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The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: The Praetorium

March 25, 2020

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Wednesday of Lent 4                                     Trinity Lutheran Church

25 March 2020                                                Murdock, NE


+ Jesu Juva +


The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ:  The Praetorium


Behold what Jesus does and suffers to win, achieve and accomplish salvation for you.  It’s all up to Him.  He must do it.  All by Himself.


Jesus is innocent.  Governor Pilate witnesses to it numerous times.  So does his wife.  So does the centurion at the cross.  No sin with Jesus.  Conceived and born sinless.  Never sinned.  Ever.  Perfect.  Holy.


Barabbas, on the other hand, is the notorious criminal!  Rotting in prison for murder and insurrection.  What a reprobate!  A terrorist!  Oozes with sin.


Yet innocent Jesus is condemned as the guilty sinner.  Degenerate, barbaric Barabbas is released as innocent.  The innocent Jesus dies.  The guilty Barabbas gets set free.


Is this some kind of joke?  No.  It is what Jesus does to save you.  To redeem you.  To reconcile you.   This is how much Jesus loves you.  He trades places with sinners.  This is what is going on.


Watch how this works.  He, the Holy One, Good Friday-ly soaks up all the sin committed against Him.  Your sin.  The world’s sin.  My sin.  All sin.  What is yours is now His.  He suffers it as His own.  Atones for it with His Good Friday on the cross Blood.  The iniquity of us all is laid on Jesus!  This means that all your sin belongs to Jesus.  NOT TO YOU!  This means that Jesus answered for all your sins.  Paid for them all with His sacrifice on the cross.  Jesus, who knew no sin was made to be sin (2 Cor 5) and a curse (Gal 3:13) as He carries and answers for the sin of the world as He is hung on the cross.


In exchange for all your sin and all the damnation it deserves Jesus gives you His perfection, holiness and righteousness.  All the salvific good that is His, He gives to you.  As gift.  To save you.


Let me say it again.  It bears repeating.  Barabbas is all of us in miniature.  We are notorious sinners too.  We deserve God’s temporal and eternal punishment.


Thanks be to God for the blessed exchange.  The sweet swap!  In exchange for your sin and its hellish damnation, Jesus gives you His perfection and holiness.  Jesus takes what we sinners deserve – damnation.  Jesus gives us what we don’t deserve – forgiveness, life and salvation.


In the enormous, hideous and brutal Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ there is genuine beauty in the following way:  that all He suffers – the sleeping disciples, Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denials, the false witnesses, the relentless beatings, flogging, mockings — is FOR YOU AND FOR YOU SALVATION!  Jesus bears all sin and death, God’s wrath and the devil’s ridicule and brings them all to nothing.  Consequently, there is “now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus,” (Rom. 8:1).


So, I’m here to tell you that Jesus died for all your sin.  He completely atoned for all of it.  He has utterly swapped you out of all your sins.  How?  When He suffered in Governor Pilate’s palace and when died on the cross FOR YOU.  And I’m also here to tell you are forgiven.  That your sins don’t belong to you anymore because they belong to Jesus.


In fact, I’ll say it even more categorically as Jesus mandates in John 20, Matthew 16 and Matthew 18.  By virtue of my office as a called and ordained servant of the Word I announce the grace of God to all of you.  And in the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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