Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval. John 6:27
I once heard the story of a man who had come upon really hard times. His business was falling apart, his wife was leaving him because of financial problems, and he couldn’t meet the mortgage payments on his home. Understandably, he had a difficult time keeping his mind on what he was doing. One day, as he drove to work, he was involved in a car accident. It was his fault, and soon a policeman was writing out a ticket and an ambulance was coming to pick up the guy in the other car. He looked up to heaven and said, “Lord, why me?” And, according to the story—and I want you to understand it is a made-up story—a big voice came booming from up above and said, “Well, the truth is, there’s something about you that just ticks me off.”
There is nothing about us that deserves God’s approval (Ecclesiastes 7:20). He is perfect; we are not (Leviticus 11:44). He is holy; we are hell-bent (Romans 6:23). No matter how good our performance, no matter how beautifully we live our lives, it’s not enough to earn God’s seal of approval. So that we might receive God’s seal of approval and be forgiven of our sins, Jesus fulfilled all the laws we had broken, took the punishment we had earned, died the death that we deserved. Because of what He has done, all who believe on Him as their Savior, their Substitute, have salvation.
It’s that simple. Martin Luther wrote many wonderful things, but none more clearly than these words, which describe the work of Jesus: “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death [Why?] that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness.” (From Luther’s Small Catechism.)
So why did Jesus do this for us? So that you and I, forgiven sinners, might have God’s seal of approval. He lived, died, and rose so that we might enjoy a life that is changed in time and in eternity.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on September 7, 2003
The Prayer: Our Holy Father, You alone are Lord. I want to stop and reflect on that statement for a moment because there have been so many times I didn't give You the time You deserve. You are holy and worthy to be praised. Lord, please work in me today and all the days of my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.