Last Sunday / Baptism of Wyatt James Bornemeier
Last Sunday Trinity Lutheran Church
20 November 2016 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Baptism of Wyatt James Bornemeier
This is absolutely incredible. This is what it takes to saves sinners! Jesus, the Most High God, is at the apex of His servanthood. He serves. He donates Himself. Just as the prophet Isaiah said. Hung between two capital criminals Jesus is “numbered with the transgressors,” (Lk 22:37)! Jesus “pours out His soul to death” (Is. 53:12) to atone for every sinner. For all sin. His cup of tea is saving the world, you, me and Wyatt James only by His Good Friday suffering and death. He insists on that and that alone. Nothing or no one can detract Him from pulling off that Friday we all call “good.”
The rulers “scoffed at him.” Hurled verbal assaults. “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God.” Did you catch that? It is a hellacious Satanic temptation! It comes with the words: “let him save himself.” The soldiers chime in too with their scorn. They too are Satan’s instruments: “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” Not to be left out one of the crucified criminals hanging next to Jesus jeers Him: “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
Very tempting. Deliciously appealing. Hop off the cross and save Himself. Be the Messiah without the cross. Be the Savior apart from suffering and death by crucifixion. Jesus, however, stays put. He is the Savior only in the Golgotha way. Solely in the Good Friday way.
Jesus steadfastly remains on the cross. He will not come down. There He will die! Yes, the Christ will die! There, in the utter depth of this immense suffering and intense degradation, the power of Servant Jesus to save you, Wyatt and all sinners is revealed!
He saves – He saviors — by bearing the “sin of many” (Is. 53:12). In His body Jesus carries all sin and He insists on answering for it. The sin of the world is laid on Jesus so that it is no longer on you. He takes your sin, all of it, and sheds His divine blood that atones. Reconciles you. Redeems you. What He does — He does FOR YOU. For Wyatt James. Your salvation depends on Jesus taking all your sin and doing away with it forever in the black hole of His death.
Notice too what happens in the text. On the cross Savior Jesus intercedes. He prays for sinners. This too is what it takes to save sinners. “Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they’re doing.” You don’t either. Your sin is so deep. Your sin blinds you to your true sinful and damnable condition. You’d have mocked Him too. You’d have insisted that Jesus get crucified. You too would have helped pound in the spikes to his hands and feet. You too would have hurled insults at Him. Why? To justify yourself! So the Savior must pray: “Father, forgive them.” That’s His intercession FOR YOU too. He justifies. He justifies the “ungodly” (Rom 4:5).
Look! In the midst of all the mocking, ridicule, scorn and contempt, there’s someone that actually has good use of Jesus! Someone has been repented and faithed. Someone categorically believes in Him as the Savior of sinners! And who is that? Incredibly it is one of the nasty and naughty criminals hanging next to Jesus! He will let Jesus serve him with the gift of salvation. In fact, he begs for it. He’s done with justifying himself. Excusing himself. Defending himself. For the first time in his life, he realizes that he is a nothing. He needs the Suffering Servant that bears his sin before it is hellaciously too late. He can’t save himself. Only Jesus can. So he throws himself entirely on the divine mercy of the King of the Jews! “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
The criminal must have known the Bible! After all, to be remembered by God’s mercy is to be saved. For example, Psalm 106:4, “Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them.” And how about Luke 1:54? The virgin Mary that carries the Savior Baby Jesus in her belly sings: “He has helped his servant Israel in remembrance of his mercy.” So the criminal prays. He beseeches. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
What does Jesus do? Does He put the criminal on probation? No. Does He ask if he’s really sorry and promises never to sin again? No. Instead, Savior that He is — He delivers, gives, and donates His Good Friday salvation right there on the spot. Jesus not only does all the saving but He also does all the delivering of salvation. He wastes no time. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” His words do what they say. They say what they do. With His Word of promise the criminal is saved. Good Friday’s forgiveness is delivered. BY AND WITH THE SAVIOR’S WORDS! Jesus says so.
So too today salvation – the Good Friday salvation – was delivered for another sinner. A little one. Wyatt James, the son of Brad and Julie Bornemeier. Wyatt James is not the exception to the truth that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. He too, like every descendent of Adam and Eve, is conceived and born a sinner. So Jesus died for Wyatt James too. Jesus didn’t leave him out of His Good Friday death. The blood of Jesus counts for him too!
Brad and Julie brought their little boy to Jesus – the Savior – as beggars. Begging Jesus to “remember” Wyatt James according to His own merciful words and promises. Like this: “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it,” (Mk 10:14-15)! And: “make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Mt 28:19)! And here’s one more for good measure: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,” (Mk 16:16)!
I can’t help myself. Here are two more. From a couple of apostles that learned it from Jesus Himself. Peter. “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Notice: baptism gives Christ’s Good Friday forgiveness and the Holy Spirit. That’s the delivery of salvation! Peter goes on: “this promise is FOR YOU and FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND FOR ALL,” (Acts 2:38-39)! “Baptism now saves you,” (1 Peter 3:21). And Paul. He says that God “saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” (Tit 3:5)! That’s holy baptism! Holy Baptism SAVES because it gives all that Jesus won and achieved on the cross.
The Lord’s Word attached to the water of holy baptism does and gives what it says and promises. Paradise was given to Wyatt James today. What joy! Jesus doesn’t save Himself. He saves sinners. You. Me. Even Wyatt James! Only Jesus achieves and wins our salvation on the cross. One of the ways He delivers that salvation is through His divine Word hooked with water. He says so. Just as the thief on the cross believed the promise of Jesus so do you. Jesus keeps His promises. He doesn’t lie!
Happy Baptism Day Wyatt James! Happy living in and from your baptism into Jesus’ Good Friday death that counts for all your sins. Dittos to all of you baptized in Jesus’ Name!
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN!