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Holy Monday Devotion

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Sunday of the Passion: The Theme of Blood!

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Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion                       Trinity Lutheran Church

5 April 2020                                                                  Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

Matthew 27:11-66

 

There’s so much here today.  I can’t preach it all.  So, let’s focus laserly on one particular point:  blood.  Have you ever noticed how often “blood” is referenced in the Passion Story?  It is all over the place.  Check it out.

On the night when Jesus was Judas Iscariot-ly betrayed, He institutes the Lord’s Supper.  He takes a cup of Passover wine, gives it to each of His disciples to drink and then says what had never been said before at the Passover:   “This cup is the new testament in My Blood which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

The Lord’s Supper is His last will and testament!  And in it Jesus promises to forgive your sin and remember it no more in the way of Jeremiah 31:34!   The Lord Jesus gives them and you today His blood as wine to drink and so binds them and you in a covenant of blood.  His!  The very Blood that will flow from His crucified Body hanging from the cross to atone for the sin of the world! His disciples and you are covenanted or testament-ed to His death and He to theirs and yours.  He is Savior for them!  And FOR YOU!  He promises! “This cup is the new testament in My Blood which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

And then, of course when Judas sees with his own eyes the results of his duplicitous betrayal.  Jesus gets arrested.  Jesus will die.  Judas sees his error, his enormous sin.  He is very sorry.  He takes the thirty silver pieces back to the temple and confesses his enormous transgression. “I have betrayed innocent blood,” he barks out. Absolutely true!  No doubt about.  He has sold Jesus down the river!  Betrayed the innocent Blood of Jesus!

At this point Judas is in need of some serious salvational spiritual assistance.  He goes to the priests for their religious aid.  He hopes for some high pastoral care in the way forgiveness for his sin to resolve the crime he has committed.  Yearning for an absolution to put him right with the absolute God and salve his bad conscience.  (Notice he doesn’t go to Jesus!)  Side note:  always go to Jesus with your sins.  Use Him always for the forgiveness of your sin no matter what sin it is.  He includes all sin in His Good Friday dying.  Seriously!

Judas wants to be cleared of the blood of Jesus. Tragically, however, the priests are pious quacks.  Zealous frauds. Religious charlatans.  Speaking an absolution to sinners let alone Judas isn’t even on their radar screens!  It’s not their salvational modus operandi at all!  “What is that to us?” they mockingly ask. “That’s your problem.  See to it yourself.” That’s their religion!  That’s what saves!  Do It Yourself!  However, it’s hellacious and hellific!  Judas sees to it himself!  He throws the thirty silver pieces into the temple treasury and he sees to his spiritual dilemma himself.  He goes out and hangs himself in despair of being forgiven before God. If only he had come back to Jesus!  That’s why this is so, so, tragic.  Well, the priests will not deposit the money.  And here is why.  It is “blood money”!   So, they buy the “Field of Blood” as a burial place for all the Jane and John Does of Jerusalem.

Here’s another example of “blood.”  Governor Pilate washes his hands at Jesus’ trial and says, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. He’s your problem.” And the crowd, a pro-Barabbas mob who clamored for the crucifixion of Jesus and the release of their hero says, “Let His blood be on us and on our children.”  They say it in derision and mockery, the way this world always does when it comes to Jesus, but they speak a great and profound truth. His blood must be upon you and upon your children if you are to be saved.

The difference between Barabbas and Jesus the Christ is that the blood of Barabbas cannot save you, only Jesus’ blood does. Barabbas doesn’t want you to believe that.  In fact, the terrorist Barabbas wants your blood to save him. I’ll bet if MSNBC or CNN interviewed this revolutionary insurrectionist he would have told us that he wanted us all to die for the cause – saving the world by overthrowing the Romans and then establish a utopia of his own.

Insurrectionist Barabbas, like typical Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn radical, insurrectionist, anarchist Weather Underground-ers, would want you to save the world by your own efforts. Barabbas would want you to violently protest with him in the streets, take up arms with him, blow up government buildings, murder police and military officers, shed your blood and die with him on the battlefield!

