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Epiphany 2

January 20, 2008

Second Sunday after the Epiphany      Trinity Lutheran Church
20 January 2008                                       Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +

John 1:29-42a

John.  What a preacher.  Faithful to his calling.  Of course, he’d never go far in today’s church just as he never went far in his day.  His preaching got him into trouble.  Arrested.  Jailed.  Made shorter by a head.

And now today.  Another remarkable sermon.  Not because it’s so short.  I do like it’s brevity.  But it’s magnificent because of its content.  The sermon unwraps God’s Christmas present to you. 

John calls your attention to Christmas gift Jesus.  “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”   That’s it.  Sermon over.  Well, not quite yet.  But John insists on this one thing.  He’s quite bullish about it.  Johnny One Note he is. 

His sermon finishes with a flurry:  “Look everyone!  There’s Jesus!  The Messiah!  The Savior!  I told you He was coming.  And now here He is.  The only begotten Son of God.  I baptized Him in the Jordan – His ordination for His Lamb of God salvation work.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit at the Jordan for His Christ job.  I was there.  I saw it all.  At first I didn’t get it.  I tried to stop Jesus from His Lamb of God Christ work.  It didn’t make sense that He receive a baptism with and for sinners.  But at the Jordan River Jesus began His ministry to take the sin of the world in His Body and carry it to Calvary.  So now I bear witness to all of you.  I’m a nothing!  Jesus is everything! ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’”  

Think John will change his sermon the next day?  Nope!  Not a chance.  A day later John points his disciples to Jesus again and says:  “Look!  There’s Jesus!  He’s the Lamb of God.” 

Lamb of God.  Lamb of God.  What’s with that?  Jesus is the perfect Lamb without spot or blemish.  So?  Lamb of God Jesus will be sacrificed.  His Blood shed.  His Body dead on the altar of the Cross.  That’s Good Friday.  Roasted in God’s red hot wrath against the world’s sin.  And then as the Passover Lamb to be eaten in the Sacrament of the Altar.

Why?  I’ll tell you why.  I’ll piggyback on John.  Lamb of God Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for sin.  Yours, mine and the world’s.  No forgiveness without the shedding of blood.  And so the divine Lamb of God Jesus bleeds.  Flogged.  Beaten.  Thorns rip open His head.  Spikes driven through His hands and feet.  The spear slits his side.  He gives His life.  His divine life through the shedding of His Blood. 

So John preaches:  “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”   

What John preaches Jesus does.  The take away sin job.  Forgiveness.  For you.  Here and now.  What have you done?  What are your sins?  Some you know. Many you don’t.  Their all forgiven.  They do not condemn you.  Jesus has taken them all away!  They don’t belong to you.  Your sin, all of it, Jesus claims as His own.  Your sin is TAKEN AWAY from you and placed on Jesus the Christ.  He is God’s Servant.  God’s Chosen, Suffering, Dying Servant.  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  

Jesus is indeed everything.  He’s the Savior.  John’s Lamb of God sermons bear fruit.  Sinner Andrew sticks with Jesus.  Won’t let the Savior out of his sight.  Wouldn’t you?

Such a Savior has more than enough forgiveness for everyone.  So Andrew rounds up his brother Simon Peter, another sinner.  “Simon, we have found the Messiah!  He’s here!  The Promised Savior!  John’s sermon pointed him out to us.  Let’s stay with Jesus and live off of His forgiveness.”

God’s grace and peace come to sinners with Lamb of God Jesus.  He takes away the sin of the world.  He takes away John’s, Andrew’s, Simon’s and yours. 

You are forgiven.  Lamb of God Jesus has died for you.  You have received one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  All your lives are lived in the Lamb of God’s forgiveness won for you at Good Friday and bestowed on you at your Baptism.

At your Baptism the Lord’s bidding was followed.  “Make disciples of all nations.”  So you are baptized in the Triune Name.  And you became a disciple too.  A follower of Jesus Himself.  A disciple who trusts only in Jesus for forgiveness.  For salvation.  Why?  Better listen to preacher John again.

“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”  

What a sermon.  Thank you Jesus for your faithful preacher and servant John.  Always preaching Christ for us!  And for our salvation!

In the Name of Jesus.     

From → "A" Sermons

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