Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sermon for 10/7/12--Trinity 18

Son and Lord

Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

If Jesus is David’s Lord, how can he also be David’s son? The religious leaders of Jesus’ day didn’t even try to answer. And because they couldn’t understand, they wouldn’t believe that Jesus was the Savior. What about you? Can you answer that question? This question separates Christians from non-Christians. It’s the question which shows whether a person’s religion is about them or about the Lord. How can Jesus be David’s Lord and a descendant of David? Here’s the simple answer—and I hope it sounds very familiar to my catechism students: “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord.” As God, He is David’s Lord. As a man, he is the descendant of David.

That’s all well and good, but what does that have to do with the commandments of which Jesus speaks? He says that you are to love God and love your neighbor, and He adds, “On those two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” What hangs on those commandments? Jesus does! When He hangs on the cross, He’s hanging on “Love God” and “Love your neighbor.” Those two commandments judged and condemned Him for your lack of love for God and your neighbor. But also while hanging on the cross and dying for our sins, Jesus is keeping those two commandments. On the cross, He loves His Father above all things and is obedient even unto death. And on that cross, since He’s dying for you, He is loving His neighbor. The Law is God and neighbor. The Savior is God and man. What Jesus does on that cross has everything to do with who He is as both David’s Lord and David’s Son.

Some want to imagine that Jesus is only God. He is high and exalted and almighty. How are we supposed to relate to a God who is pure awesome holiness when we’re just miserable sinners? They are disgusted to think that God could become man and take on human flesh. They believe that should be beneath Him. But a timid God doesn’t save us. Our Lord must become man to be human like His creatures and take what is ours—our sin and death. On the other hand, some think that Jesus was just a man. But no mere man can save you. No man’s sacrifice can be for the whole world. No mere man can overcome the devil and death. Jesus wasn’t just a moral example. He is the God-man Who gave Himself as a sacrifice for us so that we may have eternal life.

It is so easy to look at Jesus and see what you want to see. But my brothers and sisters in Christ, you are Christians because Jesus is God and man. Jesus is not so big that He has nothing to do with you. He is not out to get you. He doesn’t see you as small and insignificant. And He is not so small that He is unable to handle all your sins, worries, doubts and fears. He knows your doubts and fears, your struggles and temptations. As a man, He faced them, too. But as God and man both, He knows your struggles, your needs, and your sins, and He has the power to overcome them

So how can Jesus be David’s Lord and also His son? Because Jesus is true God and true man. There He is, keeping the commandments. There He is: the sacrifice for our sins. There He is: the salvation of the world. He is your confidence that you are the Lord’s forever. In a world where every man tries to be “god” and every so-called god is really just a man, the true God becomes a real man and loves God and neighbor perfectly. He dies on the cross and rises again, and in doing so He takes away your sin and gives you life. At the font and the altar, this God-man comes to you, washes you, and lifts you from your sins to be with Him. He feeds you and promises to raise you to everlasting life on the last day. He who is David’s Lord is our Lord, and He who is David’s son has made you a child of God. In the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.             

The peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus always.  Amen.

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