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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sermon 02262012 Lent 1

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray, Lord Jesus Christ, You were humiliated so we might receive eternal life.  We cannot clearly understand the depth nor pain of humiliation You endured.  May we begin to understand You endured this to give us eternal life and this was part of Your humiliation for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

Our text for this morning as we continue our series on the ‘suffering servant’ is taken from Isaiah 52:14.  It reads:

14 Just as many were astonished at you, My people, So His appearance was marred more than any man  And His form more than the sons of men.

Recently, Michele, Sarah and I had the opportunity to go to Colorado Springs and visit the United States Air Force Academy.  As part of the introduction at the Visitors Center, we watched the film that describes Cadet life.  When a cadet arrives on campus for the first time they quickly are indoctrinated that they will need to earn the right to wear the insignia on the shoulder that indicates they are part of the Corp of Cadets at the Air Force Academy.  All of their civilian attire and creature comforts are summarily stripped from them and they wear Air Force Blue, eat Air Force food, clean the Air Force way and especially march the Air Force way.  Another fact that they are reminded of daily is that they chose  to come to Colorado Springs, they accept this is part of their indoctrination and whether they understand it or not, they are enduring this to be built up as a Cadet and future graduate of the United States Air Force Academy.

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ chose and accepted freely His being put down, humiliated and being a suffering servant for you and for me.  Jesus Christ knew His calling would be humiliation as part of His Office.  Jesus Christ chose and accepted the reality that He would suffer in Mind, Body and Spirit and endure being treated as the ‘scourge of the earth’.  Jesus Christ knew He would suffer the pain and torment of our sin for each and everyone of us.

Jesus Christ endured His appearance being changed.  To say the least when Jesus Christ was arrested, the Romans did not have ‘humane organizations’ watching every step.  Jesus didn’t have a public outcry for His favorable treatment.  Jesus Christ endured beatings, He endured the whips and chains of the torturers, He endured the discomfort of sweat stinging the open wounds caused by the soldiers, the branches used for torture and the non-stop harassment of the company of soldiers.  Jesus Christ would endure this as a shadow of the former man that He was Who healed the blind and lame, fed the thousands and walked with His disciples between Jordan and Jerusalem.  Yet, Jesus Christ endured His appearance being changed for a single purpose.

Jesus Christ endured being put down, disfigured, devoid of basic human dignity to endure Hell here on earth in His humiliation for you and for me to fulfill the plan of salvation.  Jesus Christ in suffering at the hands of the soldiers, the crowd and at the pleasure of the devil endured this in order to save you and me from our sins.  Through Jesus Christ sacrifice on the Cross Jesus fulfilled His Office, His Calling and His destiny of enduring such humiliation in order to offer you and me eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

This is the gift that God offers us and that Jesus Christ chose to endure.  For Jesus Christ came into this world as the suffering servant for all the world, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.
//trial script