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Eyes That See “Salvation”!

February 2, 2014

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The Presentation of Our Lord                                                       Trinity Lutheran Church

2 February 2014                                                                                                   Murdock, NE


+Jesu Juva +

Luke 2:22-32


“My eyes have seen your salvation.”  Eyes.  That see salvation.


He says he sees “salvation.”  And so you ask:  “Where?  Is he dreaming?  Is he going blind in both eyes?  Do we need to put this man in the nursing home?  Someone call the Legacy in Lincoln to reserve him a room.  Better yet, set up an appointment for him to see a psychiatrist.  Not a Rogerian but a Freudian!  The old man was probably a bed-wetter as a child.  Hate to think how his mother potty-trained him.  So, I think we should measure him for a straight jacket and prepare the rubber room.  He’s not playing with a full deck.  ‘Salvation?’  Where’s the ‘salvation’ that his eyes see?  We’re not seeing it. Look around.  ‘Salvation?’  Give us a break!  We think Simeon is delusional.”     


“You know, we’d cut Simeon some slack if we saw a community organizer leading a million man march in the temple and preaching the utopian salvific dream of toppling the evil Roman ‘system’ in order to establish the perfect, classless society. But that’s not going on at the Jerusalem temple.”


“You know, it would be a different story, we’d make an allowance for the old man and give him major dude kudos if Queen Latifa showed up to perform Grammy nuptials of every variety with the infallible, unassailable and unquestionable pronouncement:  ‘by the power vested in me by the state of California I pronounce you a married couple.’ Triple bonus round if her posse, Macklemore, Mary Lambert, Ryan Lewis, Madonna and a Southern gospel choir show up and sing ‘Same Love’ and ‘Open Your Heart’ That’s the kind of red dawn of redemptive history — an inbreaking of the kingdom of heaven on the earth that just brings tears to your eyes when you see it.  Just ask Keith Urban.  But that Shangri La salvific moment of exchanging rings, kisses, hugs, holding hands, and walking down the aisle isn’t happening either at the Jerusalem temple.  In fact, such Promise Land stuff is probably bigoted-ly and homophobic-ly prohibited.”


“So we don’t know what the old man is looking at when he declares: ‘My eyes have seen your salvation.’  I’m not seeing any ‘salvation going on at all.’  Are you Reverend?


“You are?  Where?  What’s that?  What did you say?  Look at who?  NO!  You’ve got to be kidding!  You can’t be serious!” 


“The baby?  The forty day-old Baby?  Whose mother could barely afford two pigeons for her purification at the temple?”


Yes, that’s right.  Better listen to Simeon.  He’s got it right.  He holds in his arms and sees with his eyes a presentation in the temple like none before. In the Old Testament Hannah presented her son Samuel to be the Lord’s instrument in Israel.  But now another woman, a virgin, presents her Son – Jesus.  He is the Lord and who will do a “salvation” for not only Israel but for the entire Gentile world!


You look for salvation where salvation cannot be found.  Your eyes search for redemption where it cannot be given.  Newsflash everyone!  I know what I am about to say is shocking, scandalous and offensive.  So get ready to be offended. Your worldview is about to be demolished. Today your old Adamic self must die.  All your self-righteousness must be put to death.


So here goes.  Salvation for you and for the world does not come in the form of an alinksy-esque community organizer, Hollywood’s or your mimicking Tinseltown’s idolatry of the self.  It’s time for you to have eyes that can finally see and ears that can truly hear.  I am here to tell you categorically that you cannot put your trust in anyone or anything on this earth for “salvation” except in the Baby Jesus that Simeon holds in his arms.


That’s right!  I said it!  I dared to just preach it.  Just like Simeon:  “My eyes have seen your salvation.”  God’s salvation for sinners!  You.  Me.  Everyone.  Only and exclusively in the 40 day-old Baby Jesus!  No other God to give sinners salvation than in that Baby Boy!


That the eternal Second Person of the Holy Trinity takes on flesh exposes the truth about you, the world, and me.  Why does Jesus “share in our humanity?” Why does He take on our human flesh?  Here’s why: “that he might make atonement for the sins of the people,” (Hebrews 2:14, 17)!


“Atonement.”  That’s serious.  Salvation-ly serious.  For you!  For there to an “atonement” or “salvation” for you the sinner, totally divine Jesus shares in your humanity.  “Was made man” (Nicene Creed).  So that there can be a “Good” Friday! For there all your sin is taken away from you and then applied and imputed to Him!  There He bears all your sin in His divine/human Body and He gets counted – reckoned — as THE MAXIMUM SINNER.


He steals your identity, if you will.  He becomes an identity thief.  He is the Sinner.  Consequently — damned in your place.  As your substitute!  Drinking every drop that you deserve from the cup of God’s wrath against all sin and every sinner who’s ever lived or will live.


Hanging from the tree this Jesus is the one and only sacrifice that atones for sin and for you the sinner.  For His blood that hemorrhages from His Body is not only human blood, it is also DIVINE blood.


“The life of a creature is in the blood,” (Leviticus 17:11).


So whose life is in blood of this Baby that Simeon holds?  God’s!  God in the flesh and blood of Jesus gives His life into death as the atoning sacrifice for sin and sinners.


Simeon knows it.  He believes it.  Just as the Scriptures preached it.  “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness,” (Hebrews 9:22; Leviticus 17:11).  The Baby’s divine Blood will be shed.  Winning and achieving for you in His perfect life and His obedient Holy Week suffering and death an “eternal redemption,” (Hebrews 9:12).


Now today what do your eyes see?  Like Simeon you see  “Salvation!”  But where?  In Jesus only, of course!  The crucified, risen and ascended Jesus!  Today and every Sunday He invites you to eat and drink the bread and wine at the altar whereby He bestows His Good Friday once and for all sacrificed on the cross Body and Blood.  Giving and bestowing what He promises:  “given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sin.”


To such abundant giving from the Lord Jesus faith says, “Amen.”

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