So Jesus said to the Twelve, "Do you want to go away as well?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and come to know, that You are the Holy One of God." John 6:67-69
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Dear friends of our Risen Lord:
On this Good Friday, I extend to you grace and peace, which is ours from God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and our crucified and risen Savior.
Different people follow Jesus for different reasons. Some follow Him because they think they can get something out of Him; others follow Him because they want to get rich, and yet others follow Him because they have problems. Those problems range from the financial to physical deformity. True, these folks all follow Jesus, but do they follow Him for the right reason? And if He disappoints them, will they stop following Him?
When Jesus was teaching, some of the great crowds that had been following Him left because they were disturbed by His hard sayings. Turning to His closest disciples, Jesus asked if they too would leave Him. Peter's answer, our text above, is a wonderful confession. By the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter answered Jesus and stated a truth that has been repeated by the faithful over the centuries. Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Holy One of God, the single Individual in history whose words and actions give forgiveness and eternal life to sinners.
Today much of Christendom remembers the price God's innocent Son paid, so we might be saved. Having kept God's Law perfectly and having rejected all of Satan's temptations, Jesus shouldered our sins and carried them to Calvary. That path took Him through betrayal, lies, beatings, a whipping, a crown of thorns, and repeated unfair trials. All this He endured so that we might -- like Peter -- be able to confess that Jesus has the words of eternal life.
Today we confess our sins which took Jesus to the cross. We repent of our words, our thoughts and actions, which have distanced us from our Creator. But we also look forward to and confess the joy that is revealed in Jesus' resurrection at the empty tomb. Because our Savior is unlike any other person in any other religion, His followers are blessed with a joy that is not found in any other religion.
This is why on this black Friday we give thanks that we have been brought to faith in the Redeemer.
In humility we remember we follow Him not because of our merits but because of what He has done for us. We follow Him because we've heard the good news about Him and with Holy Spirit-given faith, are now called the children of God and heirs in His Kingdom. We follow Him because of what He has done for His people both now and in eternity. We follow Him because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
We follow Him because He is the sacrificed Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
THE PRAYER: Lord, for sins forgiven we give thanks. For the Savior who has died and risen we praise You. Now may we be given the courage to rightly confess our faith and follow Him who has the words of eternal life. This we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Siza Lugojolo who, since 2010, has served as the director of our Lutheran Hour Ministries office in South Africa. Mr. Lugojolo has a degree in commerce, a master's degree in business leadership and a diploma in theology from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Tshwane. Before He joined Lutheran Hour Ministries-South Africa, he was a financial accountant at Central Rand Gold Ltd. Established in Johannesburg in 1961, LHM-South Africa employs emerging technologies in its innovative social media and text-message ministries. It also uses LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC), dramatic presentations and regularly visits inmates at Johannesburg's prisons.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries