"Confirmands: Forever Rejoice in He Who Comes Here to Save You!" Mt.21:1-9

April 02, 2023
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Palm Sunday King Jesus rides towards the cross to redeem sinners. In baptism King Jesus connects us with His passion and resurrection. Confirmands walk with their Lord under His cross and victory! Sermon text: Matthew 21:1-9. Sermon theme: "Confirmands: Rejoice in Him Who Comes Here To Save You!" Preached for Palm Sunday at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

Palmarum, Palm Sunday                 2-April-2023
Sermon Text: Matthew 21:1-9
Sermon Theme: “Confirmands Forever Rejoice In Him Who Comes To Save You!” by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. Rev 7:13 .... "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" One of the elders, a teaching pastor, asked the apostle John this question in Revelation 7. Maybe we want to ask the same of these final four clothed in white robes sitting in the front pew this morning. Who are you? Whose are you? Why are you wearing white robes? To quote the Catechism, “What does this mean?”
      St. John suffered. He bore the Name of the Crucified. On the night He was sold into the hands of sinners as the Passover Sacrifice, Jesus teaches you, Joh 15:18-20 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (20) Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” John preached the Risen, Ascended, Enthroned, Ruling Christ Jesus. The God-Man really present with His Church on earth always in baptism, absolution, preaching, prayer, and His Supper.
Our Lord Jesus has won the victory for sinners who trust in His passion as the full payment for their sins. His resurrection certifies our salvation in His living flesh and blood. His ascension shows us our future. His rule assures us that He is ordering all things for our eternal good. His coming again fixes our eyes on the true liberty that awaits us - children of the heavenly Father. It is our inheritance reserved for us in heaven. It never fades away. It is secure in Christ Jesus. This is the hope God the Holy Spirit keeps our hearts and minds in His peace.
      John was exiled to the Island of Patmos. Isolated by enemies of the Truth, but never alone. As he meditates on the Holy Scriptures that he had committed to memory. As he sings hymns and prays - King Christ Jesus appears to him with a comforting message of victory for believers through all ages. Revelation is written for consolation, not calculation. It consoles Christians facing persecution with the sure and certain victory won by King Jesus. It is misused when its symbolism is twisted to set dates or predict the time of Christ’s Final Coming.
      In Revelation 7, John sees Christ’s Church of all ages, listen: “Rev 7:9-10 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, (10) and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" A palm procession singing God’s praises and white robed leading it....sounds like how Divine Service began today. No not only today, every Sunday, every day, King Jesus’ Church gathers. Who are these arrayed in white robes? St. John records, Rev 7:14-15 And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (15) Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.” Today, here all baptized believing Christians are clothed in white robes, unseen by worldly eyes, but we behold them through the eyes of our ears. Washed forgiven with Christ’s blood His perfect righteousness clothes all. The King is here dwelling among us - uniting His Church on earth and in heaven as one in His body.
      Here King Jesus still draws near to save sinners like me and you.
“Confirmands Forever Rejoice In Him Who Comes To Save You!”
      As Holy Week begins history records the events of this day, (Mt.21:1-3). Sabbath had ended sundown Saturday. Passover week began and as the sun rose that Sunday King Jesus began His march to claim His thorny crown to rescue you. Bethphage is only two miles from Jerusalem. King Jesus the God-Man knows what awaits Him. It is the Father’s will that He suffer fully for our sins - the final Passover Lamb of God whose flesh and blood alone take away the sin of the world. He has humbled Himself completely. He is the eternal only begotten Son of God. For our sake He laid aside His glory and took on our human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He forever becomes One with us to bring us the victory over all our real enemies - Satan, sin, lies, and death.
      Moses could not bring the children of Israel to the promised land. The Law is severe - break it once it damns you. Moses lost his temper and struck the Rock for water instead of speaking to it - for this he would not enter the promised land, he would die and be gathered to heaven. Instead, Joshua would lead bring the children of Israel into their homeland. Joshua means, “The Lord Saves”, “Yeshua”, or as we translate it from the Greek - “Jesus.” The Law cannot save - Jesus has. Jesus does. Always cling to Him! As Moses promised Joshua, “Deu 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” This promise He sealed upon your infant brow in baptism. Begin each day with His life giving victorious word, “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!” This is most certainly true! Marking yourself with Christ’s victorious cross!
