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LORD Jesus – God FOR YOU!

May 31, 2015

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The Festival of the Holy Trinity           Trinity Lutheran Church

31 May 2015                                             Murdock, NE

+ Jesu Juva +
Isaiah 6:1-8

 

Mighty and great! His Majesty King Uzziah. Oh, the gravitas! For over 5 decades – 5 DECADES — he’s been the imposing king the southern kingdom of Judah. What a magnificent king he is! None in the world like him!

 

Like King David, Uzziah defeated the violent and dreadfully dangerous Philistines and many other formidable enemies with his well-trained and meticulously managed army of over 300,000 men. He provided his soldiers with the best gear and weapons possible. His well-equipped military recovered lost territory for Israel. His building projects were ambitious. He loved the soil. His agricultural acumen was phenomenal. The royal vineyards and stockyards were the envy of the Mediterranean.  Uzziah’s fame spread throughout the ancient world. Everyone feared his name. Trembled in his presence.

 

His Majesty King Uzziah! His Worship King Uzziah! Walked and talked like a little divinity on the face of the earth. As far as King Uzziah was concerned, Judah, Jerusalem – even the entire world revolved around him. If he played his cards right, he could transform not only tiny Judah but the entire world. Can you imagine the amount of tribute and tax he raked in? The royal bank was busting at the seams! Can you imagine the enormous donations to the Uzziah Foundation from foreign dignitaries, Judah’s political enemies, mega corporations, and highbrow lobbyists in order to gain the king’s favors?  However, 2 Chronicles 26:16 reports that, “after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD, his God.”

 

Did you hear that? “Unfaithful to the LORD, his God.” UNFAITHFUL! Positions of authority and power can be extraordinarily spiritually or salvationly dangerous. The virus that infects everyone in the world is all the more viral when people are crowned monarchs, elected or appointed to some kind of political office.   The virus is: UNFAITHFULNESS!

 

Uzziah would not trust the LORD to be God for him. Would not live as a creature dependent on the LORD. Bullishly refused to live by faith in the LORD. Had better words and ways than the LORD. Lived as if his words and ways were divine and infallible. His Majesty had no more use for the LORD, the LORD’s Word, His divine gifts and promises of salvation.

 

So, the LORD “afflicted Uzziah [Azariah] with leprosy.” Leprosy! Dreaded leprosy! Add that on to his unfaithfulness the king truly is a nothing.   Unclean. Impure. Contaminated. Polluted. Unable to live even in society. Not allowed in the LORD’s most holy and saving presence at the temple — “until the day he died,” (2 Kings 15:5).

 

And that takes us to today’s text. “In the year that King Uzziah died.”

 

Human monarchs and other kinds of authorities come and go. They’re here today and gone tomorrow. They don’t reign forever. Their kingdoms or administrations are not everlasting. They are not divinities.

 

But there is never a time when the LORD is not sitting upon His throne, high and lifted up, from which He governs the universe He created. “Heaven is my throne,” declares the LORD, “and the earth is my footstool,” (Is 66:1). “The LORD reigns forever,” (Ps 9:7). “The LORD is enthroned as king forever,” (Ps 29:10). So, “DO NOT PUT YOUR TRUST IN PRINCES! IN HUMAN BEINGS WHO CANNOT SAVE. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that day very their plans come to nothing,” (Ps 146:3-4).

 

King Uzziah’s transforming-the-world-plans to serve, enrich and aggrandize himself, extend his reputation, and build his legacy came to an end. He’s graveyard stone cold dead. And buried. KING UZZIAH: EPIC FAIL!

 

Now what? What of Judah? What of the world? What of you? Well, there’s the Most High LORD Jesus. The King of kings and Lord of lords!   King of kings and Lord of lords LORD Jesus, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity reveals Himself to Isaiah in the Jerusalem temple. LORD Jesus is seated on a throne, high and exalted. The train of His robe filled the temple. Angels worship Him! Angels praise Him! “‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”

 

Uzziah’s dead. He was not the LORD Almighty! LORD Jesus is! He’s the true King! THE WHOLE EARTH IS FULL OF HIS GLORY! When Isaiah is in the presence of LORD Jesus Almighty, he has to tell the truth. No spinning. No excuses. No lying. No justification of the self. Isaiah is a sinner! Straight up! Full blast! Grade A! As a sinner Isaiah deserves God’s temporal and eternal punishment. LORD JESUS Almighty and sinner Isaiah: like throwing a match on gasoline! An explosive and lethal combination. Isaiah wouldn’t survive. It would be hellacious for him.

