In Him is Life

(by Rev. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD) 
Homily (Acts 13:26-33; Ps. 2; John 14:1-6)

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me’” (John 14:6).

Jesus Christ is the means set up by God for our salvation through his Paschal Mystery, his death and resurrection. This mystery gives us access to the Father and the forgiveness of our sins. “Though him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand” (Rom. 5:2). Jesus Christ is the one “in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him” (Eph. 3:12). He is the way that leads us to God. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6), for “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Through his death on the cross for our sins, where he suffered their punishment for us, he has been exalted to the right hand of God to be the source of our repentance and forgiveness, the means God uses for the salvation of the world through faith in him. “God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39). Because he paid our debt of punishment for our sins on the cross, “every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name (Acts 10:43). Through him we also receive new life, eternal life, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. “Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this which you see and hear” (Acts 2:33). What one must therefore do is repent and be baptized: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

“Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3) in order to become the source of repentance and forgiveness of sins for the whole world. His death was necessary for our redemption, for it propitiated the wrath of God (Rom. 1:18; 5:9; Jn. 3:36) against us for our sins, thus expiating them. The risen Christ himself said, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations” (Lk. 24:46-47). By dying and rising he became for us the source of eternal life. “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life” (1 Jn. 5:12). “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him” (Jn. 3:36).

It is important to know Jesus Christ and believe in him to have divine life in us and the remission of our sins in his name. The Church’s mission is to make him known in all parts of the world. This is God’s mission in the world (Missio Dei) in highest form.

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