Son of God Savior Jesus!
Sunday of the Passion Trinity Lutheran Church
9 April 2017 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Confirmation of Shay Campbell, Sophia Frank, Brooke Mills, Maycee Platt, Haylee Josoff, Evelyn and Reagan Henrichsen
Son of God Jesus is sorely tempted. Satanically tempted. It wasn’t the first time but here it comes so deliciously and pious. And the temptation goes like this: “Hop off that cross if you truly are the Son of God! Seriously! The Son of God should never have to suffer let alone die like this! As the worst of sinners! Cursed! Damned! So Son of God Jesus – get off. We’re all in for a cross-less, no suffering and no dying Son of God. We want the kingdom of God without all this humiliation and death! And the minute you come down from the cross we’ll believe in you. Did you hear that Jesus? It’s what you always wanted! People that believe in you! OK. We’ll do it. But only if you come down.”
Shay, Sophia, Brooke, Maycee, Haylee, Evelyn and Reagan, if Jesus jumped off the cross, what kind of Savior would He be? What kind of Savior would He be if He didn’t’ die on the cross? The answer: NO SAVIOR AT ALL! He’d be of no salvific help whatsoever to you or to anyone else for that matter. So, FOR YOU He stays put! Nothing and no one can get Son of God Jesus off the wood of the cross.
He does what it takes to save sinners — you, me and an entire world full. He must do His Father’s will – His Father’s categorical and delightful desire to redeem His rebellious creatures. And for that Son of God Jesus pulls off a Good Friday! So, Son of God Jesus dies alone. He tastes death to the full. Completely drinks the cup of His Father’s wrath against all sin and every sinner. He is numbered with the transgressors and counted or reckoned as THE Sinner – Maximum Sinner – as He bears in His Body the sin of the world. Your sin – all of it – is His. He takes it. Leaves none out.
Can you name any sin He didn’t die for? Of course not! So, with all sin including yours carried in His crucified Body He is forsaken by His Father. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Here Jesus suffers the eternal damnation of hell in your place and FOR YOU! What you and every sinner deserves because of their sin, Jesus endures. And yet even in that forsaken hour Jesus still prays. He laments. He trusts. He still calls God MY God. He steadfastly remains the Suffering Servant that “walks in darkness and has no light, yet … relies upon his God,” (Isaiah 50:10).
Girls, I have the greatest news you and all gathered here today at Trinity could ever hear. It is this. Because Jesus stayed put on the cross your sin doesn’t belong to you anymore. He answered for it as well as all of its hellacious damnation. In exchange, He gives you forgiveness, life and salvation.
Your salvation depends on Jesus dying on the cross with all your sin and burying it in the black hole of His death. Your salvation depends on Jesus being obedient to the point of death even death on the Good Friday Cross. If Jesus had jumped off the cross then you’d still be in your sins and your sins would damn you.
But He didn’t. He steadfastly stayed put. He shed His divine blood for you to atone for all your sin. There is no sin that isn’t answered for in His death on the cross. He died FOR YOU! WILLINGLY! PURPOSELY! This was no accident. Again, Jesus does what it takes TO SAVE YOU.
After seeing how faithful Jesus remains in His crucifixion, the centurion tells the truth: “Truly this was the Son of God.”
Jesus really is the Son of God precisely in His humility. His humbling of Himself. His giving of Himself into death. His self-giving. Emptying Himself by pouring out His soul to death – death on the cross. As the Son of God, Jesus donates Himself in His Good Friday crucifixion FOR YOU and for your salvation. He is the Son of God that SAVES YOU.
That is exactly what you are given to believe and confess today and the rest of your lives as His died for sinners. Every Sunday you are given to confess that “Truly this was the Son of God,” when you eat and drink Jesus’ crucified Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper. He says it is “given and shed FOR YOU for the forgiveness of sins.”
When you believe these words of Jesus you have exactly what they say. With your sins forgiven and eternal life given in that forgiveness, Jesus has good use of you. It is the life of love. Self-giving, self-donating love. Not to be served but to serve and to give your life in the sacrificial service of love for those that need it. Your kids. Your grandkids. The members of this congregation or your community. The old woman down the street. The poor immigrant that just came to your school. Offer your bodies as living sacrifices St. Paul says in Romans 12. He put it this way in today’s Epistle: “have this mind among yourselves.” That’s the mind of Jesus – the life of service for others. Emptying yourself for those in need.
“Truly this was the Son of God.” That’s faith. Faith in Jesus will naturally lead you to love others. To serve them. Help them. Faith toward Jesus. Fervent Love for others. That’s the shape of the Christian life. Come to the Lord’s Supper. Eat and drink. It’s Son of God Jesus’ Good Friday Body and Blood. You’ll learn to know it’s the truth.
Happy Confirmation Day, Shay, Sophia, Brooke, Maycee, Haylee, Evelyn and Reagan. Happy believing in Son of God Savior Jesus! He is the Lord. FOR YOU!
In the Name of Jesus.