"Behold Your King!" Matthew 21:1-9

Series: Advent - Gospel Lessons

November 27, 2022
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

"Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come!" King Jesus draws near to become the Servant of sinners to save the lost. He rescues us from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil clothing us with His righteousness in baptismal grace. Sermon Text: Matthew 21:1-9. Sermon Theme: "Behold Your King!" preached for Ad Te Levavi - The 1st Sunday In Advent, 27-November-2022, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert.

Episode Notes

The First Sunday In Advent                                         27-November-2022
Sermon Text: Matthew 21:1-9
Sermon Theme: “Behold Your King!” by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. Judgment Day drew near! The King entered His city to judge His rebellious people. He made His advent - He came in person for judgment. How could they stand before His just judgment? They had rebelled, killed His messengers, rejected His Word, lived for self as they pretended to serve Him. They had squandered all His treasures and could never repay their debt. How could they stand?
        Judgment Day draws near! Very soon the King returns! He knows your secrets, your words, your thoughts, your actions, your inactions, your rebellion. He will advent - in person - in glory - He is coming in person to judge His creation. How will you stand? You’ve rebelled against Him, rejected His Word, driven away the preachers and teachers He sent you. You have trampled His blood underfoot despising His invitation to feast with Him. How can you stand?
          Judgment Day is here! The King judges His Household - His Church. Today He really draws near to judge you. King Jesus is here in His Word breathing forth the Lord and Giver of Life - the Holy Spirit. Creator Jesus is here, now to judge you. How will you stand? Will you boast of your stewardship, your gifts, your works for Him? He knows your hypocrisy - your living for self while you pretend to serve Him. He judges you - how will you stand? On your knees - repent! 1Jn 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. He comes for sinners! For me! For you...if you are honest enough to admit the truth.
          Welcome to a new church year - the season of Advent with its triple emphasis: “Christ has come, Christ still comes, Christ shall come again!” It is a season of repentance - purple - the color of repentance drapes the altar. The song of the angels - the Gloria In Excelsis- won’t be sung until the twelve day Christmas season begins on December 24th. Darkness grows, the days grow shorter, the night longer and colder. The darkness of sin increases. Human life is treated as disposable. The love of many grows cold as wickedness increases and life lived for self. The night is far spent, the day is at hand - salvation is near to us than when we first believed.
            Light draws near - the Advent wreath is lit - we look away from the many flashy lights of the world - to the One True Light. We turn away from our pride, our works, our sin as we hear the prophet’s call: “Behold, Your King!”
      History records (vs.1-3). A homeless man sends his friend to borrow your truck - do you hand him the keys? King Jesus has no house, no home, no place to lay His head. He is the King of Creation - the world is made through Him - He could justly lay claim to it all. Instead He empties Himself. Makes Himself of no reputation. Takes on the form of a servant - the second Adam. He humbles Himself to judge His people.
      It isn’t the judgment we’d level if we had His power and riches. We’d hold people accountable. We’d set them right to follow what we demand - if not we’d lock them up. King Jesus comes with nothing to give us all. He sends His disciples to borrow two beasts of burden - a donkey and her colt. The objecting owners hear His Word - “The Lord has need of them” - they send them without hesitation.
            King Jesus comes into the city of God’s peace - Jerusalem - to win for us sinners peace with His Father and His God. We call this day Palm Sunday - in five months we will hear this Gospel lesson again. Why repeat it twice in the Church year? To behold your King - He comes in humility not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for sinners.
            He comes fulfilling God’s Word of promise! (Vs.4-5) We go forward in history by looking back. Back to the prophet Zechariah. The Lord fulfilled His promise, after seven decades of captivity in Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree allowing Jews to return to Judah to rebuild the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. It was in October/November of 520B.C. that the Word of the Lord comes to the prophet Zechariah calling them to return to Him. Look only to the King! Behold! He comes to you! You don’t find Him. Decide for Him. Earn His favor by your works. He comes seeking you. He comes to save you. He comes in all lowliness and humility to bear your burdens, pay your price, shoulder your judgment once and for all.  
            The Temple in Zechariah’s day didn’t match the splendor of Solomon’s Temple. The Lord preaches through Him, Zec 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” Rejoicing isn’t found in the buildings men have made, but in the truth that our King comes to save us sinners. He comes to bring us justice and righteousness - not our own -He gifts us His Life. Judgment day fell on King Jesus nailed to the wood of the Tree. He becomes the cursed one as God the Father makes Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us. Rejoice! Lay your sin upon Jesus. He bears them away with His flesh and washes you forgiven with His holy precious blood!
Rejoice that He comes to you! He draws near to save you here and now - in real water, real words, real bread and real wine - He comes for real sinners and showers them with real forgiveness, life, and salvation.
      History records (vs.6-9) All things are found as King Jesus told the disciples. Now they take off their outer robes to serve as a saddle for the King. A great crowd gathers, carpeting the road with their coats. Others cut down palm branches and spread them on the road. The King of glory is returning to His city. David’s Lord and David’s God draw near to bring us back to Himself. Palm branches representing peace carpet His path. The crowds cannot keep silent! They break forth in joyful singing! “Hosanna!” “Lord, save us!” “King!” “Son of David!” The Good Shepherd comes to redeem His straying and lost sheep by His sacrifice.
“Blessed is He!” “He comes in the Name of the Lord” for He is the eternally only begotten Son of God. True Man born of David’s descendant the Virgin Mary. True God begotten of His Father from eternity. He comes to save by giving His all for sinners.
      Learn well from history! Christianity is the truth that the King comes to save us. He sought you out in your baptism. He called you by His Gospel as the Holy Spirit made you alive in Jesus. He calls you to His side this morning washing you forgiven. He calls you to His table - to receive His gifts - His body - His blood in bread and wine given and shed for you - you are forgiven. You join in singing with the crowds on Palm Sunday rejoicing that King Jesus is here to save us sinners.
      Christianity is the Truth that the King comes to you - where He has promised - in His Church - where two or three gather in His Name. You live outside of yourself - rejoicing in His Word preached, sprinkled, spoken, prayed, and fed you. He frees you from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil. Freed by Him you live outside of yourself for one another. He frees you to love your neighbor as yourself - just as while we were yet sinners He died for us. He advents into your life and through you cares for even your enemies. Dr. Luther put it this way: “We receive Christ not only as a gift by faith, but also as an example of love toward our neighbor, whom we are to serve as Christ serves us. Faith brings and gives Christ to you with all his possessions. Love gives you to your neighbor with all your possessions. These two things constitute a true and complete Christian life; then follow suffering and persecution for such faith and love, and out of these grows hope in patience.
        The King comes to judge! How will we stand? Only by His grace, trusting His Word, His Work, His Sacrifice. He knits us into Himself in Holy Baptism that daily we die to sin and rise made new by our King. Happy New Year! Amen.

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