“For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source”
All are inserted onto the plane of suffering and into the slavery of the fear of death. These evils are not, at present, escapable for the human; they are intrinsic to him. And yet, we and the angels and Jesus originate with God–so Jesus can be sovereign and omnipotent Lord, but merciful brother as well.
The priesthood was always intended to be this. A man is born set apart, ceremonially cut off from the customs and the inheritances of the political man–“the LORD is their inheritance”–so that he may enter into the midst of other men to deal with their sins and their reconciliation to God. Jesus enters the land of death and suffering and sin from a world where these are not, in order to reckon with them. Both we and He are called by God, but He is called to Lordship, and we to faith and repentance. So, in brotherhood, we benefit together.
From Luther’s Small Catechism:
“What does such baptizing with water indicate?”
“It indicated that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.”
Baptism the one-time act, which renews through faith, indicates that new renewal through faith must occur for every day of life. This is not to be an erratically-changing shapeshifter, as though we burned through grace like gasoline, but a steady repetition of hundreds of thousands of patient resurrections–untiring repentenaces and contritions until all living memory is of Christ and His cross. Wisdom is always attained by this slow plodding. If God can supply true washing from sin in simple water-immersion, then we can trust Him to supply “righteousness and purity forever” through daily renewed faith. He will turn our time into eternity.
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
-Hebrews 12:22-24 (ESV)
“Deo pro nobis melius aliquid providente ut ne sine nobis consummarentur.”
-Heb. 11:40 (Vulg.)
What we “have come to” is the consummation withheld from our ancestors (atavis) in faith. The blood of Abel spoke accusation on a brother. The blood of Jesus spoke brotherhood on the guilty.
If Dreams yet flatter, once again attend,
Hear Lydiat‘s Life, and Galileo‘s End.
Nor deem, when Learning her lost Prize bestows
The glitt’ring Eminence exempt from Foes;
See when the Vulgar ‘scap’d despis’d or aw’d,
Rebellion’s vengeful Talons seize on Laud.
From meaner Minds, tho’ smaller Fines content
The plunder’d Palace or sequester’d Rent;
Mark’d out by dangerous Parts he meets the Shock,
And fatal Learning leads him to the Block:
Around his Tomb let Art and Genius weep,
But hear his Death, ye Blockheads, hear and sleep.