From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Mass
We have already shown that a eucharistic sacrifice does not merit reconciliation, but is made by those who have been reconciled. Nor do afflictions earn reconciliation, but are eucharistic sacrifices when those who have been reconciled endure them.
Pulling It Together
Our sacrifices—on an altar or on the altar of life do not settle the score with God. As we have shown many times, Christ alone is the sacrifice that has reconciled God. Yet, he is not a continuing sacrifice, offered once again for sins in Holy Communion. He was sacrificed once, that sacrifice being sufficient to meet the sin-debt of a world. Now, faith must meet his sacrifice. When faith sees it can do nothing but come to the altar, believing in what has already been done, what should be brought—to the holy table and to life? We may offer thanks for the grace that has been extended to ourselves and others (1 Cor 1:4). Thanksgiving is not a saving sacrifice but an offering made by those who have been saved. We should be thankful even when sorely oppressed (1 Thes 5:18), again, this affliction not being a sacrifice that merits anything—other than our thanks to God for his mercy and grace.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your indescribable gift! Amen.
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Pilate's Investigation is a five-part series designed for use during Lent. Each of the dramas feature Pontius Pilate, seeking to learn the identity of the mysterious figure who has been brought to him for judgment. Scripture texts are assigned for each of the dramas, along with notes for the actors.