Advent 1: Ad Te Levavi (Mt 21:1–9; Jer 23:5–8)

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

“Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!”

INI AMEN.

He comes. Jesus comes. The royal decree’s been spoken: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous branch.” The Branch comes. The Son of David comes. King Jesus comes. That’s advent.

We cry out to Him: “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” We do that not just because He’s the Lord, and it’s the right thing to do. We lift up our soul to Him, we cry out to Him, we pray to Him because He’s the Lord who comes. He comes in the flesh. He’s “Immanuel, God with us.” God one one of us. He’s King, Seed of the woman, Seed of David, born in Bethlehem, the city of David, “of the house and lineage of David.”

The Lord has spoken. The royal decree issued. “The LORD has sworn, and will not change His mind.” (Ps 110:4) He Himself is the One who “comes in the name of the Lord.” He shows up. He advents. He’s Son of David, after all! He comes; He’s King. King of the Jews. King of creation. “Hosanna in the highest!”

((2. Jesus comes as King of the Jews.))

The promise was made: “I will raise up for David a righteous Branch.” He will do glorious things! He will scatter His enemies, and He will bring His people “from the north country and from wherever He had scattered them.” But this promised King isn’t any ordinary King. “Who is this King of Glory? The LORD of hosts is the King of Glory!” His name is: “The LORD, our Righteousness.” He works “justice” and “righteousness for His people.” He saves His people: “In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell securely.” King and Savior mean the same thing. The righteous Branch, the Seed of David, is the “Lord God of Sabaoth” Himself.

Jesus is that King. He is the “Lord God of Saboath.” He rules the hosts, the angel armies, along with His Father. He rides into Jerusalem on the donkey to show He was that King, come to His people, to do what He promised. He doesn’t rule and reign from heaven. He doesn’t save there. He comes to save. He’s King, so He comes. He is “the Son of David, who’s come in the Name of the Lord.” In Jesus’ days Judah is saved, and Israel is safe and secure, eternally so. It’s why Jesus had come, why He’s named Jesus: “He will save His people from their sins.”

Jesus rides in to save, and so the people cry out: “Save us! Hosanna!” He enters Jerusalem as “the King of the Jews.” His royal title. His condemnation. They rejected their King, chose Caesar instead. But their King, their Savior, couldn’t be stopped by their rejecting Him. He used that to save them, to die for them. And so it was that “over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’” He is “mighty in battle” on Calvary, saving His people with mighty, nail-pierced hands and outstretched arms. (Dt 4:34)

((Transition.))

He comes. He rides in. Advents. His royal carriage: a donkey. Palms and garments His red carpet. His crown: thorns. His throne: a cross. Ruling, reigning, saving, dying for the sake of His people, “a ransom for many.”

((1. Jesus comes as your King, too.))

You’re part of that “many.” Jesus comes also for you. He’s “King of Creation, Son of God, and Son of Man.” In His days, He saved. Because of His “sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in a stone-cold tomb” it shall now be said, “As the LORD lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where He had driven them.” He joins you to Israel, to Himself, by faith. We, too, are “offspring of the house of Israel,” drawn from the “north country, the nations,” Gentiles.

“The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” That’s you. Jesus is also your King, your Savior. He ransoms you. Dies for you, sheds His blood for you, crucified for you, crowned with thorns for you, rides into Jerusalem for you, shows up, advents for you. He saves you, brings you to Himself, makes you a disciples in Holy Baptism, and presses you into His service, like the disciples who went to get the donkey, like the man who gave up his donkey, like the donkey and her colt who bore Jesus into Jerusalem. You are baptized and so “you love your neighbor as yourself” in all the ways Paul laid out in Romans 13.

Yet, we fail. Fail our neighbor, and fail God in the process. Like the crowd who welcomed Jesus on Sunday but wanted Him crucified on Friday. For this He came: our failures, our sins. Against Him, Against our neighbor. He died for them. His decree: “It is finished!” He’s “the Lord God of Sabaoth,” after all, “the LORD of Hosts,” not just of angels, but of “angels and archangels and all the company of heaven.” You, too, He’s your Lord, your King, your Savior. “Heaven and earth are full of His glory.”

So, we cry out to Him. Cry out for salvation. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because He’s the Lord who comes. We’re just like the crowd. We know their song. We sing their song! Their song is our song. “Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest.” We sing their song when Jesus shows up, advents as King, as Savior to deliver His redemption, His own body and blood, according to His own promise. The royal decree given: “This is My Body, given for you. This is My Blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

((Conclusion.))

The royal decree’s been given: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch.” Jesus is that Branch. Jesus comes. He’s “King of the Jews.” Crucified. Dead. Raised. A ransom for many. Ransom for you, too. Advent for you. “It is finished!” for you. King for you. Advent: JESUS COMES, AND HE’S YOUR KING.

The royal decree has been given. Jesus gave it. “Eat; this is My Body, given for you. Drink; this is My Blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Advent, King Jesus’ coming, isn’t just Bethlehem. It’s not just Jerusalem or Bethphage or the Mount of Olives. Advent is today. Jesus is King today—crucified and raised. Yes, JESUS COMES, AND HE’S YOUR KING. He comes and is your King at Calvary. He comes and is your King whenever He gives out His body to eat and His blood to drink for the forgiveness of your sins. “Hosanna in the highest!”

INI AMEN.

1 thought on “Advent 1: Ad Te Levavi (Mt 21:1–9; Jer 23:5–8)

  1. Present tense, these things of Christ are not in the future!

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