Lent 2019
                  The Seed (Child) of the Woman, Jesus of Nazareth,
                Vanquishes the Devil’s Rule Over Men by His Passion.

            During the Season of Lent, Concordia will meditate on the Promised Seed (Child) of the woman who would vanquish by His Passion the devil’s rule over men through sin.

            After the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, God immediately announced man’s redemption through the Seed (Child) of the woman who would vanquish by His Passion the reign of the devil over men through sin.  Moses writes:  “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her [Seed]; [He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.”·

            Christ’s Passion is revealed by Moses when Moses writes that Christ’s Heel was bruised.  Christ was wounded for our sins and the sins of all men.  Christ suffered and died for the sins of the world.  Yet even though Christ suffered, He nevertheless rose again from the dead on third day, vanquishing death, sin, and the power of the devil.

            Christ’s Passion crushed the head of the serpent.  The power of the serpent (the devil) over men was sin.  The Man Jesus Christ Atoned for sin.  Christ, therefore, dethroned the devil’s tyranny over men by His Passion.  The Apostle St. John writes:  “Jesus answered and said, … Now is the judgment of this world:  now shall the prince of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will drawl all men unto me.  This he said, signifying what death he should die.”  St. John 12:30, 31-33.

            The Seed (Child) of the Woman descended through time and over the generations through Lamech (Genesis 5:29), Noah (Genesis 9:26), Abraham (Genesis 12:3), Isaac (Genesis 26:3-4), Jacob (Genesis 28:14), Judah, (Genesis 49:8-10), David (II Samuel 7:14), and finally the Virgin St. Mary (St. Luke 2:4-5).  Luther writes:
    “Now to strengthen this faith, God has promised this gospel and testament in many ways, by the prophets in the Old Testament, as St. Paul says in Romans 1[:1], 'I am set apart to preach the gospel of God which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David,' etc.
    “To mention some of these places: God gave the first promise when he said to the serpent, in Genesis 3[:15], 'I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.' Christ is this woman’s seed, who has bruised the devil’s head, that is, sin, death, hell, and all his power. For without this seed, no man can escape sin, death, or hell.
    “Again, in Genesis 22[:18], God promised Abraham, 'Through your descendant shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.' Christ is that descendant of Abraham, says St. Paul in Galatians 3[:16]; he has blessed all the world, through the gospel [Gal. 3:8]. For where Christ is not, there is still the curse that fell upon Adam and his children when he had sinned, so that they all are necessarily guilty and subject to sin, death, and hell. Over against this curse, the gospel now blesses all the world by publicly announcing, 'Whoever believes in this descendant of Abraham shall be blessed.' That is, he shall be rid of sin, death, and hell, and shall remain righteous, alive, and saved forever, as Christ himself says in John 11[:26], 'Whoever believes in me shall never die.'
    “Again God made this promise to David in II Samuel 7[:12–14] when he said, 'I will raise up your son after you, who shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son,' etc. This is the kingdom of Christ, of which the gospel speaks: an everlasting kingdom, a kingdom of life, salvation, and righteousness, where all those who believe enter in from out of the prison of sin and death.
    “There are many more such promises of the gospel in the other prophets as well, for example Micah 5[:2], 'But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel'; and again, Hosea 13[:14], 'I shall ransom them from the power of hell and redeem them from death. O death, I will be your plague; O hell, I will be your destruction.'
    “The gospel, then, is nothing but the preaching about Christ, Son of God and of David, true God and man, who by his death and resurrection has overcome for us the sin, death, and hell of all men who believe in him. Thus the gospel can be either a brief or a lengthy message; one person can write of it briefly, another at length. He writes of it at length, who writes about many words and works of Christ, as do the four evangelists. He writes of it briefly, however, who does not tell of Christ’s works, but indicates briefly how by his death and resurrection he has overcome sin, death, and hell for those who believe in him, as do St. Peter and St. Paul.”  Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 35, Page 359-360.

         Christ’s Passion to save men from their sins is indicated in the words of St. Simeon to the Virgin St. Mary as he held the Savior in His arms:  "And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of man hearts may be revealed.”  St. Luke 2:34-35.  A sword pierced her soul because her Son died because His Soul was pierced for the sins of all men.  "Heshall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:  by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquites."  Isaiah 53:11.

            Jesus of Nazareth, the Seed (Child) of the Woman, vanquished the devil and his rule over men by sin by Atoning for sin by His Passion.

The Festival of Ash Wednesday (Observed):  “Men Store Up Eternal Treasures in Heaven by the Gospel through Faith.”

Vespers I:  “Christ, the Seed of the Woman, Liberated Men from the Devil’s Rule by Vanquishing the Serpent
                  through His Passion.”

Vespers II: “Christ, the Seed of the Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Blesses All Nations with Absolution and Salvation.”

Vespers III: “Christ, the Seed (Son) of David, Saves All Men by Suffering the Consequences of Their Sins for Them.”

Vespers IV:  “Jesus, the Seed (Son) of the Virgin St. Mary,  Fashioned David’s Gracious Throne by His Passion
                     to Save and Give Life Everlasting.”

The Festival of Maundy Thursday.

The Festival of Good Friday.
· The translation from the Hebrew in brackets is mine.