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Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Fifty-Six

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Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Fifty-Five

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Wednesday of Lent 5                                      Trinity Lutheran Church

10 April 2019                                                    Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

 

THE PASSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: CALVARY

 

It was the third hour and there they crucified Him.

 

In the midst of the agonizing crucifixion comes one of the most incredible prayers ever uttered in the history of the world. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus prays for His enemies. He does not hate them. He loves them.

 

They sin against Him. He does not issue threats of payback. No words like: “Just wait until after the resurrection and I’ll get you!”   Instead, Jesus prays for their forgiveness. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

 

Forgiveness. That’s what Jesus is all about. It is what His name Jesus means. Remember? “You will give Him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins,” (Mt. 1:21).

 

As He lived so He dies. FORGIVING! Just as He lived for others so He dies.

 

This is precisely why the Son of Man is lifted up on the pole of the cross. It’s all about forgiveness.

 

Even for you! Just as Isaiah preached it in the Old Testament: “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities … And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all … He was numbered with the transgressors and He bore the sin of many.”

 

I’m here to tell you: you are forgiven! Your sins are atoned for! “How can that be?” you ask. Because Jesus prayed: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”   Because on the cross Jesus answered for all your sin. His Good Friday Blood is the payment that redeems you. The Blood of Jesus purifies you from all sin. Because Jesus said on the cross: “The salvation job that I’ve come to do IS FINISHED!”

 

No wonder He taught you to pray similarly in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”   You forgive sinners as He has forgiven you. Everyone. Not just your friends and family but even your enemies. Not just the little sins but also the big ones.

 

You even learn to pray like Jesus when you’re sinned against in very harsh ways: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

 

And then like Jesus who prayed, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,” you pray likewise. “Father, into your hands I commend myself, my body and soul and all things” as you always trust in Jesus’ forgiveness of you. His forgiveness has its way with you as you sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those that sin against you. Isn’t that remarkable? Is that incredible? That the Lord Jesus would use you in such as way? To forgive others as He has forgiven you? It sure is! What joy!

 

In the Name of Jesus.

 

Terrible Tenants? Reckless Landowner? What a Parable!

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Lent 5                                                Trinity Lutheran Church

7 April 2019                                      Murdock, NE

 

+ Jesu Juva +

 

 

Luke 20:9-20

 

My. My. My. Terrible tenants? Or out-his-mind landlord? All depends on how you hear the parable. In other words, it depends on whether you’re a faith-er, a trust-er in Jesus or not. The non-faith-ers would be those that wanted to strangle Jesus with their bare hands, watched Jesus like a hawk, hired spies that looked as pure as choir boys in order to catch Jesus in a perjury trap, haul Him in front of the all powerful Federal government-like governor and then finally have Him put on death row PDQ!

 

Let there be no doubt. Jesus speaks the parable in order to judge. No judgment free zones with Jesus! It is a judgment that is based entirely on the Person and Work of Jesus Himself.

 

So here’s the deal. Will Israel and yes, even you the new Israel, receive Lord Jesus in faith as the Christ and Savior of the world or will Israel and yes, even you the new Israel, reject Him in unbelief? That’s the salvational question Jesus puts before Israel’s religious big wigs at Jerusalem and you Missouri Synod Lutherans big shots at Murdock today.

 

Let’s not forget when Jesus speaks the parable. It’s the last week of His life. Events are whirling swiftly toward Good Friday’s crucifixion! Starting with Palm Sunday when Jesus is hailed as King. He clears the temple of the idolatrous Wall Street-like moneychangers, topples their desks, crashes their computer screens and smashes their top-of-the-line-gold-plated latte coffee makers. He wept over Jerusalem’s unbelief and predicted its destruction as well as the temple’s utter desolation.

 

Do you think the religious authorities were peeved? You bet they were! Big time! More livid and irate than a congressional oversight committee chaired by some progressive pinhead in Washington D.C.! This Jesus has NO AUTHORITY to do such things! None whatsoever! So the coup to end Jesus’ Messiahship and salvific ministry is well under way!

 

In the face of such downright rejection and outright unbelief, Jesus tells the parable.

