Sermons

Exaudi (Jn 15:26—16:4)

May 28, 2017
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

Jesus has ascended to the right hand of God’s Almighty throne. Now He’s seated there forever looking like a Lamb that was slain. Slain for your sins. He took them as His own. He conquered His foes. Death is undone—He rose. Satan, the accuser, is silenced. He lives and reigns with all things placed under His nail-scarred feat.

He’s got not just “the whole world in His hands,” but Jesus upholds the entire universe. Planets rotate, stars shine, galaxies spin because Jesus says so. He does all this not just as God, but as a man, because He’s both God and man.

He uses His power for you. He makes everything work out for good. He makes blessings out of bad choices. He heals you when you’re sick. He mends all wounds—spiritual, physical, and emotional. He gives you strength when you’re weak from all those pains.

He feels them all. He experienced them all. He lived life just like you and me (without sin though), and He bore it all in His own body on the tree. He redeemed all of you: your soul, your body, your everything. He’s God, so, of course, His dying and rising did that.

((3. The Spirit delivers Jesus.))

But that’s not all for Jesus. He’s not quite done. We heard that Thursday. Ascended Jesus still works. He’s not gone. He’s here for you, and He delivers His salvation to you. He’s washed you and made you clean and holy in the waters of Holy Baptism. He enlivens you, gives you peace with His Word of forgiveness in the Absolution. He feeds you with His real Body and Blood.

This delivery, well, while Jesus Himself is doing it, it’s also the Holy Spirit’s job. That’s what Jesus says, “The Spirit of Truth will bear witness about Me.” “Bear witness,” that is, um, deliver Jesus.

He will point to Jesus, draw you to Jesus, preach Jesus’ dying and rising for you, give Jesus’ righteousness at the Baptismal font, put Jesus’ forgiveness into your ears with the Absolution, strengthen your faith toward God and love toward those around you with Jesus’ real body and blood in the Supper.

That’s all the Spirit’s work, bearing witness to Jesus. As Jesus says later in John 16: “The Spirit will take what is mine and deliver it to you.”

((2. Jesus delivers a warning about the world.))

Clearly Jesus loves you. He’s not only done everything to save you. He delivers that salvation directly to you. Today He says something because He loves you. He gives you this warning: you’ll suffer; be cast out of churches; you’ll be made fun of; they’ll kill you. He tells you now, so when it happens, you don’t loose hope.

It really happened like Jesus said. All the apostles, except John, were martyred, put to death for their trust in Jesus. Christians were thrown out of the synagogues, and the Church was also persecuted by the Romans.

It’s not just a problem from the time of the Apostles or the time of early Christian Church. It’s a problem you face, too.

No one believes that Jesus did miracles. People might say He died, but that He rose again from the dead, is just a fairy tale—no matter what the eyewitnesses saw, touched, and heard.

No intelligent person believes that God created the heavens and the earth, that Noah built a boat, that Jonah was swallowed by a fish—even though Jesus, who rose from the dead, said these happened.

Trusting that Jesus, who died and rose for all, is the only way to heaven? That’s unacceptable! Close minded! The world has moved on. Your trust is just superstitious nonsense. If you want to be accepted out there in the world, you’ll have to move on, too.

By threatening you, by silencing you, by killing you—25 or so Christians were killed in Egypt this past week—the world thinks it’s doing God a favor. They’re doing everyone a favor by sidelining you, throwing you out of the world’s churches: universities, schools, governments. And they’ll make you choose between Jesus’ Church and another one of their churches: sports, entertainment.

They do all of this “because they don’t know the Father or Me,” says Jesus.

((1. Jesus makes you ready.))

But Jesus wants you ready, and so He warns you. So when all this is happening, you can remember His Word and hold fast to your faith.

“Don’t fall away,” says Jesus. Don’t loose your trust in Jesus when they make fun of you, treat you badly. Don’t deny if it becomes illegal. Stick to your guns about Jesus’ death and resurrection, the truth of what Scripture says Jesus said and did. Listen to what Jesus says.

Look to the Apostles’ faith. Yes, they all ran away when Jesus was taken. Peter even denied Him three times! But then they saw Jesus alive, and nothing could make them deny then. They confessed Jesus alive, even to the point of their own death.

You, too! Jesus makes you ready. You know the Father, that He’s shown His love for you in the giving up of His Son for you and for the world. Jesus suffered for your sins and was raised for your forgiveness.

Being made ready is why we need time to study God’s Word together. Jesus strengthens us, makes us ready, enlivens us through His Word. Teach your children and your children’s children that the same Jesus who died on Good Friday is alive today seated at the right hand of God.

Being made ready is why Jesus’ Gifts are so important! Jesus dies and rises you with Him in Baptism. You have His peace in His Absolution. You receive His real body and blood. The body and blood that death, grave, devil, world, and hell couldn’t overcome is given to you, and so those things can’t and won’t really overcome you either.

In all these ways:

JESUS AND THE SPIRIT STRENGTHEN YOU UNTO ETERNAL LIFE.

The Spirit does it through Jesus’ Bible and Gifts, and Jesus gave them for that very reason. This life of pain and sadness, this life of persecution will give way to eternal life. It’s why the Spirit works according to Jesus’ promise to strengthen you and keep you body and soul unto life everlasting.

And when you die, you’ll see that all you’ve suffered for, sacrificed for, prioritized for is all true. You’ll see Jesus who died for you, rose for you, lives for you, seated at the right hand of God for you.

It’s as certain as this:

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!

HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

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