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Gethsemane: Another Sweet Salvational Swap!

March 1, 2018

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Wednesday of Lent 2                                Trinity Lutheran Church

28 February 2018                                      Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

The Passion of Our Lord: Gethsemane

Lenten Theme: The Sweet Salvational Swap!

 

There so much sin. So many sinners. And Holy-One-Without-Sin-Jesus is smack dab in the middle of it all. You’d think Jesus would high tail it out of there. He stays put. Check it out.

 

Sinner Apostle Peter makes bold promises. “Even if all the others deny you, I will never deny you…. If I have to die with you, I will never deny you.”   The “spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Soon, when push comes to shove Peter will sin badly three times: deny, deny, deny Jesus with oaths and curses. Jesus prays in Gethsemane agony so that “His sweat fell on the ground like great drops of blood,” while apostle sinners Peter, James and John sinfully snooze, sleep – take their rest. It’s all about them catching a few ZZZs. Their selfish needs comes first.

 

Then all of sudden “one of the Twelve” shows up. Look! It’s Judas! What’s this? Do you see the look on his face? It’s dark. Demonic-like. He’s made a deal. A deal with the devil. Look who’s with him. A “detachment and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees … with lanterns and torches and WEAPONS.” What treachery! What villainy! Sinner Apostle Judas has come to betray Jesus. To hand Jesus over to His enemies. “He went straight up to Jesus and said, ‘Hail, Master,’ and kissed Him. Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, why have you come? Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?’” Well, YES!

 

Peter and the other disciples have a last gasp go at trying to defend Jesus. “‘Lord, shall we strike with the sword?’ Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.” That’s draws a quick and harsh rebuke from Jesus: “No more of that!”

 

Armed to the teeth with swords and clubs Judas’ new-found friends come after Jesus as if He were a “thief.” And not just a petty thief, but a capital crook. “Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.”

 

So, it’s not just generic sin and generic sinners. These are sinners that purposely – deliberately – knowingly — intentionally SIN AGAINST JESUS! Jesus describes it this way: “but this is your hour and the hour of the power of darkness.”

 

All this sin and sinning against Jesus is not accidental. Really, it’s not! Listen again to the text: “All this happened that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”  All this is God’s plan! It’s His way of saving sinners and atoning for all their sin. Sounds crazy but it is true! Salvationally true!

 

Yes, Jesus is sinned against. By Peter, Judas, James, John, all the rest of the disciples as well as the chief priests and captains of them temple and the elders. Big time sinned against! We too are big time sinners. We are no different and no better than Peter, Judas and all the rest. So what’s Jesus going to do about it? What’s He going to do with all that sin that perpetrated against Him?

 

The answer is simple. He suffers it! He takes it! He bears it! In His Body. Soaks it all up like a sponge in order to carry it to the cross, die and get damned with it! In Peter’s place. Judas’ place. In your place.

 

Remember? Salvation is a sweet swap! Salvation is a blessed exchange! Holy-One-Without-Sin-Jesus takes all sin of every sinner, answers and atones for it all by His Good Friday divine blood that drained out of His Good Friday divine body. Your sin and all its hellacious punishment is His! In exchange Jesus gives Peter, James, John, you and me His holy, royal and divine pardon! He gives you what belongs to Him – His perfection. His holiness. His righteousness.

 

I repeat. I said it on Ash Wednesday and I’m going to keep preaching it to you all throughout Lent. Your salvation depends on Jesus taking your sin and answering for all of it by His Good Friday death on the cross. In the end, either your sin will be on you or Jesus.

 

I’m here to tell you that Jesus took all your sin in His Body on the cross. He owns it! It’s all His. It doesn’t belong to you anymore. And in exchange He covers you with His cleansing and holy blood. He did that in your baptism. That’s salvation! It’s the sweet salvational swap! No wonder Caiphas, without even realizing it at the time “gave counsel to the Jews that it would expedient that one man should die for the people.” That’s Jesus of course. His death FOR YOU with all your sin answered for! Atoned for! You are forgiven. You are saved. Thanks be to Jesus who knew no sin but was made to be sin FOR YOU on the cross.

 

In the Name of Jesus.    

 

    

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