: House Postils, 387-388.

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