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Wednesday of Lent 3

March 22, 2006

Wednesday of Lent III                                         Trinity Lutheran Church
22 March 2006                                                     Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

The Passion of Our Lord Drawn From the Four Gospels:  The Palace of the High Priest (Lenten theme:  “I believe in Jesus Christ my Lord.”)

Peter.  You can always count on him.  He’s made promises.  Never to forsake the Lord Jesus.  Here’s what Peter promised in Matthew 26:  “Even if I have to die with You.  I will not deny You!”  Promise keeper Peter. 

Last week we heard about Peter.  Couldn’t stay awake with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He saw Judas betray Jesus with a kiss.  Angered that the soldiers put Jesus under arrest.  So angry that he took his sword and sliced off the high priest’s servant’s ear. 

And now under arrest Jesus is taken to the high priest’s house.  To be tried.  This is serious.  Deadly serious.  They’re really going through with it.  Arrest.  Trial.  Crucifixion.

What will Peter do?  Round up the other apostles?  Hire some mercenaries?  Storm the high priest’s house?  Rescue the Lord Jesus?  And if anyone gets in the way he’s still got his sword!  It won’t be an ear that gets lopped off!  This time heads will roll!   

Where are you Peter?  Peter!  Hello! 

There he is!  In the courtyard.  As he warms himself by the fire Jesus is tried.  False witnesses are brought in.  And then the big question:  “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”  Jesus answers yes.  He claims He is the Savior.  He claims that He is God’s Son.  And He is!  The Savior and God’s Son.  The high priest tears his robes.  “Blasphemy!”  And they all call for Jesus to be put to death.

They spit in Jesus’ face.  Blindfold Him.  Slug Him repeatedly.  Mock Him.  “Prophesy to us, O Christ.  Who smacked you this time?”  And the beating continues.   

Better do something Peter!  Quickly!  It’s now or never time!  This is getting out of control!

A maid notices Peter.  Does a double and triple take.  She knows Peter’s an apostle of the Lord.  “You also were along with the man from Nazareth, that Jesus.”

Now’s your chance Peter!  Remember your promise.  We don’t call you promise keeper Peter for nothing. 

“Sorry honey.  You’re mistaken.  I don’t know what you mean.”  Peter can’t take the chance of being associated with Jesus who is going to die.  So he leaves.  To the forecourt.  Promise keeper is now denier.

Another maid notices Peter.  And she points him out to everyone standing there.  “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.”  Promise keeper Peter denies any association with Jesus.  He even takes an oath:  “I swear by God’s holy name that I don’t know this Jesus!  Now leave me alone!” 

But Peter’s not very convincing.  His denials and lies aren’t so believable.  His Galilean accent is a dead give away.  “You are too one of His apostles!  You are a follow of this Jesus!” 

And then Peter really let’s them have it.  “I’ll be damned if I’m a follower of that Jesus.  I don’t know Him.  Never have known Him!  Leave me alone!”

And then the rooster crows.  For the second time.  And just like Jesus said.  Promise keeper Peter has denied the Lord Jesus three times.  He’s sinned.  Deliberately.  On purpose.  He knew exactly what he was doing.   

Just then Peter’s eyes meet the Lord’s bloodied and swollen eyes.  Can you imagine the look?  And arrogant, self-reliant, sinning on purpose, promise keeper Peter is reduced to being a promise breaking miserable sinner who desperately needs the Savior, the Lord Jesus.  “Peter broke down, and went out, and wept bitterly.”  

The Lord Jesus suffers and dies for Peter.  For you and for me.  For all our sins.  Even the on purpose and know exactly what we’re doing sins. For our denying Him.  For our not wanting to be associated with such a Jesus who suffers and dies in such a way.  Either privately or publicly.     

Jesus is Lord.  The Lord who suffers Himself to be denied.  To be put to death for horrible and disgraceful sinners like us and Peter. 

You are died for.  You are baptized.  You are forgiven.  You are “one of them.”  One of those for whom the Lord Jesus gave His life.  Use the Lord Jesus against all your sin and sinning.  He’s the Savior.  What a Lord! 

In the Name of Jesus.       

From → Sermons

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