      King Jesus doesn’t ride into Jerusalem on a war horse to conquer worldly kingdoms. He comes to capture and reclaim humanities hearts and minds. Those who are of the Truth listen to His Word drawn not by their own decisions, but by God the Father sending His Holy Spirit in words preached, poured, fed to sinners. History records, (Mt. 21:4-5) Jesus perfectly fulfills all the Scriptures from the promise spoken to Adam and Eve on the day of our rebellion to the prophet Malachi. All Scriptures testify of Christ Jesus. Confirmands, daily open the Holy Bible, search the Scriptures to know Jesus. He is present through them all from Genesis to Revelation. Never tire listening to His voice in His Word. He still comes to you in humble lowly means of His Word written, preached by a called and ordained sinful man, spoken by your fellow sinner/saint in Christ’s Church. Hear Him! He speaks His Word to strengthen and comfort you by His grace!
      St. Paul struggled with a thorn in his flesh. He prayed to Jesus to take it away. King Jesus didn’t. 2Co 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Learn from Paul to be honest that you are a poor miserable sinner with no strength to do good - Let King Jesus’ grace alone be sufficient for you. He will strengthen you in your weakness.
      The disciples obey Jesus’ Word. (Mt. 21:6-7) King Jesus is saddled on the donkey. The pilgrims take off their outer coats lay them down carpeting the road for the King’s entrance into Jerusalem. Others cut down palm branches - signs of peace and victory welcoming the King of the Jews. He rides to reclaim you from all sin, from death, and from the power of the devil by His strength. Sing with King David, “Psa 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid” Learn to be the donkey that carries Jesus alone! You will either be ridden by King Jesus for salvation, or by Satan for damnation - there is never any middle ground in spiritual matters.
      Now the worship begins! (Mt. 21:8-9) The pilgrim crowds take up the hymn book - Psalms - singing hallel songs - pilgrim hymns on their journey to the holy city. They break off singing and led by the Holy Spirit they began shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!” “Hosanna” what does this Hebrew word mean? A Lutheran scholar explained,”This Hebrew word (pronounced Ho-shee-ah-nah) is more prayer than exclamation. It means, “Oh, save now!” or "Please, save now!" The root or stem of the verb for “save” is yasha, which is also the root of the Hebrew name of Jesus, Yehoshua, which means “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation.” So in shouting, “Oh, save now!” to the Savior himself, it’s like we are saying, “Do for us who you are. ‘Jesus’ us. Save us!” And so he does. Jesus is the Father's answer to our Hosanna.” (Chad Bird -www.1517.org/articles/4-1-2-hebrew-words-to-know-for-holy-week-2)
      Hosanna! Jesus us! Save us! Is the ongoing song of Christ’s Church in this world. It is sung Sunday after Sunday by weary pilgrims on their journey towards the heavenly Jerusalem - Christ’s Church! Jesus still draws near to us - in humble means of bread and wine knit together with His Word spoken at the Last Passover - it becomes a life giving meal - His Life - His living body and blood are placed upon our lips in bread and wine filling us with forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Join with Christ’s Church of all times and places singing, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” Confirmed - commune with Him often - to feast with Jesus is real life for real sinners. Don’t allow Satan, the world, our your fallen flesh to turn you from His Word. This is given and shed for you! For forgiveness of your sins! Feasting on Jesus you hear His voice! Joh 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
        "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" On the day of your baptism perhaps you too were dressed in white - as the Triune God snatched you from Satan to be His own washing you blood white in Jesus and making you alive by the Holy Spirit to be His own beloved child. Never forget your birthright. On the day of your baptism you renounced the devil, his works, and his ways - you will repeat the same vow today. As infants you confessed the faith God the Holy Spirit gifted you in the Triune God in the words of the Apostles’ Creed - you will repeat it before this altar this morning. Clothed in Jesus you will vow always to gather to sing - Jesus save me and feast at His Table. Don’t reject His ongoing invitation! Continue to study His teaching - His doctrine - the Holy Ten Commandments, The Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer. Memorize His Word and promise concerning the treasures given you in Holy Baptism, absolution, and the Sacrament of the Altar. Pray. Fulfill your holy calling learning from the Table of Duties. Then every Saturday - find your true sabbath rest in preparing to be fed life in Jesus as you review the “Christian Questions and Their Answers!”Then come here - and with us, “Forever Rejoice In Him Who Comes To Save You!” Amen.

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