The Salvation of God's People

7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who stands next to me,”
declares the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8 In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.
9 And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”
 Zechariah 13:7–9

The Salvation of God's People
Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered. Ready the sword. This is the whole plan and purpose of the devil against God and his people. The devil wants the sheep of God to be scattered. The strike to the Shepherd must be complete and totally annihilating. The devil bets everything on this. He sinks his deadly teeth into the heel of our Savior even as the Lord slams his foot down on the serpent’s head. The result ends the devil. He is stripped of his powerful teeth and left defeated at the foot of the cross. It is there that Jesus pays the price for the sin of the world. He pays with his own blood. In that bloody battle, the Good Shepherd refines his people. He strips you of your sin and iniquity. He purges you of your unrighteousness. He feeds his flock. In that bloody battle, the Lord puts his name upon you and makes his Father, your Father. But this Good Shepherd will not be defeated by death and sin. This Good Shepherd rises victorious over death and tends his flock with his Word and Sacraments. He declares, “They are my people.” And we rejoice and say, “This is our God."
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