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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sermon 05132012, Easter 5, 5th Sunday After Easter

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, Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, Alleluia!  Lord Jesus Christ You promise to lift each of us up in prayer in order for us to feel Your love.  May we daily feel Your prayers and know You have fought the good fight and overcome the world for each of us.  For this truth was manifest with Your death on the Cross.  The battle may have been over, but the victory is ours through our baptism into Your life, death and resurrection for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

Jesus Christ overcame the world for us!  He is risen indeed Alleluia!

In the Old Testament there are many books and chapters that seem dull and dry to the casual reader.  One can easily get lost in who begat whom and the wars that raged when one people would come against Israel, God’s chosen people.  If you were to read 2nd Kings 18 and 19, Hezekiah was made King over Israel and ‘he did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his Father David had done.’ (2 Kings 18:3).  The stark reality for us this morning is that even in the Old Testament with Hezekiah, Jesus words to the disciples we hear this morning were fulfilled for the King and people who did what King David did and followed the Lord’s teachings and Moses commandments.  Hear Hezekiah’s prayer:

14 Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16  Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, O Lord our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O Lord, are God.”

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.’

The key that Hezekiah heard through Isaiah the prophet and that we hear today from Jesus own lips are that when we ask God for something in our prayers, God will answer our prayers, because He prays to the Father for us.

Jesus Christ clearly says He prays for us.  Jesus Christ taught His disciples when asked what we call the Lord’s Prayer and we are to pray that prayer in time of need, in times where we need comfort, when we know not what to ask for.  The Holy Spirit that was promised to us by Jesus gives us the words to pray and Jesus as our Great High Priest as Deb Boyle reminded the ladies at the Spring Tea intercedes to the Father for us with His prayers since He is perfect and sinless and knows exactly what we need.

For Jesus Christ fought for us from the time He entered the world in a lowly manger and walked on the Sea of Galilee, when He healed the sick and lame and feed the poor and lowly and especially when He suffered at the hands of the soldiers when He was crucified.  Jesus Christ as Timothy wrote, “fought the good fight, finished the course and kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).  Through Jesus Christ perfect life, He endured pain torment and torture in order to give us eternal life.  This was the gift He freely gives us today in order for all of us to be with Him in His kingdom.

And Jesus Christ won the battle for each of us.  Jesus Christ won the battle over sin, death, the devil, Hell and damnation to free us from our sins.  This was no little skirmish, but it was Jesus Christ fighting for each of our lives in order to give us the gift of eternal life.  For Jesus Christ fights not as a soldier, but as the Son of God Who has no equal.  Just as Jesus at the beginning of His ministry struggled with Satan for 40 days in the wilderness and then right before being betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed with such fervor that it was as if drops of blood fell from His face, Jesus battled Satan in order to set each of us free.  Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself as the sacrificial lamb that takes away the sin of the world.  The stain of sin that each of us carries that only in, with and through our baptism and faith in what Jesus Christ has done for us can we be set free as children of God.  We through Jesus Christ sacrifice can “have peace”, because of the promise of Jesus Christ that He “overcame the world” for you and for me.
The best example we have this morning as we celebrate Mother’s Day is how each of our mother’s endured the pains of child birth to give new life to each of us.  Thank you Mother’s for this gift.  In a recent movie, “October Baby” the actress who plays the birth mother of Hannah connects clearly to the decisions that Mother’s sometimes make.  You see, she unlike her character had a successful abortion when she was younger.  Unknowingly the screenwriters sent her the script for the movie and Shari Rigby understood at a much deeper level the sacrifices and their ramifications that we parents make in our own lives.  This morning Jesus Christ models for each of us a sacrifice of Himself in order to give us eternal life.  May we daily pray to God asking for what we need and embrace Jesus Christ sacrifice and His battle for each of our lives.  For Jesus Christ overcame the world for us and did this in order to set all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel free.  AMEN.
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