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O, Come, O Come, Emmanuel

December 12, 2013

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Wednesday of Advent Two                          Trinity Lutheran Church

11 December 2013                                            Murdock, NE

+Jesu Juva +

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

At the end of the Book of Revelation Jesus declares:  “I am coming soon,” and then the apostle John gives his “Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.”   You will do the same this evening.

In tonight’s hymn you too will give your answer to Jesus’ promise:  “I am coming soon.”  With each stanza you will pray for Him to come.  With each stanza you will address Jesus with a particular name from the Bible.


Incredibly, the Baby Jesus is Emmanuel.  Emmanuel means, “God with us.”  Jesus is God-With-Us-Emmanuel to ransom captive Israel from the exile of her sin.  The Old Testament prophet Isaiah prophesied His birth.  It’s Isaiah chapter 7.  Listen:  “Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a Son and you will call His name Emmanuel.”  That’s Jesus!  Literally the Infant Jesus is God – God with us – Emmanuel!  God is with you in the little Boy that nurses at Mary’s breast.  No other God than this baby born of the Virgin Mary!  The Most High God comes down from heaven – way down – humbles Himself to take on your flesh – your blood.  Why?  To carry all your sin, Israel’s sin, and the world’s sin in His Body on the cross and get damned with it.  Brothers and sisters, your salvation depends on Jesus taking your sin and answering for it by shedding His blood in His Good Friday death.



Jesus is “Wisdom from on high.”  In other words, Jesus is the Wisdom of God Himself from heaven.  1 Corinthians 1:30 teaches that Jesus “became for us wisdom from God.”   Jesus is divine wisdom in the flesh.  So, when you see and hear Jesus you see things from a different perspective – God’s!  Jesus shows and reveals to you God’s wisdom.  And God’s wisdom is this:  Jesus becomes man not to be served BUT TO SERVE AND TO GIVE HIS LIFE TO SAVE YOU FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION.  Jesus rescues you from the hell you deserve because of your sin and He gives you heaven with His forgiveness.  That’s the wisdom that comes from God to you in Jesus!


Jesus is the Lord of might who came to Mount Sinai in “cloud and majesty and awe” to give the Ten Commandments.  The Ten Commandments are God’s Word.  Each commandment CAT scans or MRI’s you.  And what do they reveal?  That you’re a sinner.  Big time sinner.  That you don’t fear, love and trust in God above all things.  That you don’t use His name properly.  That you love to talk to yourselves and call your word inspired, infallible and divine which then leads you to ignore or despise the preaching of God’s Word. The Commandments reveal that you willingly have no use for Jesus.  That you live and act as if He’s a nothing instead of the one true God who lived and died for you the sinner.  But I am here to tell you that Jesus’ life was perfect.  Sinless.  Jesus, the God-man kept the Ten Commandments perfectly in your place and for you.  And then on the cross – Mount Calvary, He willingly took the law’s accusation and divine punishment for all your commandment breaking.  Yes, He did that FOR YOU.  For your salvation.


Jesus fulfills another prophecy from Isaiah.  Isaiah preached that a descendant of King David would be the Savior.  He is called “the Branch of Jesse’s tree.”  David was the son of Jesse.  So, from the family of Jesse, King David’s family line, a King of kings would come to do battle.  That’s Jesus.  He takes on your harshest and most deadly enemies:  Satan and death.  Satan and death hold you captive without Jesus.  But Jesus has come – Emmanuel – God with us.  He has crushed Satan’s head and put death to death in His Mount Calvary death and Easter Sunday resurrection.  And He did that for you too!


Keys lock and unlock.  Jesus alone is the Key that unlocks the door to heaven.  All in fulfillment of another prophecy by the prophet Isaiah that says:  “The key of the house of David I will lay on his shoulder; so shall He open and no one shall shut; and He shall shut and no one shall open,” (Isaiah 22:22).  Jesus has given the church the keys to bind and loose sin, that is to say, to either close or open heaven’s door.  Because Jesus died on the cross the forgiveness of sins is to be preached to sinners.  When you hear the absolution heaven’s door is unlocked.  Heaven is given to you.  Jesus has sent me to use the keys.  So here goes.  By the command of Jesus I forgive you all your sin in the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.



In the Bible sin is equivalent to darkness.  A sinner lives in the shadows.  A sinner is cut off from the radiance of God’s glory.  Your sin puts you in the darkness of death and the gloom of the grave.  “The wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23).  Advent declares good news for you the sinner.  Advent announces the dawn of the Sun – the Sunrise of the Light of the World.  That’s the birth of Jesus!  He is the “Dayspring from on high.”   The prophet Isaiah spoke of Jesus’ coming at Bethlehem in this way:

The people who have walked in darkness

Have seen a great light;

Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death

Upon them a light has shined (Is. 9:2).

You have seen the great light.  He’s Jesus.  Through the Bethlehem and the Good Friday Jesus, God the Father has delivered you “from the power of darkness.”  He has “brought you into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,” (Colossians 1:13-14).


Jesus, the Dayspring from on high, is the “Desire of nations.”  Every one looks for a savior.  But every one’s desire for a savior is misplaced and misguided.  You are not your own savior.  Political personalities, community organizers or social activists are not your savior.  Only Jesus is!  All of Bethlehem didn’t notice the magnificent miracle of the dawn of salvation in Jesus’ birth.  The angels had to preach the birth to shepherds.  Magi from the East had to investigate the Scriptures and had to be lead by the star to find the baby in order to worship Him.

Jesus alone is the Savior King – the true King of Peace.  His reign of forgiveness and salvation embraces people from every race, nation and language.  Jesus died for all!  No matter what nationality.  No matter what the skin color.  No matter what age.  The government of God’s kingdom – the reign of salvation – is upon Jesus’ crucified shoulders.

Oh, yes, Jesus doesn’t look like much of a King as He lies in Mary’s lap, as He rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, or as He hangs graveyard dead on the cross.  Yet, He truly is the salvation King to unite you and all nations to Himself forever.

“Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!”

Yes, when Emmanuel – God with us – Jesus comes there is joy.  And you know where He comes.  He comes in the flesh at Bethlehem’s Christmas.  He dies in the flesh on a Friday afternoon we all call “good”.  He rises from the grave three day later.  He comes or advents Himself to you in His preached Word as well as the spoken Word of absolution.  He reigns as He speaks these words:  “You are forgiven.  I died for you!”   He comes in the water of Holy Baptism hooked with His mandate and institution Word to bury you into His death and make your bodies a temple of the Holy Spirit.  He comes in the bread and wine of Holy Communion to give you His most holy Good Friday sacrificed Body and Blood with His promise:  “it’s given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins.” So, every time you eat that bread and drink that wine you proclaim that Jesus’ death is for you until He comes in glory on the Last Day.

He comes to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

His promise is this:  “I am coming soon.”  Faith says:  “Amen!  Come Lord Jesus!” 

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