Home » District Presidents, District Presidents, Headline

And that’s a fact

July 7, 2014 No Comment

by Don Schiemann

Rev. Don Schiemann

President Don Schiemann

It’s hard to avoid being a statistic nowadays. One way or another, we are all counted. Statistically, some of us tend to be in a certain age bracket; we will have certain political persuasions; we will be in favour of or against a certain candidate or proposal; we will have a greater or lesser propensity to heart disease or cancer; we will be a good or a dangerous driver. We could go on, but you get the idea.

There are some statistics which are universal and do not require much study: 100 percent of people need oxygen, food and water to survive; all of us age; and every one of us will die.

There will come a time when the body no longer has the strength to sustain the life that God gave to it at conception. It may happen as a result of illness, heart attack, or catastrophic trauma, but the end result is that life can no longer be sustained. At that time, the soul is separated from the body.

Jesus, the Son of God, experienced our death. As the Scriptures testify and we confess in our creeds, “He was crucified, died and was buried.” Make no mistake—Jesus suffered tremendous physical agony. There was, however, another dimension to His suffering. The apostle Peter reminds us: “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24).

In other words, Jesus also suffered the consequence of our sinfulness and sins. His death was payment to atone for the sins of the whole world. St. Paul describes the divine exchange that took place at the cross: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). All who through faith believe and receive this precious gift are considered as holy and righteous redeemed children of God for the sake of His Son.

The good news of the Gospel doesn’t stop there. Three days after His death, Jesus was raised from the dead. Jesus had promised to His friend Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25). That promise has been extended to all believers in Christ: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection” (Romans 6:3-5). In short, just as we have been connected to Christ in His death, we have been connected to Him in His resurrection.

God is not bound by human statistics. In fact, He has statistics of His own which were signed and sealed to us in the death and resurrection of His Son and delivered to us in our baptism.

God is not bound by human statistics. In fact, He has statistics of His own which were signed and sealed to us in the death and resurrection of His Son and delivered to us in our baptism. “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Through Christ, death begins to unravel. By the power of His saving word He has planted the seed of everlasting life in our dying bodies. On the last day of history, God will call us out of our graves and the dust and ashes of our remains will be called back to life. Soul and body shall be re-united and all believers, in the presence of our Lord, will experience the “fullness of joy” promised in the Bible.

Here’s a divine statistic filled with hope and promise: He that believes and is baptized shall be saved. Grant this, Lord, unto us all.

———————

Rev. Don Schiemann is President of the Alberta-British Columbia District of Lutheran Church–Canada.