Easter 2—Quasimodo Geniti (Jn 20, 19–31)

Photo by Basil James on Unsplash

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

᛭ INI ᛭

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

“We have peace with God.” You do. I do. You are declared innocent of your sins by faith in Jesus Christ. “Having been justified by faith we have peace with God.” But this peace with God doesn’t come because we’ve drummed up enough faith within ourselves. No, “having been justified by faith,” declared innocent by believing in Jesus, “we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

((2. True peace is the forgiveness of sins.))

True peace comes from Jesus. Peace flows from His cross. Peace shines from His empty tomb. His peace is something the world cannot give. It’s peace of an empty tomb. That “because He lives you will live also.” As it went for Him, so it will go for you. “I will open your graves and bring you out of your graves, and then you will know that I am the Lord.” That’s Ezekiel. But that’s not the only peace Jesus gives. It’s not just Last-Day peace. Jesus gives everyday peace!

Christ “made peace in His flesh…through the blood of His cross.” “He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, by His wounds you have been healed,” forgiven. That’s what you see in our Gospel text when Jesus appeared to His disciples in a locked room. “He showed them His hands and His side, and said, ‘Peace be with you.’”

We have peace with God in those wounds. There’s no working for your own peace with God, because Jesus worked it all out for you. He “canceled the record of debt that stood against us, nailing it to the cross.” There He canceled your offenses, forgave your debt, absolved your sins. “Holy, precious blood…innocent suffering and death.” Jesus’ for you. There’s no sin, no thought, no word, no deed, that wasn’t washed away, cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

Jesus Himself is our peace with God. He is our forgiveness before God. He is our redemption price. He is our sacrifice, our Lamb, our Lord, our Savior. “In Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.” Peace and redemption are the same thing with God. Peace, redemption, forgiveness, justified all synonyms. All like the same thing. You’re redeemed. You’re saved. You’re forgiven. Eternally forgiven.

No deed outside the Lord’s death. No thought outside of His suffering. No word outside His forgiveness. No sin outside of His blood. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big sin, little sin, deep-dark hidden sin, or a sin everyone knows about. “He showed them His hands and side, and then they were glad when they saw the Lord.” You can be glad, too. Rejoice! You don’t have to be afraid of Jesus. His wounds tell you all that you need to know: you’re forgiven. You have peace with God, through Him, through those wounds—nails, spear (those glorious scars)—you are healed, forgiven, saved, now and forever.

That’s how you stand with God. Forgiven. Have to be forgiven. No other way around it. Jesus died. He rose. Now there’s peace between you and God.

((1. The forgiveness of sins isn’t only won but also delivered into our midst.))

The forgiveness Jesus won for you, “the peace He made in His flesh through the blood of His cross,” isn’t far off. You don’t have to go very far to find He. He delivers it right to you, and if He has to do a little breaking and entering to do it, He will! Okay, not really. But He does bust in on the scaredy-cat apostles. He busts in for only one reason. He wants to have a chat with them.

But the Lord’s chat with them doesn’t go like anything we’d expect. Same thing when He shows up eight days later to talk with Thomas. (Same thing when He shows up to chat with you.) He shows up to say one thing, “Peace be with you.” He delivers the peace He won. He can’t not. He wants you to receive it. He doesn’t want there be to be any shadow of a doubt about what His cross and His empty did for you. You have peace with God.

The Lord’s peace, the Lord’s forgiveness, isn’t far off at all. It’s not as high as heaven. It’s not hidden in the depths of the earth. You don’t have to travel east or west seeking it out. He comes right into the midst of His people to deliver it. He doesn’t leave them thinking, pondering, remembering on their own about His cross and suffering or even the news of His empty tomb. No, He shows up and says, “Peace be with you.”

But it’s not just in the midst of that upper room that first Easter night or that night eight days later. No, here and now for you. Jesus brings His peace, His forgiveness, into our midst, right into our ears, your ears, my ears, the ears of those around you. He does it with three simple words, “I forgive you.”

There’s only one forgiveness, well one forgiveness that counts. It’s not my personal forgiveness. It’s not your personal forgiveness. Human forgiveness doesn’t actually count for much. It might count for a little bit in this life. Actually not much forgiveness in the world. Things might “ok” or “no sweat” or “no big deal” or whatever other empty things we say when people apologize.

As Christians the only forgiveness we care about is Jesus’ cross-won, empty-tomb certain forgiveness, forgiveness in His wounds. That forgiveness is the “true peace that passes all understanding,” that all our sins, your sins, my sins, the sins of the whole world are paid for by Jesus’ blood. It’s Jesus’ forgiveness, forgiveness in His name when we say, “I forgive you.”