Jesus the Christ, however, the one who rides on a borrowed donkey, the one who has thorns for a crown, dies for you. He alone sheds His blood for you. He only offers His life in place of your life. He only offers His blood for the sin of the world, the redemption price of our slavery, the liberation from our “fields of blood,” our resurrection from the grave, our washing from sin in baptism by which His blood is upon us and upon our children.  Indeed.  With the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross you have forgiveness with God.  “The blood of Jesus cleanses/purifies you from all sin,” (1 Jn 1:7).  That’s the only blood that counts salvationally!  What joy!

In the Name of Jesus.

 

 

Matthew 24 Part Four

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Matthew 24 Part Three

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Abbreviated Evening Prayer for April 1, 2020 / Calvary

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Wednesday of Lent 5                                     Trinity Lutheran Church

1 April 2020                                                       Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ:  Calvary

 

The Creed confesses the truth that Jesus not only died but that He was BURIED.  All four of the Evangelists record Jesus’ burial.  When all four write about it, it must be important.  And it is!  In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul preaches that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, THAT HE WAS BURIED …”

 

We all know the facts.  The history.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.  That’s one thing.  But there is something else that is very important.  It is to believe that what Jesus did and suffered was FOR YOU AND FOR YOUR SALVATION.  The fruit or benefit of Jesus passion is the forgiveness of sins.  This is Christ’s kingdom!  His reign as the Good Friday King is to atone for all your sin.  To answer for all sin.  He truly is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29).

 

And this also includes His burial.  In an extremely bold move Joseph of Arimathea, who did not go along with his peers to have Jesus crucified, “asks for the body of Jesus.”  He will give the corpse of Jesus a proper burial.  Nicodemus, who had secretly met with Jesus at night (John 3) brought the myrrh and aloes – a hundred pound weight.

 

Hundreds of millions of people have been buried.  Abraham and Sarah.  Jacob.  Joseph.  Peter.  Paul.  Your friends and loved ones.  But this burial is different.  This grave or tomb is different.  This is the burial and the tomb that are salvational.  Salvific!  FOR YOU!  This is the burial and the grave of the God-man!  The eternal Word made flesh.  Do you see the dead Body? Do you see the tomb?  This is the dead body and tomb of the Eternally Begotten Son of the Father!

 

So what?  Here is the so what.  Listen.  Just as Jesus took all your sins with Him to the cross and bore them in is His Body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24) so also He takes all your sins with Him into the tomb.  St. Paul says in Romans 6 and Colossians 2 that we are BURIED with Him through baptism.  Do you get it?

 

Let me say it this way.  Jesus took into the tomb with Him not only the burial cloths and linen shroud, the hundred pound weight of myrrh and the aloes in which His Body was wrapped and anointed, BUT ALSO THE WHOLE WORLD’S SIN, DAMNATION, MISERY FEAR, AFFLICTION AND PERIL.  And He covered and buried it all so that all these evils will not harm you that believe in Him!

 

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were all buried in the cave that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite (Genesis 25:9-10; 50:13).  But they were not buried for you.  Just as they did not die for you.  But Jesus died and WAS BURIED FOR YOU!  For your salvation!  That’s the difference.

 

Jesus has died!  He was buried.  All your sin.  All your misery.  All your affliction are buried with Him!  His death and burial took place so that that through His death and tomb all your sins and all those that believe in Him are put to death and buried!

 

Jesus’ burial and tomb are FOR YOU!  The cloths and shroud in which He was wrapped are for your salvational benefit.

 

God be praised and thanked!  Because Jesus did this for you, you are no longer afraid of any sins for all your sins lie covered up and buried in Christ’s grave!  Forgiveness of sins, eternal righteousness and salvation are the power and fruit of these historical facts.

 

And more!  You also have the promise of the resurrection of your body just as Jesus rose from the grave on the Third Day in His Body.  No need to fear your grave or tomb.   And here’s why.  In His three day rest in His grave Jesus has hallowed the graves of all who believe in Him.  So, when your body gets buried your grave will be “consecrated/holied by God’s Word and prayer [of faith]” (1 Timothy 4:4).  It’s called the Committal Service.  At your grave the Word of God will be proclaimed and the pastor will pray to the crucified, buried, risen and ascended Jesus:  “Bless this grave that the body of our brother/sister may sleep here in peace until You awaken him/her to glory …” in the resurrection of the body on the Last Day.  To which faith says:  “Amen.”

 

As you believe so you have.    Again this is the power and the fruit of Jesus death and burial that He did FOR YOU!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

 

Matthew 24 Part Two

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Matthew 24 Part One

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