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Sunday, March 11, 2012

03112012 Sunday in Lent 3

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 carried to the Cross of Calvary the griefs and cares of the entire world.  As You were nailed to the cross for our sins, the innocent Blood stricken from Your head, hands, feet and side You shed to set us free from our sins.  May we be enabled to understand You chose this for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

Recently Michele and I embarked upon a movie marathon because of the coming Avenger’s movie from Marvel Comics.  We watched, Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 2, Captain America and even Thor.  In Thor, the main character has been banished from his home world to earth, because of his disobedience of King Odin, his father, and dishonoring the family name by inciting the potential of a cosmic war.  After falling to earth through a portal, befriending a Physicist who accidently hit him with a van twice and explaining that science and mythology are one and the same, Loki, Thor’s brother sends a ‘Metal Fire Creature’ to destroy Thor and the entire town and cement his place as the next King.  But Thor, mere mortal man walks up to the creature and implores Loki to only kill him. Thor, stripped of his powers and birth right places himself in between the wrath of Loki and the destruction of the town, willing to sacrifice himself for the people he no longer can protect.  And the metal fire creature deals the final death blow and Thor suffers the fatal mortal blow of sacrifice.

Just as Thor sacrifices himself, in today’s text from Isaiah, we hear more of the suffering servant, Jesus Christ Who sacrifices Himself for me and for you.  Hear Isaiah’s prophecy:

4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 

Bearing the entirety of the griefs and cares of the world, Jesus Christ shouldered the burden without a second thought.  For those with little knowledge of scripture, nor a personal relationship and knowledge of Jesus Christ, they wonder if Jesus Christ could actually feel grief.  Yet Holy Scripture by inspiration of the Holy Spirit upon the scripture writers are clear, Jesus Christ feels grief that is sharper than any knife that can cut or sword that could pierce.  Jesus feels our personal grief, whether it is the loss of a child, spouse, friend or loved one, whether it is a fight between friends or families or even if it is a betrayal of a trust of confidence.  The range of compassion that Jesus Christ feels for in each and every situation was magnified and endured while He was on the Cross of Calvary.

For Jesus Christ was afflicted for our sins.  Not only did He endure the grief and cares of the world for that time, but Jesus Christ endured the griefs and cares for all time and all place.  Jesus felt the pain for everyone as He hung from the Cross of Calvary.  Jesus Christ was afflicted and endured our sins because He chose to remain hung on the cross and endure the worst torture and inhumanity that could be dished out upon anyone.
Jesus Christ endured everything upon the cross for you and for me so we would not have to.  Jesus Christ in the greatest act of love, compassion and commitment carried His own Cross to Calvary and chose to die on the Cross to set us free from our sins.  Jesus Christ frees us from the bonds of sin, death and the devil that bind us and cause us to have grief beyond measure.  Jesus sets us free to see, not that which binds us, but the freedom found in and through His Cross for each and every one of us.  Jesus Christ chose to be lifted up, marred, despised and forsaken in order for us to believe the message of salvation that would quiet kings and bear for you and me our griefs and cares.  Jesus Christ chose to be afflicted to give to all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning eternal life.  That is the message of salvation and sacrifice that Jesus Christ, our suffering servant offers all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.
//trial script