Think Spot – 20 April 2020
The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6.
When man perceives his sins and is completely terror-stricken in his conscience, he must be on his guard that his sins do not remain in his conscience. Just as our sins flow out from a meditation upon the sufferings of Christ and we become conscious of them, so we should pour them again upon him and set our conscience free. Therefore see well to it that you act not like perverted people, who bite and devour themselves with their sins in their hearts, and run here and there with their good works or their own satisfaction, even work themselves out of this condition by means of indulgences, and thus try to rid themselves of their sins, which is impossible. Such false refuge of satisfaction and pilgrimages has spread far and wide.
Cast your sins from yourself upon Christ, believe with a joyful spirit that your sins are his sufferings and wounds, that he carries them and makes satisfaction for them. For if you do not take this course, you will never quiet your heart and secure peace, but you must finally despair in doubt. For if we deal with our sins in our conscience and let them continue within us and cherish them in our hearts, they become much too strong for us to manage and will live forever. But when we see that they are laid on Christ and that he has triumphed over them by his resurrection, and we fearlessly believe it, then they are dead and have become as nothing. In his sufferings Christ made known our sins and crucified them; but by his resurrection he makes us righteous and free from all sin.
Now if you are not able to believe this, you should pray to God for faith. For this is a matter in the hands of God, and is bestowed at times knowingly and at times secretly. Now bestir yourself not to behold Christ's sufferings any longer, but press through all difficulties and behold his friendly heart, how full of love it is toward you, which love constrained him to bear the heavy load of your conscience and of your sin. Then will your heart be glad and loving toward him, and the assurance of your faith be strengthened.
(An excerpt taken from "Devotional Readings From Luther's Works For Every Day Of The Year" By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.