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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sermon 03072012 Wednesday of Lent 2

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 despised by the Pharisee’s and Saducee’s for revealing the true message of salvation found through You.  The disciples Whom God had placed in Your hand forsook You in the Garden and cowered behind closed doors.  Yet, the plan of salvation was completed in and through Your life, death and resurrection for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this evening.  AMEN.

In the movie “Despicable Me”, Gru, the criminal mastermind whom every criminal wants to be, is portrayed at the beginning of the film as a person that no one likes.  For myself, I didn’t want to see this movie.  I despised the sinister characterization of criminals and felt it was a waste of my time, our family’s money and was not worth letting my daughter see this movie.  Truthfully, I thought the title said it all, “Despicable Me”.  And you know what, my ignorant attitude is what was despicable, not the movie.

For us tonight we encounter Isaiah’s reading of the suffering servant, Jesus Christ, as despised and forsaken.  Isaiah wrote:  3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Isaiah in this the fourth servant song clearly prophesies that Jesus Christ will be despised and forsaken.  When Jesus Christ is arrested, the arresting officers and company of soldiers treat Him with ridicule and derision.  Jesus own disciples forsake Him in the Garden and run away in great fear of being caught up in the ‘mess’ that is about to occur.  Yet this is exactly what Jesus told them would happen and what Isaiah prophesied approximately 750 years prior to the events in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Isaiah through the Work of the Holy Spirit clearly understood that Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, True God and True Man would be despised and forsaken.  Jesus Christ would walk the path to His own crucifixion alone.

Not only would Jesus walk this path alone, but He would feel fully the grief and pains we experience today on a daily basis.  Jesus Christ alone in the Praetorium would not open His mouth to defend Himself.  Jesus Christ would not call down the legions of Angels sworn to serve Him, because He understood He had to suffer at the hands of the rulers and feel the human emotion of grief, because of His Humanity in order to suffer for all of us.  Jesus Christ in feeling the pains of grief that we have reconciles us with His Father in Heaven for the entirety of the sins of mankind, including me and you.  Jesus Christ became Human, experienced grief of epic proportions in order that we may be set free and given the gift of eternal life.  Jesus Christ chose this life for each and every one of us because of His great love for mankind.

Jesus Christ endured the inhumanity of His crucifixion and also endured our turning our face away from Him.  Just as the disciples forsook Jesus in the Garden, we today forsake Jesus enduring as the suffering servant when we say, we are sinless and perfect and do no wrong.  When we treat people shamefully and see no wrong in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ our actions turn us away from Jesus Christ the suffering servant and we no longer face the Cross of Calvary.  Our turning away from Jesus and not facing Him and our need of a Savior, says that His death is not necessary to save us. 

But the truth is we need Jesus Christ, because He was innocent and He chose to endure Hell here on earth to save us from our sins.  Jesus Christ chose the Cross of Calvary for the entire world, especially for each and every one of us gathered here at Emmanuel this evening because of His great love, for you and for me.  Jesus Christ chose to come down from heaven, be lifted upon the cross, be marred in appearance, to quiet kings, inspire belief in the message of salvation and be despised and forsaken in order for all of us saints here at Emmanuel to be saved.  That is the Gospel message that the suffering Servant Jesus Christ was despised and forsaken for the entire world and for all of us saints here at Emmanuel this evening.  AMEN.
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