 

Notice, however, that the story starts out as pure gift and grace. The landlord plants the vineyard. Does all the hard prep work. Gets all the building permits. Passes all the EPA inspections. Passes OHSA inspections. Cuts down the trees. Clears out all the boulders and rocks. Tills the soil. Constructs all the trellises and plants the hundreds of vines to guarantee a bountiful harvest. All the tenants have to do is tend the plants, harvest the fruit and pay the landlord the contracted share. The tenants have been given a gift. They have been given a stewardship to use the gift of the vineyard wisely and faithfully.

 

But you know how it goes. Tenants and landlords are rarely on the same page. And the relationship is strained to say the least. Tenants would rather be owners, not stewards. Renters pay rent. Owners collect rent. Owners control the property. Tenants are under the control of the owner. Control is the name of the game. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Our sinful nature hates to be at another’s mercy, even when the owner of the vineyard is God Himself!

 

So the tenants revolt. They underground resistance is in full swing! They do not trust the landowner. At harvest time they beat, insult and wound the servants sent by the landowner. Send them away empty handed!

 

Then the landowner does the unthinkable. Reckless. Irresponsible. He goes against all hope – He hopes to receive a harvest a faith from the tenants. He hopes that they will trust in Him to take good care of them.

 

“I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him.”

 

Careless? Thoughtless? Reckless? No. It shows God’s patience. Reveals His relentless never give up mercy. Preaches His passionate will to save us at all costs! That’s the kind of Father that sends His beloved Son to a bunch of good-for-nothing murderous deadbeat renters!

 

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life. (Jn 3:16)

 

God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8)

 

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 Jn 4:9-10)

 

When the tenants kill the owner’s son, this is a picture of Jesus’ Good Friday death on the cross. Within a few days of speaking this parable the religious authorities of Israel will see to it that Jesus is murdered. The parable becomes a Good Friday fact! God the Father sent His Son Jesus to His vineyard, His Israel. His Israel despised, rejected and killed Son of God Jesus outside of Jerusalem on the hill called Golgotha.

 

The end of the parable comes true as well. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to those wicked ingrate tenants? He will come and destroy them and give the vineyard to others.” And that’s precisely what happened. In 70 AD the Roman general Titus and his armies destroyed Jerusalem and tore down the temple. The glory of God that once resided in the temple was now given to the church. Not a building. But a bunch of hangers on, a lot of faith-ers and trust-ers gathered around Christ in His Word and the Sacrament of His body and blood. The priesthood of the temple ended. The ministry of the Word, baptism, absolution, and the Lord’s Supper began in the church.

 

So, the parable is a warning. Better take it seriously. Don’t blow it off like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day. Do not reject Jesus like they did. I beseech you not to be apathetic to His Good Friday dying for you for your salvation. I beg you to trust with all your heart that He died to win and achieve salvation for you. I implore you to receive in faith the very promise of salvation that Jesus speaks to you in the absolution, the preaching of the gospel and in the Lord’s Supper today.

 

God wants a harvest today from you His tenants. What’s the harvest? A broken and contrite heart. Faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Love for each other.

 

“Everyone who falls on that stone named Jesus will be broken to pieces.” Yes, we sinners must be broken if we are to be made whole again. “A broken and contrite heart, O LORD, you will not despise,” (Ps. 51:17). Our old sinful nature, the old Adam, must daily die in repentance if the new man spelled F-A-I-T-H is going to live before God.

 

One final point and I’ll conclude. The parable teaches us to trust in Jesus for forgiveness, life and salvation that He won and achieved on the cross. If you resist, refuse and reject Him, you’ll be hellaciously and hellishly crushed! Unbelief is unforgiveable.

 

My high pastoral care today for you is to pull an apostle Paul from 2 Corinthians 6. Do not receive God’s grace in vain. Behold now is the day of salvation. In other words, every sin of yours has been answered for and atoned for in Jesus. Every sin of yours is forgiven in the Good Friday death of Jesus. You are died for and redeemed by Jesus! Trust in rejected Stone Jesus. He is the cornerstone of your salvation!

 

Fall on Him with all the brokenness of your life because He was broken on the cross for you. He will raise you up and give you life, now and forever “just as He is risen from the dead and lives and reigns to all eternity.” (SC)

 

In the Name of Jesus.

Second Commandment: The Proper Use of God’s Name Part Two

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Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Fifty-Four

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Lutheranism 101 Ten Commandments Part Fifty-Three

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