In Bible Class Sunday we were discussing God’s wrestling match with Jacob in Genesis 32. The man, or is it God, frees himself from Jacob’s wrestling hold, by putting his hip out of joint. When the sun rose, Jacob left the ford of the Jabbok Creek. For the rest of his life Jacob would walk with a limp due to his damaged hip socket.
Perhaps we are able to find some Gospel in Jacob’s limp. His limp would remind him that he had seen God face to face and lived. His limp would be a daily reminder of his need to keep the face of God before him as he lived out his life.
God, in Christ, has done the same to sin and death. Sin and death limps along trying their best, or worst, to drag us down to their level, to cripple our faith. However, they have been weakened in Christ’s victory. We still are harassed daily by sin, which puts a cramp in our efforts to live in the light of God’s Son. But sin has lost its power to kill us. At best, or worst, it causes us to remember our need for God as we go through life.
St. Paul writes, “Where sin increased,” when we look at our lives in comparison to God’s law, there are that very point, “grace abounded all the more.”
As Luther wrote in the Small Catechism, sin is so weak that it and its partner death, can be drowned in our baptism every day and every day a new person emerges and arises to live before God in righteousness and purity forever. Thus sin, hampered by its limp is not able to keep up with our baptism in which we are raised to new life with Christ.