I know it’s early but this weekend we remember Reformation Day. The day a monk named Martin Luther stood before the authorities and stood firm upon the Word of God. You will find a lot of articles published today about what he said and how he said it and its impact on the world.
This isn’t one of those articles.
Martin Luther died at 3:00 AM on February 18, 1546 in Eisleben; the town where he was born. He didn’t die at the sight of his accomplishments, at Worms or Wittenberg, it wasn’t in a castle, or on the steps of a cathedral. It was slowly in his own bed, lucid and conscious. He calmly confessed his sins to Justus Jonas. Who recorded every detail of the experience, lest Luther’s enemies take advantage of his death. (Indeed the Roman Catholics did circulate a document that stated Luther’s last hours were spent screaming in terror and confession for his sins that harmed the church.)
What is the point of this? Luther died…but He died free.
Death for him was not terrifying, he did not fear it. He was not worried about hell or purgatory. He did not expect Satan to lay claim to his soul, or judgement at the hands of vengeful angels. He knew he was a slave to sin, but he also knew that the Son had set him free.
Death to Luther was the final release. Liberation Day. An escape beyond the reaches of sin and Satan forever more. Whatever Luther was, whatever he was guilty of, whatever his reputation, to God he was a child adopted by the blood of Christ, to Jesus he was a brother, and through the power of the Holy Spirit he was a justified and sanctified soul.
Through the same faith, so are you. You have nothing to fear. Because of God’s mercy and forgiveness you are more than just a child of God, you are an heir of everlasting life. God’s wrath for sin has been poured out on Christ, what remains is his love for you.
Now you live in that love. And like Luther you will die in that love.
Say it with me in your best spooky Halloween voice “The Grave calls for you!”
It does…but it has no power over you anymore. You have been given a new life.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Cor 4:16-18 (ESV)
Sin taints me,
The Devil condemns me,
But death…death has no hold on me.
Happy Halloween, and a Blessed Reformation Day