"Learning To Pray Under The Cross!!" John 16:23-33

Series: Easter 2023

May 14, 2023
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

"Rogate" "Pray ye!" Ascension is coming and our Lord Jesus to teaches us to pray in a world where we will have tribulation. Still praying to our Father through His only begotten Son we have joy and peace through His Holy Spirit. Sermon Text: John 16:23-33. Sermon Theme: "Learning To Pray Under The Cross!" Preached for Rogate, The Sixth Sunday of Easter, 14-May-2023, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert.

Episode Notes

Rogate, The Sixth Sunday Of Easter                           14-May-2023
Sermon Theme: John 16:23-33
Sermon Theme: “Learning To Pray Under the Cross” by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. “Christ is risen! Alleluia!” Jo lived in a nation where the head of the state thought he was a god. His tyrannical rule sought to crush her people who had immigrated to that region fleeing famine. Stubbornly she and her people clung to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The government sought to destroy the faithful church enslaving them for hard labor. The more hard labor laid upon them, the stronger the despised church grew. So the government implemented a plan of genocide through live birth abortions of all male children born. Jo wasn’t willing to surrender her children to the state. She protected them in her home teaching them God’s Promises from infancy. Jo taught them to pray and sing to the Lord their God with the trust of Abraham. When the state demanded the surrender of all newborn males to be aborted by drowning them, she hid her newborn son for the first three months of his life. Her son would be drawn out of the water to deliver his people from four centuries of slavery. Remember him? - “Moses.”
    Do you remember his mother’s name? “Jo” or more fully history records in Exodus 6:20 “Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father's sister, as wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses.” Sons of Levi were born from Jochebed and one daughter named Miriam. Jochebed’s trust in the promise of the Christ given to Abraham is the treasure her and her husband gifted their three children. Children will act like their father, but it is their mother who molds their hearts. Though she would only have Moses for a few years as she nursed him, those first four years of life were crucial to plant the Seed of Christ’s Word deep into his heart. She taught her toddler son to pray to the only true God before handing him back to Pharaoh’s daughter. God the Holy Spirit instructs of the result: Heb 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, (25) choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, (26) esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” Jochebed didn’t live to see the result of her faithful motherhood when her 80 year old son Moses was called and sent by God to speak His Word of rescue. She was probably alive when Moses chose to stand with his people, rather than to be called a son of Egypt, and fled into exile. She rejoiced in hope as she learned to pray under the cross.
    The Easter season draws towards its climax this upcoming Thursday. Jesus our God and our Brother will ascend into heaven. His coronation isn’t to leave us, but to take up all rule as True Man over all things on earth and in heaven for you. He will fill all things to rescue and deliver you from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil. Now He teaches you to pray. In His living wounds we are: “Learning to Pray Under the Cross!”
      Listen to your triumphant living ruling King!(Jn.16:23-24) Jesus told His followers that they would have sorrow for a little while. They would see Him betrayed, unjustly tried, beaten to a bloody pulp, and executed by the Roman government. His tortuous death by crucifixion filled them with sorrow while Satan and the world rejoiced to be rid of their Creator. After a little while, three days, Sunday came - Christ Jesus physically rose from the dead, marched through hell in triumph, and forever shattered the prison of death and the grave for you. The disciples now would ask Him nothing, for under His cross they saw God the Father’s love for fallen mankind in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son to reconcile us through His Holy Spirit to Himself. Our living Jesus sends Word to His fearful disciples through Mary Magadalene, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' " (Jn. 20:17) In His sacrificed and risen flesh and blood our Lord Jesus healed the breech of sin. In Him alone we are reconciled to our God and Father.
