March 29, 2017
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
INI + AMEN.
The Lord speaks. He gives. Faith that’s created by His speaking and giving will be strengthen by the same speaking and giving that gave it life. From the speaking and giving of the Lord, faith is given, strengthened, it’s given life and growth. The Lord speaks. We listen. The Lord gives. We receive.
Yahweh, the Lord Jesus, doesn’t just give us something good that’s safe to ignore. He’s not some doctor who says, “You know, you should probably cut out the salt, eat more fruits and veggies, and exercise more.” We know all that. “Yeah, I know,” is usually the reply. But what Jesus says and gives doesn’t have to do with offering you a higher or better quality of life, which is really what we want—more success, or whatever. If there’s no measurable return on the investment now, we move on. “Yeah, I know,” continues to be the answer.
But Jesus’ speaking and giving has to do with what happens when your heart stops and you breathe your last. He’s an eternal physician, working eternal cures on bodies and souls that are only eternal and live in and through Him. He made them, He gave them to us, He will raise them up. That’s His Word, His promise. The Lord speaks. We listen. We trust Him. How can we not?
JESUS IS TRUE TO HIS WORD AND PROMISE OF SALVATION.
((I. We have every reason to trust Him.))
We have every reason to trust Jesus. The Israelites had every reason to trust Him. Oh, He may not’ve had that name yet, but there He was, Yahweh, saving His people: “I brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am Yahwheh.” Before He was conceived, born of the Virgin Mary, and given the name “Yahweh saves” (that’s Jesus), there He was being “Yahweh who saves.” He saved from Egypt. He cast down the false gods, “He drowned hard-hearted Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea, but led His people Israel through the water on dry ground.”
We have every reason to trust Him, just like the Israelites. Oh, there may not’ve been 10 plagues or a Red Sea or desert, but there was a mountain. Jesus did Calvary. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He bore. The Father didn’t pass over Him, but His blood makes for your Passover. There was Calvary, but there was Easter. Just as the sacrifice from Leviticus 22 couldn’t be sacrificed until it was 8 days old, so also Jesus was raised on the 8th day of the week—the following Sunday.
This is why we have every reason to trust Him—He saves.
((II. He delivers according to His Word.))
Yahweh doesn’t just save, proving Himself trustworthy, but Jesus also delivers according to His Word and Promise. He delivered to the Israelites: “I am Yahweh who sanctifies you.” He sanctified them, made them holy. He did this through His presence among them, through His Word, and His Gifts. It’s a Word of promise He spoke: “You will be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy.”
So also you. He delivers to you according to His Word. He delivers His holiness, His peace, His shalom. He gives and pours for you His forgiveness, life, and salvation that He delivers through His body and blood in the Supper. It’s what His Word says. He speaks. We listen. He gives. We receive, and we receive what He says we receive: “My body, given for you; My blood shed for you,” and all this “for the forgiveness of sins.” As we just sang: We dare not ask how this can be, But simply hold the mystery And trust this word where life begins: “Given and shed for all your sins.” (LSB 634:5)
He delivers what He says, just like He says—true to His Word.
((III. We cherish His Word, trust it, too!))
”Yahweh spoke to Moses.” The Lord Jesus speaks. We cherish it. We guard, keep, and treasure His Words: “‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.’ These Words, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main things in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: forgiveness of sins.” He speaks. We listen. He gives. We receive. We trust Him to do it, and we trust His Word, too.
We trust Jesus’ Word because He gives what He says. His speaking creates, His speaking gives meaning to what we do, His speaking delivers what He says. We hold fast to that word. We guard it, cherish it. “You shall [cherish] my commandments and do them: I am Yahweh. And you shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel…I am Yahweh who sanctifies you.”
We cherish them not just “because.” You should cherish God’s Word, His “given and shed for you” Word, His “this do” Word. “Yeah, I know,” comes the answer. It’s not abstract. It’s real. Is Jesus real? Is Jesus alive? So is His speaking and giving. He called the Israelites to cherish His Word and do it because that was the very way He made them holy.
It’s the same way for us: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” He speaks. We listen. He gives. We receive. We cherish it because of the true and real benefits given: forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation through His body and blood that we eat and drink.
JESUS IS TRUE TO HIS WORD AND PROMISE OF SALVATION. He speaks. He gives. He’s true to that. We listen and receive. We trust His Word, and when we believe Him and His Word, His “given and shed for you” Word, then “we have exactly what they say: forgiveness of sins.”
We all want a healthier faith, a stronger spiritual life, a closer union with our Great Physician. Don’t you? Well, here’s how: “Take, eat: My body; take, drink: My blood”—“Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
Jesus is true to this Word and to every Word and Promise of Salvation.
INI + AMEN.