Jesus’ eternal forgiveness is delivered through the Pastor as from God Himself. “If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven.” “God has given such authority to men.” Yes, only God forgives sins, but He does it and delivers it right into your ears through the Absolution. So a Pastor delivers not His forgiveness, but Jesus’. When He says, “I forgive you,” it’s “as if Christ our dear Lord dealt with us Himself.”

But not just pastors deliver Jesus’ forgiveness. You do, too! Always more forgiveness from Jesus. More forgiveness than you or I or the whole world has sins. You deliver Jesus’ forgiveness to those around you. When you withhold forgiveness from someone, you’re not just withholding your own personal forgiveness from them. “Don’t unbelievers do the same?” No, you’re in effect saying that Jesus didn’t die for that sin or for that person, that what they’ve done is outside of Jesus’ forgiveness. But if it’s not outside of Jesus’ forgiveness, then why don’t you forgive them? Who are you to disagree with Jesus?

Through three simple words, “I forgive you,” whether that’s from me or through you, Jesus’ forgiveness comes into our midst. From Him to me through you, from Him to others through you, from Him to you and others through Me. All His forgiveness. There is only His. Your personal forgiveness as well as mine come along for the ride as forgiveness in Jesus’ name leaves our lips. How could it not? If it doesn’t, it shows that you don’t believe that you’re really forgiven either. That’s why Jesus said, “If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” The forgiveness isn’t yours, but your Father’s won through Jesus Christ, and delivered through you. Besides, you not forgiving the, doesn’t mean they aren’t forgiven, it means you’re not.

((Conclusion.))

“Having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peace through His blood, redemption, the forgiveness of sins. That’s the peace Jesus wins for you. But it’s not just won. It’s not far off. No it’s delivered into our midst. Jesus’ peace is. His forgiveness is.

THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS IS THE PEACE OF JESUS IN OUR MIDST.

“My peace I leave you. My peace I give you.” Jesus says. Here today we get to rejoice in that! That’s what shines out of His empty tomb. It’s what flows from His cross. Peace. Forgiveness of sins. With God. With each other. Now your sins are as far from you as heaven and earth, as east and west.

THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS IS THE PEACE OF JESUS IN OUR MIDST.

Into our ears. “I forgive you.” Not you doing it. Not me doing it. Not with our forgiveness at least. That will happen, has to! But you and I are really deliver forgiveness. The one forgiveness of Jesus. Into your ears. Into the ears of those around you. Into our mouths, too! “My body and blood for you for the forgiveness of your sins.” So that you would have “faith toward God and sincere love toward one another,” even in forgiving their sins. “Forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

“I forgive you all your sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” “You have peace with God.”

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

᛭ INI ᛭










2. ἡ εἰρήνη ἡ ἀληθινή ἐστιν ἡ ἄφεσις τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν.

Α. ἡ εἰρήνη ἡ ἀλιθινὴ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ ἔρχεται. (Ρομ. 5.1)
Β. Χριστὸς εἰρηνοποιεῖ ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ αὐτοῦ διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ. (Εφ 2.14, Κολ 1, Ιων 20.20)
Γ. αὑτὴ εἰρήνη ἐστιν ἄφεσις. (Κολ 2, Ιων 20.21-23)

1. ἡ ἁμαρτιῶν ἄφεσίς ἐστιν μὴ κατειληφυῖα μονῶς ἀλλὰ καὶ διδομένη εἰς τὸ μέσον ἡμῶν.

Α. Ἰησοῦς ἔρχεται εἰς τὸ λέγειν ὅτι εἰρήνη ὑμῖν. (Ιων 20.19, 21, 26)
Β. ἄφεσις οὐκ μακράν ἐστιν ἀλλὰ εἰς τὸ μέσον. (Ιων 20.19, 26)
Γ. αὑτὴ ἄφεσις εἰς τὸ μέσον ἡμῶν διὰ τοῦ ποιμένος καί τε διὰ ὑμῶν. (Ιων 20.22-23, Μαθ 6.12, 14, 18.21-35, Εφ 4.32)

Η ΑΦΕΣΙΣ ΤΩΝ ΑΜΑΡΤΙΩΝ ΕΣΤΙΝ Η ΕΙΡΗΝΗ Η ΕΙΣ ΤΟ ΜΕΣΟΝ ΗΜΩΝ ΤΟΥ ΙΗΣΟΥ.

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