 

“Woe to me! I am ruined!” Isaiah proclaims, “for I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Bingo! Absolutely true! He has unclean lips because he has an unclean heart. Sinner through and through!

 

Now, what will LORD Almighty Jesus do with a sinner like Isaiah? I know what I’d do. I’d send him straight to … well … you know. Amazingly, LORD Jesus Almighty does just the opposite. He forgives Isaiah! Gives Isaiah what he doesn’t deserve! Through one of His angels, one of His messengers, LORD Jesus Almighty cauterizes Isaiah’s “unclean lips” with “a burning coal” taken from “the altar.”  And then the angel preaches a sermon that categorically declares: “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”  The words do and give what they say. Isaiah the sinner: FORGIVEN!

 

This is how the Triune God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit deals with sinners. He forgives them: Isaiah, a entire world full, AND YOU! He pulls off a very Good Friday where atonement for all “sin” and for all “guilt” – all your sin and all your guilt was made by LORD Jesus Almighty on the altar of the cross. LORD Jesus Almighty took on flesh to be “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” (Jn 1:29). LORD Jesus Almighty “suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to BRING YOU TO GOD,” (1 Pt 3:18). The divine Blood of LORD Jesus Almighty that flowed from His Body on the cross “cleanses you from all sin,” (1 Jn 1:7). Or as Jesus puts it to Nicodemus: “God [the Father] so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son … to save the world through the [Son],” (Jn 3:16-17).

 

This treasure of forgiveness is to be bestowed or delivered. Not only in Isaiah’s day but also in yours. So that you and all sinners believe that the Triune God is God FOR YOU. FOR YOU and for your salvation in the death and resurrection of LORD Jesus Almighty. FOR YOU and for Good Friday’s salvation delivered in the gospel preached and the gospel sacramented.

 

For the delivery of Good Friday’s atoning for-all-sin and for-all-guilt-forgiveness, the Triune God sends preachers. To speak for LORD King Almighty Jesus. To speak the divine forgiveness of sins into sinners ears and hearts. “Then I heard the voice of the LORD [Jesus],” Isaiah says. “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

 

Did you catch that? “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” First person singular “I.” Then first person plural “Us.” Who will go “for US!” Reminds you of Genesis 1:26, “Let US make man in our image.” God is one in three or three in one. One God. Three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

 

“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” The Lord Jesus will send a messenger! A preacher to speak for Him. To be His ambassador. To preach Jesus! For sinners!

 

Yes, that’s right. Isaiah the preacher given to preach to his fellow sinners. Or preacher Peter in Acts 2 on Pentecost. To preach God’s Word. Peter preached it this way: “Therefore let all Israel be assured that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Jesus is LORD and Messiah FOR SINNERS!

 

LORD Jesus continues to send preachers to sinners. Such preaching goes like this: “Do you see that LORD Jesus hanging dead on the cross? He did that FOR YOU! There He is God for you! He has atoned for your sins. So your sin doesn’t belong to you anymore. Jesus took all your sin away from you. He doesn’t count it against you. You are forgiven by His shed blood from the cross.”

 

Or the preaching also goes like this: “The risen LORD Jesus has sent me to make disciples this way: I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” To be baptized in God’s Name is to be baptized by God Himself. And it also means that you’re saved. Because with His divine name the Triune God gives Himself entirely and completely for you and for your salvation!

 

And more: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” What a promise! LORD Jesus giving you His Good Friday Body and Blood! You can’t get anymore God FOR YOU than that. God FOR YOU – His sinners! To forgive them.

 

Soon, right before Holy Communion, you’ll sing the Sanctus with the angels, archangels and all the company of heaven. With them worshipping and praising King of kings and Lord of lords LORD JESUS – who reveals and shows you who the one true God is. He is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God FOR YOU! He exists FOR YOU! What a God! He does a salvation FOR YOU: Good Friday. And what bounty! Salvation’s delivery FOR YOU in the Word and sacraments. Jesus lords His forgiveness over you.

 

Happy Trinity Sunday!

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit!

 

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