Sermons

Rogate—Easter 6 (Jn 16:23–33)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

Victory. Triumph. Conquest. That’s what that Easter Greeting is all about. Jesus’ victory. He really is risen from the dead. He’s actually alive. Living, breathing; walking, talking alive. “Neither could the gates of death Nor the tombs dark portal Nor the watchers nor the seal Hold Him as a mortal” (LSB 487:4)

But not just Jesus’ victory. That Jesus is risen is your victory, too. How can it not be? That’s what Jesus Himself tells you today. The world and its sorrow, your flesh and its death, your own sin—all of it taken care of by Jesus.

You have peace. You don’t need to worry. “Take heart,” Jesus says. “Be comforted.” This is your comfort. Victory. Triumph. Conquest.

JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD FOR YOU.

((I. This is the source of your salvation (peace).))

This is your salvation, your peace: JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD FOR YOU. It’s why He came from the Father and came into the world. Why He was born of the virgin Mary. Why He suffered for us under Pontius Pilate. Why He was crucified, died, and was buried. That’s what we confess in the Nicene Creed. “For us…and our salvation,” our peace with God, He did all that. Then, the disciples were “scattered, each to his own home.” Jesus was left alone, abandoned. He was forsaken by the Father. Even unto His own death. That’s Jesus’ overcoming the world for you.

This overcoming the world is why Jesus also returns to the Father. “Now I am leaving the world and going to the Father,” He says. He was risen from the dead. He overcame death and the grave. The Father didn’t abandon His Son. He did not let Him see corruption. “The Father is with Me,” Jesus said. Jesus came back to life, and would ascend to His Father and your Father. That’s Jesus’ overcoming the world for you.

This is the Father’s love for you: Jesus overcoming the world. He was sent by the Father. “The Son obeyed His Father’s will,” as we sang last week. “The Father Himself loves you,” says Jesus. The source is Jesus’ overcoming the world for you. “The Love of God in Christ Jesus” was put on display at Calvary’s cross with the Son of God hanging dead; itwas put on display at the empty tomb and upper room with the Son of God standing there very much alive. That’s Jesus’ overcoming the world for you, just as your Father wanted for you.

((Transition.))

Now, JESUS overcoming THE WORLD FOR YOU is the source of your eternal salvation. Now, you can and do have peace with God. Eternal peace. Everlasting peace. But Jesus’ overcoming the world is also the source of your prayer.

((II. This is the source of your prayer, too!))

You don’t have to pray on a whim, on a dare, in a hopeless, last-resort way. “The Father Himself loves you,” Jesus says. The Father’s very heart is open to you. See what love the Father has given to us: His Son into death; the Son’s heart pierced for you with a spear; the Son’s tomb opened and empty. See what love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. You are a child of God, that’s what your Baptism gave you.

Because of His love and what His Son, Jesus, has done for you (over coming the world) there’s no more transaction with God. No more works to make you worthy. And this isn’t just the heart of salvation. This is the heart of prayer. You don’t have to be worried about using the proper and right words. As if you have to try and tell God what He wants to hear before He’ll answer you. That’s unbelief and doubt, a rejection of the 1st and 2nd Commandments.

The disciples tried that with Jesus: telling Him what they thought He wanted to hear. He called them out on it: “Do you now believe?” We do it, too. That’s what we think of prayer. We often times try to trick God and get what we want in our selfishness. Our selfishness and greediness, our always wanting more stuff is our sin. But our sin causes us to think that you’ve got to butter God up with nice words. That you’ve almost got to trick Him. But the truth is that He’s already heard all that He needs to hear: “It is finished.” Sin paid for. Victory. Overcoming the world. “It is finished” Spoken from His very heart, by His beloved Son, into whom you’ve been baptized as an eternal co-heir.

Now, not only is your heavenly Father’s heart opened to you, but His ears are, too! You don’t have to pray on a dare. You don’t have to only pray for “big things.” You can really pray for “small things,” too. Big prayers, little prayers all are certainly heard by your heavenly Father. “Whatever you ask the Father will give,” Jesus says. Not because of you. All rooted in Jesus: His overcoming the world by His death and resurrection. All rooted in your Baptism. Because of Jesus, your Baptism, and God’s promise and command whatever prayer is prayed is heard by your Father. In fact, when you pray, you’re using your Baptism!

“Whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” “Take heart, I have overcome the world.”

((Conclusion.))

JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD FOR YOU. He really has. This is your salvation. Your peace. You don’t need to worry. Not about death. Not about sin. You don’t need to doubt. Certainly not about prayer. Jesus overcoming the world (his death and resurrection) is the ground and certainty of your prayer.

That’s Baptism. The children of God, the Baptized, pray and are heard by the Father. Believe it! You can trust Jesus. Look at what He’s done and promised! Victory. Triumph. Conquest. But not just Jesus’ victory. Yours. Your peace, comfort, and salvation, too. “Neither could the gates of death Nor the tombs dark portal Nor the watchers nor the seal Hold [you] as a mortal” (LSB 487:4) Yes, you! Empty casket, risen from the dead!—because JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD FOR YOU. Certainly has. That’s what this is all about:

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

INI + AMEN.

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