December 2, 2015
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
INI + AMEN.
Hear ye, hear ye! The royal decree’s been issued! So it says in Jeremiah this evening.
5 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD,
“That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness;
A King shall reign and prosper,
And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
6 In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell safely;
Now this is His name by which He will be called:
THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, “As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.” The Lord’s Word has been proclaimed and announced. Hear ye, hear ye!
YAHWEH’S ROYAL PROCLAMATION: HIS KINGLY SON IS COMING.
That’s Yahweh’s Word through Jeremiah. The Kingly Son comes. Advent. Adventus: He comes.
(1. Oops!: ) How will He be when He comes?
Will He come in judgment? Will He be a terror? It is called Judgment Day, after all. How will King Jesus be when He comes? Happy? Angry? Judgy? Though it’s not so much about the King’s disposition and mood. But how will He find you? What will He find you doing? What will He find you saying? But it’s worse than that: Jesus isn’t a King who judges by outward appearances. He’s too wise for such a thing as that. He doesn’t just judge by what His eyes see or His ears hear. He discerns and knows what’s in your heart and thoughts. “You must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,” Jesus said. And as the Psalmist confesses: “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.” What will He find you thinking? What motivations will He find within you when He comes? As He says in Jeremiah, “He shall execute judgment in the land.” Judgment rendered according to His Law, His Commandments. What then?
That’s not a good prospect for us, is it? Looking at ourselves we think we know what’s going to happen when the KINGLY SON COMES.
(2. Ugh!:) We know what He’ll find.
We know what makes us unworthy of His coming. We’re unworthy of being allowed in His presence when He comes. There’s always something in our past that makes us a little wary of Judgment Day. Something we don’t want brought to light. Heck, we don’t even really like thinking about it! We know we deserve His judgment. We know we should be cast out. He’d be well within His rights as Kingly Judge to “drive” us away—not just to the “north country” or “all other countries” where He could drive us. We should be removed from His presence forever, into “outer darkness, the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.” When we look at ourselves and actually use God’s Law to judge ourselves and not just our generic “well, I’m not a bad person” or “I’m not that bad” or “I’m better than so and so”—when the Lord judges with His Law, we know that “outside the kingdom” should be the final royal proclamation spoken about us.
Left to ourselves, that would be and should be what’s spoken, but hear ye, hear ye! “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you.”
(3. Aha!:) The kingly Son comes with righteousness and salvation.
That’s what He promises in Jeremiah tonight: “In His days, Judah will be saved, and Israel shall dwell in safety. This is His Name, by which He will be called, the LORD, that is, Yahweh-our-righteousness.”
Since He’s coming with righteousness and salvation,
(4. Whee!:) we don’t have to fear His coming.
He’s already won them for you. He won them by taking the judgment for you. That’s Yahweh’s promise in Jeremiah 23. “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: YAHWEH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” We are saved by the Kingly Son. His name and office are “YAHWEH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” He is our righteousness. It can’t be any other way. His name is Jesus, יְהוֹשֻׁעַ: “Yahweh saves.” His name is “YAHWEH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” His cross won that. “He will save His people from their sins.” His cross is His throne: “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.” That is the Kingly Son saving His people, bearing our unrighteousness. All those things which He should judge us for, He is judged for instead. So we don’t fear His coming not only because of what He’s won but what He’s delivered, and what He delivers is the heart of the Christian message. He delivers His salvation, His righteousness to you. “As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel…” He does this for you by leading you through His font to His altar. He washes us and then He feeds us. We aren’t driven away. We’re brought near. He brings us near to Himself. He shows us His heart at the cross and empty tomb, and He embraces us with His gifts, wrapping us, feeding us with His righteousness and salvation and so we are righteous and we are saved.
(5. Yeah!:) So we wait for His coming.
That’s all that’s left to do: wait. We wait for His coming. Not in fear but in joy. He’ll bring even fuller salvation and righteousness to us. “And they shall dwell in their own land.” It’s the Lord’s Land to give out, and He’s given you the promise of living in His land forever. He will come and bring it about. We will dwell in the kingdom of the Son forever. His kingdom has no end.
Hear ye, hear ye! The proclamation’s gone out. There’s a royal visit. We don’t need to fear the Kingly Son as He comes to us. We know we’re unworthy, but let’s not listen to ourselves or pay attention to what we think or say. Let’s listen to His royal proclamation. Hear ye! YAHWEH’S ROYAL PROCLAMATION: HIS KINGLY SON IS COMING. He comes brining you salvation and righteousness. There’s no fear. He’s coming for you to save you.
INI + AMEN.