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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sermon 03212012 Wednesday of 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, just as the lamb is silent before its shearers, You suffered the entirety of our sins silently without utterance.  You modeled for us the true nature of a suffering servant, innocent and enduring for the atonement of our sins for all of us gathered here at Emmanuel this evening.  AMEN.

King Solomon, great Old Testament character and author offered the world and the church some great gems of wisdom in the book of Ecclesiastes.  Some of these gems have been used for funerals, times of triumph and times of tragedy about human life and how sometimes we quote ourselves, “vanity of vanities, all is vanity” when we have been disillusioned about our experiences in life.  One set of statements included in Ecclesiastes concerns God’s plan for the world, but how God’s plan is not fully revealed to us.  Solomon wrote the ‘time statements’, one of the most appropriate for us to consider tonight.  It reads, “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Ecc. 3:7).  This simple statement reveals to us what the Character of Jesus Christ our suffering servant was as He endured from His capture to the brutal end on the Cross of Calvary.

Hear our text for this evening from Isaiah who writes:

 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.

Jesus Christ was silent throughout His trial and did not open His mouth.  Jesus Christ could have easily turned the words of His accusers and refuted their claims, but “He did not open His mouth”.  Jesus Christ was quiet and did not utter a single word to refute, but endured the pain of the wounds, the torture of the soldiers, the hurled insults of the crowd, the ridicule of the masses.  Jesus Christ endured our sins, what we deserved to be crucified on the Cross for, because of His great love for you and for me.

Jesus Christ is the innocent lamb.  “Like a lamb that is led to slaughter”, Jesus Christ fulfilled the acclamation of John the Baptist who called Him the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”  Jesus Christ chose to feel the lashes of the whips, the nails being driven through His hands and feet and the mocking of the people in order to model for each of us what Solomon said, “a time to keep silence”, for this was His calling, His divine purpose and His love made manifest on the Cross of Calvary for you and for me.

For in Jesus Christ fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy of being afflicted for our sins, not opening His mouth, being led like a lamb led to the slaughter and not opening His mouth, Jesus Christ atones for our sins and the sins of the entire world.  Perfect Man Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, both God and Man endured and atoned for the entire world.  In Confirmation we talk about this word, “Atonement”, we break it apart and understand it to mean, Jesus Christ through His silent suffering makes us “At – ONE – Ment” with God the Father.  Jesus Christ reconciled us with the Father and through our baptism into Jesus Christ life and death; we are also grafted into His resurrection.  Death no longer has dominion over us and Satan no longer has dominion over us.  We have been set free as Children of our Heavenly Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Hence, Jesus Christ Who was silent as our lamb, 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’, 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 in silence 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