O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever (1 Chr 16:34). Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, MB
Passion for you
Passion for you
Based on Matthew 26-27
Preached on April 13, 2014
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Fellow baptized saints, how could they do it? How could they welcome Jesus as their king, hail Him, worship Him and call Him blessed, only to discard Him in a couple of days? How could they treat Him like that, the One who healed the sick and raised the dead? The One who taught the truth and promised the Spirit? How could they treat Him like that?
But there's Jesus, suffering at the hands of His own people, suffering for His own people. There's Jesus being denied by Peter, being denied for Peter. There's Jesus being tortured by soldiers, being tortured for soldiers. All the people cried out for His death, and Jesus died for all the people. His blood be on us and our children! They shouted. May my blood save them and their children, Jesus prayed.
But how could they treat him like that, their king, their Saviour? The same way we do. Just the same way we come here and worship Him in faith, receive His gifts, even cry out Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord and then go out the door and sin. Think about it. Haven't you ever had an opportunity to defend Christ where you stayed quiet? Haven't you ever been angry because things didn't go your way? Haven't you ever known what you should do, but done the opposite? Haven't you done these things to your king, or is He not in control of your life? It isn't they or them who have treated your king this way. It is you and me. How could we treat our king this way?
But this is the whole point, isn't it? It doesn't matter how we do it. We do it. All of us. This is the way we are by nature. This is the very thing Christ comes to save us from. This is why He suffers this way, because this is what we deserve for our back-sliding, for our two-faced, lukewarm, half-hearted human nature. Jesus isn't here to save the righteous, you know, the "good people" who love Him, because there are none. He is here for sinners, for you, for me. He is here for your nails, your crown and your cross. He is here for your punishment. Because let's face it, there is no fixing this world – it must be destroyed. But God has come here to save you from that destruction by being destroyed Himself. He is making a new kingdom in His innocent death and resurrection. A new kingdom, forged by His own suffering, that He lovingly calls you into. You are going to struggle with sin the rest of your life, and He knows that, but He still loves you – He still wants you to live with Him forever – so He made Himself the atoning sacrifice for you.
How could Jesus, the King of the Universe, let Himself be treated like that? Because that is the kind of king he is. The King of mercy. The King of humility. The King of suffering because He is the King of salvation. He is committed. A king committed to His people, though they betray Him, deny Him and abandon Him. A king faithful to His creatures though they revile Him, mock Him and mistreat Him. Your life in this fallen world will be full of temptation and sin, it will be a fight with the devil and death, it will be all the things Christ has been overcoming all of Lent – because He and He alone is your salvation. He has defeated and destroyed your shortcomings in His own body on the cross, and He promises you that in His new kingdom you will never face these trials again. He promises you an eternity of peace and love and joy – an everlasting, unending kingdom with a new nature – a new you – the way He always intended you to be. Sin can never defeat the Love of this God. Death can never hold the truth of this God. And the devil has nothing left to say because of what this God has done. Your king is in control, even as He gives His own life for yours. Your king reigns over all your enemies. Your king suffers, because His Passion is you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Rev. Cameron Schnarr