John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent’” (Matt. 3:1–2). His preaching of repentance for the forgiveness of sins prepared people for the coming of Christ into the world. This vital ministry continues as pastors preach Law and Gospel, convicting people of their sins and proclaiming forgiveness in Christ alone. For, Jesus is the Son of God in the flesh, the “shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots” (Is. 11:1). His good tree, His cross, where full payment for the world’s sin was made, and His glorious resurrection from the dead, is “a signal for the peoples” (Is. 11:10). It is the hope that “abounds” (Rom 15.13). It is Life that gives Life.