Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, 1739
‘Jesus, be endless praise to thee, Whose boundless mercy hath for me—For me a full atonement made, An everlasting ransom paid.’
Lord, your Word is so honest with us,
So emphatic in its declaration that by our observance of your law there is no one who can be justified in your sight;
Rather it is through the law that we become conscious of our sin.
It is like a mirror,
And when we look into that mirror, we see our faults.
The more closely we study it, the more our faults appear.
The law condemns us, and it offers us no forgiveness.
It confronts us with our sin,
But has nothing to say about pardon and justification.
But we thank you that in your great mercy you have not left us in the hands of the law.
We thank you that alongside of it there is a Redeemer,
One who, knowing the full extent of our guilt, took it all upon himself,
that he might atone for it by his precious blood.
We thank you that because his amazing sacrifice,
we, who stand condemned before the law,
can be forgiven,
can have our stains wholly washed out,
can come to be clothed in a righteousness
not of own but from Christ himself
—his own righteousness—
and in him we can come to stand before you faultless.
We thank you that through faith in him that righteousness and forgiveness become ours.
Thank you that so many of us here have come to know you as the God of salvation, the God who, through the cross, has put us into a right relationship with himself.
We pray for others here who have not yet come to Calvary and to the Son of God.
May they have grace to do so even this day,
and may those of your people who,
notwithstanding your great goodness, have sinned, again find fresh forgiveness through the same blood of Jesus Christ.
For our Savior’s sake, we pray.