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Sunday, March 18, 2012

03182012 Sunday in Lent 4

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, the iniquity of our sins fell on You while on the cross of Calvary.  You are sinless and yet became sin in order to set us free from that which binds us.  Enable us to embrace the freedom offered to us through Your sacrifice of Your innocent death for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

While watching Iron Man and Iron Man 2 with Michele, I am continually amazed about the number of sermon illustrations and applications that God can highlight for me in current blockbuster movies.  In Iron Man, Tony Stark, billionaire weapons contractor comes to a humbling reality that his weapons not only caused himself to suffer with the shrapnel encroaching on his heart, but those weapons have caused the entire world to be impacted.  After creating an arc reactor to power the device that keeps him alive, he creates a suit to rescue himself from his captors.  After overpowering his captors and ‘rocketing’ away Tony is in front of a room of reporters where he determines that his legacy will no longer be weapons of mass destruction.  The iniquities of his previous life have impacted his life greatly and Tony Stark wants to change his course and help humanity.

Our reading from Isaiah today reminds us that our iniquities and sins fell upon Jesus Christ.  Isaiah writes:

6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

Simply said, we are sinful creatures.  We were conceived in sin and though made in the image of God we are as Martin Luther says, simul ustus et pecator ‘simultaneously saint and sinner’ all at the same time.  We cannot separate out our sins, but these sins we commit on a daily basis are what fell on Jesus Christ.  While in the hands of the Jews, the Roman soldiers, the journey to Calvary and upon the Cross, Jesus Christ felt the full burden of all of our collective sins of the entire world.  A very inexact comparison is to try and compare it to weight, but the burden of sin that Jesus carried for each and every one of us is an infinite amount of sins, because this was for the entire world.

Jesus Christ Who bore our sins was sinless Himself.  Jesus Christ sinless man born of the Virgin Mary, Who came down from heaven and redeemed us was sinless. Paul says, “Jesus Christ knew no sin” (2 Cor. 5:21).  In His humanity Jesus Christ suffered for our sins and bore the pain of our sins on the Cross of Calvary.  This was the plan of salvation and the way in which Jesus Christ sinless Man would atone for our sins and for the sins of humanity on the Cross of Calvary.

For Jesus Christ became sin for us.  John the Baptist in the Gospel of John says, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29).  Jesus purpose on earth was to redeem mankind and offer to us eternal life.  We who have been baptized into Christ, like Danielle this past Wednesday and all of us who have been washed in the Waters of Baptism are set free from the bonds of sin, because Jesus became sin for us.  We have been set free from our sin (John 8:34, 36), because of our delivery from the guilt and punishment of sin that Jesus Christ bore on the Cross of Calvary and that we have been baptized into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior.  Our names are written in the book of life and Jesus Christ calls us through the Holy Spirit Who is active in and among us each today. 

Jesus Christ Who was marred, despised and forsaken, bore our griefs and cares and was afflicted in order to quiet the Kings who asked the question, ‘Who has believed’?  Jesus Christ even endured scourging, bruising piercing having our iniquity and sin fall upon Him on the cross in order to offer to all of us gathered here at Emmanuel today eternal life.  For Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him and His death on the Cross of Calvary for the entire world, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.
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