    In all trials Jesus teaches us to pray, “Our Father,” tender words of invitation to believe the truth - God is our true Father and we are His true children in Christ Jesus. In suffering the Holy Spirit assures you:1Jn 3:1-3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. (2) Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (3) And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” Ask in Jesus’ Name - that is trusting that His blood has washed away your sin and His living flesh assures you that God has reconciled sinners to Himself by His gift alone! Look only to Jesus as you pray, to His living nail scarred hands enfolded around yours. Listen to Jesus’ promise preached through Isaiah: Isa 49:15-16 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. (16) See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.” It is only in a perverse demonic culture that women forsake their nursing infants idolizing greed. Satan seeks to lead women to despise motherhood, destroy the fruit of their womb, or neglect their children handing them over to be indoctrinated in his lies through the many moving images. Don’t fall prey to his lies as our culture makes a mockery of motherhood by men pretending to be women. Teach your children to pray. You have Jesus’ command and promise! “Ask” take the Name of the only True God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit upon your lips as you pray, praise, and give thanks for all things - even dark days of despair - for you know in Christ Jesus our Father is working through all things for our good. You have the King’s promise - “You will receive!” Don’t allow Satan, the world, or your doubting despairing flesh rob you of calling upon His Name in every trouble.
    Young pastor Timothy faced trials in the ministry leading him to tears. Remember where Paul refocuses him? Listen, 2Ti 1:3-7 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, (4) greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, (5) when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. (6) Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (7) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” He calls Timothy back to the gift of faith Jesus gifted him through Lois and Eunice as from infancy they taught him the Holy Scriptures. He calls the suffering pastor to trust the words and promises of Christ spoken over him in ordination. We are not called to live in fear - but in the power of Christ as we cry out to our Father through Him in prayer for the Holy Spirit in all our needs.
    How can it be that the trials we face, the crosses we bear, drive us closer to our loving heavenly Father? (Jn. 16:25-28) Jesus had used figurative language to describe the Father’s love for us sinners - now He would tell them plainly of the Father’s love in His own flesh. Remember what He spoke to Nicodemus? Listen! Joh 3:14-17 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, (15) that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” In Moses’ day the congregation of Israel complained, once again - they loathed God’s means of grace sustaining their life. Fiery snakes came bringing death - rejecting God the Father in Jesus is to choose Satan and death. They cry to Moses to pray for them - the Lord answers - calling them to faith in the promised Messiah. Those bitten who looked to Jesus on the cross were given life. God the Father’s love is found clearly written in the flesh and blood of His only begotten Son nailed to the Tree of the Cross FOR YOU. From the Cross Jesus breathes forth the Life giving Holy Spirit as He commends us and Himself into His Father’s loving embrace. Now no suffering, disease, or death can separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  Risen from the dead and enthroned to be present now with us always as true God and true Man - our Brother who sympathizes with you in all your struggles. Jesus lives to pray for you - interceding for you - as He prays through your lips His Word! “Our Father...deliver us from evil.” When you suffer and can only groan in despair - God the Holy Spirit intercedes through your groaning through Jesus to your Father in heaven.
The cross brings us home again to our Father. Many a dying soldier on the battlefield looks home towards his mother who raised him - so trials serve us to draw us Home to our Father through Jesus’ nail imprinted hands to comfort us by the Holy Spirit that we are forgiven, reconciled, children of heaven by grace.
    Now the disciples are certain. (Jn. 16:29-33) They thought they understood, but they didn’t. The cross of Jesus would scatter them for a little while, then He would gather His scattered sheep back into the fold of His Church by His Holy Spirit. Jesus would not be abandoned, the Father would be with Him, until the full weight of our sin was laid on His innocent flesh. The Father would forsake His Son for you - that you might never be forgotten. Peace is found in Jesus alone. God’s people from Abel have always suffered under the hand of the ungodly in this world. Satan will not leave the church to possess the Gospel in peace. The wicked world will call you hateful for speaking the truth. Your body will waste away with age and disease. In the world you will have tribulation. Don’t live in fear! Be of good cheer! Pray without ceasing that your joy may be full. Be doers of His Word - Pray to your Father in heaven, Pray for His Holy Spirit drawing near to you in His Word. Pray against the devil, world, and your own sinful flesh - asking that the Father’s good and gracious will be done alone. Pray for daily bread trusting your loving Father to supply your daily need. Pray for cross won, empty tomb certified forgiveness and strength to forgive all who sin against you - to be a Christ to them reconciling them to the family of God. Pray against temptation. Pray to be delivered from evil. The Father hears and answers your prayer in Jesus strengthening you by His Holy Spirit.
    Jochebed loved Moses - Christ loved him more! Christ is risen! Amen.

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