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Lamb of God Jesus Carries Your Sin!

March 27, 2014

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Wednesday of Lent 3

26 March 2014

Grunewald Crucifixion 4

+Jesu Juva +

 

Lenten Theme:  “Behold the Lamb of God That Takes Away the Sin of the World!”

The Passion of Our Lord:  The Palace of the High Priest

“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth,” (Isaiah 53:7).  Lamb-of-God-Who-Takes-Away-The-Sin-Of-The-World-Jesus mutely suffers wave after wave of sin perpetrated against Him. A death plot.  False testimony.  The false charge of sacrilege or blasphemy.  The unjust death sentence.  Bitter malice and mockery.  Denied by one of His own inner circle.  The sin against Him is prolific and sweeping.

Check it out.  The church authorities, like an ecclesiastical too-big-for-their-britches NSA or IRS, deliberately troll for any kind of evidence (no matter how scant or trivial) that would send Jesus to the gas chamber, a firing squad, a hangman’s noose, the electric chair, a lethal injection,  OR A CRUCIFIXION!  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Can’t find any evidence.  No worries.   They’ll manufacture some.

Taking a page from S-E-I-U, they hire people from off the street.  “Here’s a fifty.  All you have to do is twist things – stretch things a bit.  Then we can finally get rid of this preacher and get back to fundamentally transforming Israel.” For the quick cash the propaganda and falsehoods flow from their lips.  “Yes, we remember a sermon He preached once.  Don’t you?  It was outrageous!  We couldn’t believe our ears!  Why He wasn’t defrocked or fired on the spot we’ll never know!  He audaciously declared that He would destroy Herod’s temple built with human hands but then build another temple in three days WITHOUT

S-E-I-U HUMAN HANDS!” 

 “But even on this point their evidence did not agree.”  Typical.  That’s the way it goes with liars.  Just ask any police detective.

The sinning against Jesus goes unabated.  Another wave sweeps over Him.  Lamb of God Jesus is falsely charged with BLASPHEMY.  The high priest takes his turn.  He has the perfect way to get rid of Jesus.  Ask Him the Messiah question!  “Look here Jesus!  You’re under oath.  You can’t plead the Fifth here!  So I now ask you and I want an answer.  No messing around.  Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

Finally Jesus speaks.  He tells the truth.  Makes the good confession.  He pulls no punches.  The blunt and simple answer is “Yes!  Absolutely!  I am the Christ!  You will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of God’s power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”   His answer combines two of the most important Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament:  Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13-14 where the title “Son of Man” or Messiah is prophesied in the light of heaven itself, that He is the Judge over all the kingdoms of this world, and that His reign is universal and eternal!

No man – not even the famed preacher from Nazareth — can claim such deity for himself!  So the high priest goes religiously ballistic!  Jesus’ claim that He is the divine Messiah, the Son of Man, sends the high priest through the roof!  That’s it!  The final straw!  No need to pay off any more false witnesses.  Send them home.  Jesus has done Himself in with His words and claim to be God!  So he tears his high priestly garments.  And the whole assembly agrees that Jesus must be put to death ASAP!  No objections.  No appeals.  No last second reprieves.  He’s a blasphemer – pure and simple!

The sinning against Jesus multiplies.  They hock up loogies.  They spew the slimy slob of spit and nose snot right in His face.  Blindfold and smack Him.  “Who hit you Jesus?  If you are the divine Christ, you should know!”  And the blows keep coming.  Such mistreatment by those who judge Him falsely is their way of justifying their verdict.  After all, since Jesus is so defenseless and helpless, then He cannot be the divine Messiah, the Son of the Blessed!

And while all this is happening the “first” of His disciples and apostles utterly fails Him.  Peter is given every opportunity to confess Jesus as the Christ.  But he will not.  In addition, he flat out refuses to tell the truth that he is a devout disciple of Jesus.  Incredibly he denies Jesus THREE TIMES.  “I don’t know what you mean honey!  You’re mistaken. What is His name?  Jesus?  Nope!  Don’t know Him!  Never seen Him!  I swear to God!   I’ll be damned if you can prove that I’ve ever been with or known Him!”  With friends like Peter, who needs enemies?

All this iniquity – the enormity of it all – is the burden Lamb of God Jesus carries.  He takes it as His own.  He doesn’t shy away from it.  He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin – all sin – of the world.  Including yours.  No matter how bad.

What is your sin?  I think it’s pretty safe to say that your sin against Jesus is just as enormous and shocking as all you’ve heard tonight in the Lord’s Passion.  You can probably add some to the story.  And then there’s the sin you commit against Jesus that you’re not even aware of.  That’s how deep, dark and original your sin is!

Brothers and sisters, I’m here to tell you that Lamb of God Jesus must carry your sins as His own otherwise you’ll have to carry them and then you’ll die and be damned in them.  Take Judas Iscariot for example.  He is so sorry for his sin against Jesus.  He goes to the pastors with whom he made the dark deal of betrayal.  He returns the silver.  He tells the truth and confesses.  It is his cry for help.  “I have sinned.  I have betrayed innocent blood.”

But the pastoral care he receives is horrendous!  “What is that to us Judas?  You betrayed him.  We didn’t!  It’s your sin, not ours.  You’ll have to deal with your mistake all by yourself!”  No Lamb of God Jesus Who Takes Away The Sin Of The World preaching given to Iscariot.  He was left to carry and answer for his own sin.  So “he went and hanged himself.”  If only he had, like Peter, received an unfailing look of love from the Lamb of God Jesus.

Now, I have been sent by the Lord to bring you good news.  A word that Judas didn’t hear but Peter eventually did.  Your sin, all of it, has been taken away.  Lamb of God Jesus took it!  It isn’t yours anymore!  Jesus carried it and answered for it.  He was numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12).  Counted as THE SINNER!

Blessed are you then!  Your sin is covered in the blood of the Lamb.  You are forgiven.  He doesn’t count your sin against you because they were all counted against Him.  Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

In the Name of Jesus.            

 

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