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Lamb of God Jesus on Trial For You!

April 3, 2014

Grunewald Crucifixion 4

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Wednesday of Lent 4

2 April 2014


+Jesu Juva +


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

The Passion of Our Lord:  The Praetorium



Lamb of God Jesus predicted it. It’s happening. Just like He said. “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men,” (Matthew 17:22) and “the Son of Man … will be turned over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged and crucified,” (Matthew 20:19).


Now Jesus stands in the courtroom. On trial.  Accused. As a lawbreaker.  As one who has sinned gravely.  Here are the charges:  “This preacher is a clear and present danger – a political keg of dynamite. He’s way too popular. Roman Homeland Security and the Latin NSA have had Him under surveillance for three years.  Listened in on His sermons, tweets, texts, phone calls, catechesis and prayers.  And they have every right to do so. He’s really perverse. Totally unpatriotic. Turns loyal citizens against Lord Caesar!  He’s against paying taxes too!  How depraved and immoral can you get?”  Wow? Why do they even want a trial? Just as well take Him out to a dark back alley and … well, you know … pull a Tony Saprano.


However, who is really guilty in at this trial? Hmm?


Jesus?  Well, is He?  Not hardly. Good grief!  The charges are trumped up — purposely twisted — spun to make Him look like a homegrown devil like a Palestinian Unabomber, David Koresh or Timothy McVeigh.  But, in fact, He’s done nothing wrong.  The governor repeatedly says He’s innocent of the charges.  “See, I bring Him out to you that may know that I find Him not guilty.” So too the centurion at the foot of the cross declares Jesus to be “the Son of God,” (Matthew 27:54). But we knew that already. Jesus is the Holy One. The Lamb of God without blemish or defect.  Without sin. Ever!


So, I ask again, who is in the wrong here at this trial?


Men!  Both Jew and Gentile!  Guilty as sin!  Men are at fault for Jesus’ suffering and death!  No running from that truth.  Can’t dodge it.


Iscariot’s intense regret and return of the silver blood money does not exclude him from his guilt.


The Israelites cannot escape liability for handing Lamb of God Jesus over to Governor Pilate (Matthew 27:2, 11-14). The selection between Barabbas and Jesus is their choice so that Pilate’s decision is really their decision. They insistently screamed time after time:  “Away with Him! Crucify Him!” In fact, they take full responsibility:  “His blood be on us and our children!”


Pilate can wash his hands until his skin shrivels like a prune or peels off.  He can repeat ad nauseam “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” but it doesn’t exempt him from giving the death sentence.  The governor released the terrorist Barabbas, scourged Jesus and handed Him to be crucified.


The soldiers are under Pilate’s command. They mock Jesus with the purple robe, crown of thorns, staff and the derisive disdain:  “Hail, King of the Jews.”  It is their spit that they cough up to splatter in Jesus’ face. They take home run swings with the reed staff to bash in His head.  They bend their knees in scorn and contempt.  They led Jesus out to be crucified.  They can’t excuse themselves with:  “We were just following orders.”   


Lamb of God Jesus’ trial is a miniature of mankind’s guilt.  All have sinned. You too are the sinner. You too are guilty of betrayal, denial, mockery, and sending Jesus to be crucified.  Peter’s story is your story.  Iscariot’s, Pilate’s, the soldier’s, and Israel’s sin is your sin.  Replace their name with yours.  Their actions and yours are interchangeable.  The old Adamic nature, so curved in on itself will do anything to be like God – even if it means committing deicide!  “You, with the help of wicked men, put him [Son of God Jesus] to death by nailing him to the cross,” (Acts 2:23).


Lamb of God Jesus suffers it all. Willingly.  Lovingly.  FOR YOU.  Your salvation depends on this “scandalous” exchange.  Lamb of God Jesus takes all your sin with all its guilt and the damnation it has earned in His Body.  Behold the battle that Lamb of God Jesus wages for your redemption!  He takes what belongs to you, the sinner! That which identifies and fingerprints you as lost, bound, and accused, that totally controls your old Adamic life – namely, sin and its sting –  “the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law,” Jesus bullishly takes away from you and puts it on Himself.


So I’m here to tell you the magnificent good news that your sin isn’t yours anymore!  Really!  It’s true! Jesus took it – indeed “becoming sin” (2 Corinthians 5). He was declared guilty and got damned with all of it.  Since your sin is on the Lamb of God it’s no longer on you.  Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! So be of good cheer brothers and sisters:  YOU ARE FORGIVEN! Your sin is not counted against you.


And with Lamb of God Jesus’ promise of forgiveness you have His righteousness, innocence, purity and holiness to boast in, not yours.


This Lamb of God redemption is FOR YOU. This exchange is what you, the sinner, need to be saved.  It is a sweet swap!  Everything awful that sinners are and have Jesus takes.  Everything joyous Jesus is and has He gives to you His sinners. Jesus gives you His innocence as He takes your sin and the paycheck it has earned.


Your salvation is vividly depicted in what happens with Barabbas and Jesus.  The guilty Barabbas is set free.  The innocent Jesus is condemned.  All this is no accident.  It happens on purpose.  Lamb of God Jesus doesn’t say:  “The cross?  No need to worry.  It was just an accident.”  No! Jesus took on your sin and all its guilt willingly.  Lamb of God Jesus is guilty by association – bearing your sin in His Body. Jesus chose to let this all happen to Him to fulfill the Scriptures – all done according to God’s Word!


Jesus desired to come get His sinners and take their sin.  This is why He does not resist what happens.  He suffers it.  Like a sheep before the shearers is silent so Lamb of God Jesus “lays down His life for the sheep,” (John 10:15).


So this Sunday run as fast as you can to the Sacrament of the Altar.  Lamb of God Jesus speaks.  He preaches.  Listen to Him there. His words do and give what they say and promise:  “My Body – My Blood – given and shed FOR YOU FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN.”  And there behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.


In the Name of Jesus.     

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