Text Illustrations
“Step Into The Image of Christ!” Hebrews 5:1-9 Key verse(s): 8-9:“Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him . . .”

Why do we love the Constitution so! A document that is nearly 220 years old and written in the flowery English of our forefathers, a musty old thing that some say has little relevance to the way we live our lives today; why is it that it occupies a central display in our national archives and governs yet after all these years? As a charter, some say, it is certainly without equal. Many have compared it to the Magna Carta presented by the English barons to King John in 1215. Others have held it up as the hallmark of all governing charters. Certainly we can all be proud of our Constitution. In reality, nearly every other democratic nation in the world has made it their epitome as they craft their own charters of state. But, what is it about this charter that holds us so tightly after all these years? It must be more than the “bigger-than-life” characters that wrote it and signed it. Ultimately, it must be the relevance of what it grants not what it so eloquently states that so binds us since the lives we lead today bear little resemblance to those led by its authors.

A charter is something that engraves for all time. It is meant to be held in high esteem and altered only with utmost diligence. For a charter grants privileges and reserves rights which are endemic to life itself not just living. In a sense, it reflects the character of those who wrote it on-in-perpetuity. Though gone for hundreds of years, when we open the pages of our Constitution, we see reflected not just words but images; character images of those who bore this document. When I read our Constitution I can see and feel Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and the all the others who shaped it word by word and then embraced it for all ages. As you cannot look at Michelangelo’s Pieta and not see the sculptor or Rembrandt’s The Black Watch and not see the artist, it is impossible to divorce the Sons of Liberty from pages of our Constitution.

A charter is a likeness of those who drew it up; a reflection of their thought. When we read a charter and live under it as we do the Constitution, we are not simply edified. Rather, we enter into it and become like Jefferson and Madison. Their words become our words because once a charter is so drawn up, ownership of it belongs to those to whom it is granted. It is not Jefferson’s Constitution. It is Mark Brunner’s Constitution and so on. Since it is my charter and your charter, and we receive from it rights and privileges reserved only for those who live under it, we in turn strive to protect it, defend it, and cherish it. To love it become natural. In that love we follow naturally into obedience. For it is natural to obey something which provides us with essential security and well-being. The more and more we crave that security and well-being, the more and more we strive to conform to the image of the charter that provides it. In a sense we are holding the document up to the light of understanding and trying to step into it and sound its depths. In our love of freedom and liberty we long to make the Constitution, the charter of our freedom-loving forefathers, the portal by which we enter into and conform to their understanding of what freedom is.

Jesus Christ came down from heaven over two thousands years ago and presented us with the greatest charter of all time, the charter of freedom from sin and death through His sacrifice once for all on the cross of Calvary. His Word is our charter to freedom that is irresistible to a sinner. It draws us into Christ Jesus himself and because of what it promises, remains relevant, fresh and alluring even until this day. Martin Luther wrote: “But we know that Christ has come down from heaven to love sinners, out of obedience to His Father; and when we meditate on that there grows up in us boldness of access, and a firm hope in Christ, for we perceive that Christ is the true charter, the golden book wherein we read, and learn to see Him obedient to the Father’s will. Thus our conscience is no longer wretched, because in Christ it is quickened and fortified. And this tastes so sweet to a devout soul, and it gives through the Son, Jesus Christ, all glory, laud, and praise to the Father. Thus God has only the best, which he imparts to us, feeding us, upholding us, and waiting upon us, through His Son Jesus Christ. And thus our heart is changed, so that we follow Christ. And this is why Christ loves sinners; for His Father has commanded Him so to do.” (Lenten sermon from the year 1518. w.a. I. 274 f.)

Obey God’s Word? We can’t help but be drawn into it for it has become our charter through Christ Jesus by which we are made eternal children of God. Step into the Word today and experience obedience at its finest. Become one with the One whose words you read and get in step with the will of One who knew only perfect obedience.

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