Monday of Easter 4

129Your testimonies are | wonderful;*
         therefore my soul | keeps them.

130The unfolding of your | words gives light;*
         it imparts understanding to the | simple.

131I open my | mouth and pant,*
         because I long for
your com- | mandments.

132Turn to me and be gra- | cious to me,*
         as is your way with those
who | love your name.

133Keep steady my steps according to your | promise,*
         and let no iniquity get
dominion | over me.

134Redeem me from man’s op- | pression,*
         that I may keep your | precepts.

135Make your face shine upon your | servant,*
         and teach me your | statutes.

136My eyes shed | streams of tears,*
         because people do not | keep your law.

137Righteous are you, | O LORD,*
         and right are your | just decrees.

138You have appointed your testimonies in | righteousness*
         and in all | faithfulness.
         —Psalm 119:129–138

Additional Psalm: Psalm 96

Old Testament Reading: Leviticus 9:1–24
The LORD Accepts Aaron’s Offering

1On the eighth day Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel, 2and he said to Aaron, “Take for yourself a bull calf for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering, both without blemish, and offer them before the LORD. 3And say to the people of Israel, ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, and a calf and a lamb, both a year old without blemish, for a burnt offering, 4and an ox and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before the LORD, and a grain offering mixed with oil, for today the LORD will appear to you.’” 5And they brought what Moses commanded in front of the tent of meeting, and all the congregation drew near and stood before the LORD. 6And Moses said, “This is the thing that the LORD commanded you to do, that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.” 7Then Moses said to Aaron, “Draw near to the altar and offer your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and for the people, and bring the offering of the people and make atonement for them, as the LORD has commanded.”

8So Aaron drew near to the altar and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself. 9And the sons of Aaron presented the blood to him, and he dipped his finger in the blood and put it on the horns of the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar. 10But the fat and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver from the sin offering he burned on the altar, as the LORD commanded Moses. 11The flesh and the skin he burned up with fire outside the camp.

12Then he killed the burnt offering, and Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. 13And they handed the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head, and he burned them on the altar. 14And he washed the entrails and the legs and burned them with the burnt offering on the altar.

15Then he presented the people’s offering and took the goat of the sin offering that was for the people and killed it and offered it as a sin offering, like the first one. 16And he presented the burnt offering and offered it according to the rule. 17And he presented the grain offering, took a handful of it, and burned it on the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning.

18Then he killed the ox and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings for the people. And Aaron’s sons handed him the blood, and he threw it against the sides of the altar. 19But the fat pieces of the ox and of the ram, the fat tail and that which covers the entrails and the kidneys and the long lobe of the liver—20they put the fat pieces on the breasts, and he burned the fat pieces on the altar, 21but the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before the LORD, as Moses commanded.

22Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he came down from offering the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings. 23And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. 24And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.

New Testament Reading: Luke 9:18–36
Peter Confesses Jesus As the Christ

18Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” 20Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus Foretells His Death

21And he strictly charged and command-ed them to tell this to no one, 22saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

23And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”

The Transfiguration

28Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jeru-salem. 32Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

Christ goes up onto the mountain, taking with Him three chosen disciples. He is transformed to such a surpassing and godlike brightness that His garments glitter with rays of fire and seem to flash like lightning. Moses and Elijah stand at Jesus’ side and speak with one another of the departure Jesus was about to accomplish at Jerusalem—the mystery of the dispensation in the flesh and of His precious suffering on the cross. For it is true that the Law of Moses and the word of the holy prophets foreshadowed the mystery of Christ by types and shadows, painting it, so to speak, as in a picture. Both the Law and the Prophets indicated that in due time Christ would appear in our likeness and, for the salvation and life of us all, consent to suffer death on the tree. Moses and Elijah standing before Jesus and talking with one another is, therefore, a sort of representation. It excellently displays our Lord Jesus Christ as having the Law and the Prophets for His bodyguard, as being the Lord of the Law and the Prophets, and as being foreshadowed in them by those things that in mutual agreement they had proclaimed. For the words of the prophets are not at variance with the teachings of the Law. And this I imagine was what Moses, the most priestly, and Elijah, the most distinguished of the prophets, were talking about with each other.…

Besides the wonderful sight of Christ’s glory, something else was done that is useful and necessary for the confirmation of the disciples’ faith in Him—and not for the disciples only, but also for us. For a voice came from the cloud above, as from God the Father, saying: “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him! And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.” … Had it been God’s will that they should follow the commandments of Moses, God would have said, I suppose, “Obey Moses; keep the Law.” But this was not what God the Father said. In the presence of Moses and the prophets, God commands them rather to listen to Christ. The Evangelist has clearly indicated that the truth should not be subverted by anyone who claims that the Father told them to listen to Moses and not Christ, the Savior, by saying, “And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.” When God the Father commanded the holy apostles from the cloud overhead, saying, “Listen to Him,” Moses was far away. Elijah was also no longer near. Christ was there alone. It was Christ, therefore, that God commanded them to obey. For Christ is the end of the Law and
the Prophets.
         —Cyril of Alexandria

With Moses and Elijah nigh
The incarnate Lord holds converse high;
And from the cloud the Holy One
Bears record to the only Son.
         —O Wondrous Type! O Vision Fair (LSB 413:2)

Prayer of the Day
O God, in the glorious transfiguration of Your beloved Son You confirmed the mysteries of the faith by the testimony of Moses and Elijah. In the voice that came from the bright cloud You wonderfully foreshowed our adoption by grace. Mercifully make us co-heirs with the King in His glory and bring us to the fullness of our inheritance in heaven; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (L21)

Suggested Reading from
the Book of Concord
Solid Declaration of the Formula
of Concord VIII 1–6

By Rev. Michael Mayer

Lutheran Pastor of two small Lutheran Churches in rural SW Ontario.