Melba Stohs Funeral (Jn 10; 1 Cor 15; Ezek 34 & 37)

Photo by Echo Chen on Unsplash

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᛭ INI ᛭

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

Stubborn. The LORD Jesus is stubborn. Now that’s probably not an attribute we’d normally give to Jesus. We’d probably normally describe Him in a more positive way. But when it comes to Jesus, it is positive! (Just like your mom, too. It stood out in the list and what you told me.) But with Jesus, too! He’s stubborn. He’s stalwart. He’s steadfast. Now, there’s something we’re used to hearing about Jesus.

Steadfast. Steadfast love. “Give thanks unto the LORD for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever.” Jesus’ mercy, His steadfast love, His “faithfulness endures to all generations.” “The works of His hands are faithful and just; all His precepts are trustworthy.” “The Word of the Lord endures forever.”

When it comes to His Word, when it comes to His promises, the Lord Jesus is stubborn. He’s steadfast. He does what He says He’s going to do. Or to put it another way:

THE LORD JESUS MAKES GOOD ON ALL HIS PROMISES.

(I. Jesus makes good on the promises about His cross and empty tomb.)

Jesus makes good on His promises for His sheep. He does for them what He says He’d do for them. He makes good on the promises about His cross and empty tomb. He lays down His life for his sheep. He takes His life back again for His sheep. Jesus dies and rises for the sin of the whole world.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who becomes “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the whole world.” The eternal Son of God is born of the Virgin Mary to be “the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world.” Melba’s sins. Your sins. My sins. All the sins of all people everywhere.

“The wages of sin is death.” The truth and sting of that hits home today. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” for “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” and that get’s us to the second way THE LORD JESUS MAKES GOOD ON ALL HIS PROMISES.

(II.) Jesus makes good on the promises to keep and shepherd His sheep.

The Lord Jesus is the Shepherd of His sheep. That doesn’t just mean He lays down His life for them. It means, as the LORD tells Ezekiel, that “I Myself will seek out My sheep.” Or as Jesus also says in John 10: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”

He keeps and shepherds His sheep. He seeks them out. He brings them to the “still waters” of Holy Baptism. He “restores their soul” in the Word and Message of forgiveness. He “prepares a table before them in the presence of their enemies,” and “the last enemy to be destroyed is death.” So also the Supper of His body and blood given at Country Living in a non-traditional way, but nevertheless bread and wine with His Words are what He says, “My body and blood for you for the forgiveness of sins.” And “whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood,” Jesus says, “has eternal life, and I will resurrect them on the Last Day.”

This is how the Lord Jesus shepherds and keeps His sheep. This is how He shepherd and kept Melba. From June 16, 1929 onward, the Lord Jesus was doing that. He constantly made good on all His promises. He repeats His promises constantly: Baptism, catechism, Scripture, Absolution, Sermons, and Supper.

The Lord even repeats the promise of His shepherding and keeping in Isaiah 41:10, which was Melba’s confirmation verse, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

(Transition.)

But it’s not that the Lord Jesus is done. The Lord kept Melba day in and day out since June 16, 1929, but He didn’t stop last Tuesday at 9pm. When the Lord shepherds and keeps His sheep it’s an everyday promise but also an eternal one. “The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and even forevermore.” This gets us to the third way THE LORD JESUS MAKES GOOD ON ALL HIS PROMISES.

(III.) Jesus will make good on the promises of eternal life.

That’s what Jesus promises in John 10: “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” That’s the great promise the LORD gives in Ezekiel 37: “I will open your graves and raise you from your graves.” “And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O My people.” And you, as David says, “will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “The LORD will swallow up death forever.”

(Conclusion.)

Stubborn. The LORD Jesus is stubborn. Or put in a more positive way: Dedicated, Determined, Faithful, steadfast. Good list—great!—for describing Melba. Even better for Jesus. “Give thanks unto the LORD for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever.” Jesus’ mercy, His steadfast love, His “faithfulness endures to all generations.” Or put another way:

THE LORD JESUS MAKES GOOD ON ALL HIS PROMISES.

He made good on going to the cross and coming back to life. Proof positive that He makes good on the promises He makes in Baptism, preaching, absolution, and His Supper. Proof positive He’ll keep His promise about the Last Day, too. “I will open your graves and raise you from your graves.” That casket, those graves, yours too!

“I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”

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

᛭ INI ᛭

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