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Sunday, March 25, 2012

03252012 Sunday in Lent 5

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 taken into custody, to the Cross and to the Tomb in order for the plan of salvation to be fulfilled.  May our hearts be taken with Your commitment and enabled to embrace Your sacrifice for us on the Cross of Calvary to set all of us free from our sins.  For You chose this in order free all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel from our sins.  AMEN.

In the Pixar movie Cars, Lightning McQueen flashy young car that aspires to win the coveted Piston Cup learns a difficult lesson for someone so young.  On the last lap that will assure him of being the first rookie to win the Piston Cup, all the preparation pales in comparison, when he sees his idol, crash on the final lap of the race.  Lighting in uncharacteristic fashion slams on the brakes and stops just short of the finish line.  What he does is sacrifice all of the accolades and dreams of stardom.  But in that sacrifice the true character comes out of a person willing to give everything or have it taken away.

For us today we hear again from Isaiah how Jesus Christ, our suffering servant sacrificed His life on the Cross of Calvary for all of us gathered here this morning.  Hear our text for this morning from Isaiah who writes:

8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself when He was taken from the Garden.  Having gone to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray for the ‘Cup to be taken from Him’, Jesus entrusted to His Father the outcome of the coming days with the Words, “Not my will be done, but Yours”.  This sealed Jesus destiny and led to Judas coming to the Garden with the soldiers and taking Jesus from the Garden.  Unlike our present day movies that show people resisting and fleeing in order to not be caught, Jesus calmly and with divine will and purpose in mind submitted Himself to His being taken from the garden and left with the soldiers with the full knowledge that He would suffer for the transgressions of we His people.

Just as Jesus Christ was taken from the Garden, He was taken between the rulers.  Prior to the day when Jesus was tried by both Pontius Pilate and Caiaphas, they had been enemies.  But as a twist of faith, with Jesus being shuffled between the rulers, this would heal the rift between the two leaders and they were friends from that day forward.  Yet it took innocent man, Jesus Christ to endure being passed between rulers as a sacrifice for our sins.

Not only would Jesus be taken from the Garden, between the rulers, but also He was taken to the Cross.  Having walked the “Via dolorosa” in Old City Jerusalem even being healthy and without a 75-100 lb wooden slab to carry, it was a journey.  Yet, Jesus Christ Who at the hands of the soldiers had been beaten, scourged and crushed suffered the worse fate of any individual still having to struggle to get to Golgotha where He would be crucified for our sins.

And once Jesus Christ had been hung from the Cross and died, Joseph of Arimethea took Jesus lifeless body to the tomb.  As was custom and tradition, since the Passover was being celebrated in Jerusalem that very Saturday, Jesus body had to be taken down and disposed of quickly.  Joseph, prominent man who sat on the council placed Him in a new tomb, never used previously and ceremonially cleansed himself since he had touched Jesus lifeless dead body when placing it in the tomb. 

For Jesus Christ having been taken from the Garden, between the rulers, to the Cross and now to the tomb had been taken away.  Jesus Christ also had been silent as our lamb, was marred, despised and forsaken, bore our grief’s and cares and was afflicted in order to quiet the Kings who asked the question, ‘Who has believed’, 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 by being taken away saved the world through His death on the Cross of Calvary for the entire world, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.
//trial script