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Fifth Sunday in Lent

March 29, 2009

Fifth Sunday in Lent         
March 29, 2009                                   

                                                                                    + Jesu Juva +

St. Mark 10:(32-34), 35-45

Jesus is in the lead.  On the road.  Not to the Final Four.  But the road headed for Jerusalem.  The vibes He’s giving off are scaring the living daylights out of his followers.  Others are amazed.  Everyone hanging around Jesus senses that something dire is about to happen.

And so Jesus takes the twelve aside.  And for the third time He tells them what He’s up to.  He is on His way to the dreadful exodus spoken of by Moses and Elijah at the Transfiguration.  This third sermon is the most vivid. 

“Look, we are going up to Jerusalem,” Jesus says.  And what will happen?  Jesus explains:  “And the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will deliver Him to the Gentiles.”  And there is more.  Jesus continues:  “And they will mock Him and spit upon Him, and scourge Him, and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”

Pretty straight forward.  Jesus pulls no punches.  And yet James and John want to put as much distance as they can between themselves and what Jesus has just preached.  After hearing this third passion, death and resurrection sermon they make the most bizarre request.  “Jesus, let’s not talk about all this negative stuff.  How about being positive for a change.  Like GLORY.  Yes, GLORY!  When all this bad stuff is over put one of us on your right and the other on your left.” 

James and John don’t get it.  “All right sons of Zebedee,” Jesus says, “are you able to drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.”  And incredibly when the two say:  “Sure Jesus!  No problem!” Jesus lets out a long, resigned breath and says, “O . . . kay; that’s exactly what you’re going to get.  I’m into suffering, death, and resurrection here.  Nothing else.  But this business of who gets what seats is not my job.” 

Well the other ten apostles have been listening.  They’re no better than Zebedee’s sons.  Feel left out.  As if they’ve missed out on positions of power and glory in the Lord’s kingdom.  James and John will be the CEOs and they’ll end up being the go-fors.  And so the ten are angry with James and John for trying to bring prestige and primacy to themselves and leaving them out. 

Jesus ignores all this foolishness.  He presses on to the main subject.  The only subject.  “Boys,” He says.  “It’s time to forget all this nonsense about having seats and positions of power.  I haven’t called you for that.  If any of you wants to be great, you’ll have to be a servant of all.  If any of you wants to be first, you’ll have to be a slave to all.  Why?  I’ll tell you why.  Because the Son of Man came not to be served BUT TO SERVE and to give His life as a ransom for many.”  

Jesus is all about that.  Service.  A divine service.  Offering His Body as the atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world, for yours, mine, and the twelve. 

Would you try to stop Him?  Sprint ahead of Him in order to put up a stop sign, detour sign or a roadblock on the road to Jerusalem?

Jesus won’t let you.  Nothing will stop Him.  He’s going to Jerusalem.  He’s bullish on being the Savior and doing His Savior job. 

You can choose not to understand Him.  You can even choose not even to believe in this Jesus who resolutely sets His face to Jerusalem to do a Good Friday.  And if that’s the case you only have yourself to blame for your final hellish destination of damnation. 

But I tell you Jesus went and did a Jerusalem.  For you and your salvation as the Suffering Servant.  He drank the cup of God’s bitter wrath against your sin on the cross.  He was baptized into the agonizing death that your sin earned.  Suffering Servant Jesus is the great high priest who offers His Body as the sacrificial lamb that takes away the sin of the world.

You are ransomed.  Bought with a price.  The holy and precious blood of Jesus.  Every sin has been answered for.  Yes, even those that you’ve committed in kicking in the teeth of anyone who stands in the way of your being great and first.  Death is defeated.  Satan and hell conquered.  And His promise that He made to Israel through Jeremiah and to you is so incredible:  “I will remember your sins no more.”

And so today Jesus comes.  Not to be served by you.  But to serve.  He rolls up His sleeves and shows you His wounds.  He gives you a seat at His Table.  As High Priest, Host, Butler, and Food the Lord Jesus gives you His Body and His Blood for you to eat and drink with the bread and wine.  “This cup is the new testament in My blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.”   

Forgiven.  Ransomed.  Redeemed.  Saved.  In Jesus.  He is your greatness.  He is your glory.  He is your Servant, Suffering, Crucified, and Risen Savior!

In the Name of Jesus.    

From → "B" Sermons

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