"Why Did He Die For Me?" Christian Questions #17-18 John 14:19-24

Series: 2023 Midweek Lenten Sermons

March 22, 2023
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

EXAMINE YOURSELF is the theme for our 2023 mid-week Lenten services. Plan to fast from your lazy flesh and be filled with Christ’s living Word by taking the time to attend Wednesday evenings at 6p.m. Join us March 22nd as we examine the “Christian Questions with Their Answers” #17-18 Asking: “Why Did He Die For Me?” John 14:19-24. Sermon preached Laetare, Wednesday - 4th midweek Lenten service - 22-March-2023 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

Laetare, Wednesday - Midweek Lenten Vespers 4         22-March-2023
Series: “Christian Questions and Their Answers: 17-18"
Sermon Text: John 14:19-24
Sermon Theme: “Why Did He Die For Me?”
I.N.R.I. Mat 27:4 "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." Judas Iscariot was crushed by his sin. He sold his Savior for a meager 30 pieces of silver - the price of a slave. Greed is idolatry. We bow to lifeless gods of silver and gold. Money cannot save, it cannot give us breath, or life - it is a foolish idol that easily captures our hearts. Jesus was sentenced to die, Judas’ heart fills with remorse - what had he done? He tries to undo his sin by returning the blood money to the chief priests and elders. They won’t take it - they have their Passover Innocent Lamb - Jesus - Him alone will they sacrifice on Mount Moriah. To Judas crushed by his sin and the suffering and death it would bring Jesus... they said, "What is that to us? You see to it!"
      Sin thrown back on the sinner means death. Judas seeking to see to his sin, his betrayal, his guilt, his shame, his responsibility slaughtering an innocent Man choose self-destruction. Listening to Satan’s accusations his flesh despaired and he went out and hanged himself. He died from suicide. Learn from this tragedy that it is suicide to think you can handle sin by your own reason and strength. The only wages sin has ever paid out is death - now in time and hereafter in eternity.
      Tonight learn where your sin belongs. God the Holy Spirit teaches, Rom 5:6-11 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. (8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (10) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (11) And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Come to His Feast of full forgiveness asking: “Why Did He Die For Me?”
      The Last Passover began with Jesus washing even the feet of His betrayer. His washing was that they might have in Him. Jesus washed Judas’ feet - He wanted him to know that He claimed him to cleanse him of his sin. Judas shut his ears to Jesus calling him to repent by identifying him as His betrayer. Instead he listened to Satan’s enticing lie and left for the dark. He left the Lord’s Table, instead of feasting on the Tree of Life, he’d eat of evil and it would hang him dead on a tree.
      Why do we gather at the Lord’s Table? Is it to win Jesus over to our side? To show God and others how good we are? To earn God’s favor by our doing and giving of our time? These are Law reasons - they are not the reason we come to the Lord’s table. Those driven by the Law ask, “How often do I have to go to church?” “How often do I have to receive the Lord’s Supper?’ The Law focuses them on themselves with “do I have to” questions and attitudes. Seeing to it themselves - they soon commit spiritual suicide and neglect the Lord’s Table.
      What is the Lord’s Supper? (LSB pg. 326. “What is the Sacrament of the Altar?”) Here Jesus places His true living body and His True living blood in bread and wine for Christians to eat and drink. To eat and drink is to share life with one another. The Lord’s Supper is gift from our Creator - not a work we do to please Him. He wants us to share in His eternal life! Why? (LSB pg. 330. Question #17) At the Last Passover Jesus preaches, Joh 14:19 "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. Jesus promised His disciples that they would see Him - the world would not. Where? How? Read Luke 24:13ff.. The two mournful disciples on the road to Emmaus thought all was lost. Jesus had been crucified, died, and buried. They heard reports from some of the women that Jesus was risen. They didn’t believe it. A Stranger joins them. He shows them from Moses and the Prophets that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer, die, and rise again. They still don’t see it. Then He sits at table with them. Takes the bread, blesses, breaks, and gives it to them - now their eyes are open - Jesus is really present in His Supper. They rush back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples - Jesus appears in His Church - opening up the Scriptures by His Spirit! He gives us His life in the Supper - because He lives - we live!
          Listen! Jesus speaks here to you: “Joh 14:20-21 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. (21) He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."” Christ died for you sin - not because you deserved it - not because you earned it. He died for God is LOVE! He loved the Father and obeyed His will to save us sinners by becoming our Brother to have our sins placed on His shoulders and to be sacrificed in our place. God the Father was in Christ reconciling the world of sinners back to Himself. He dies. He makes full payment for your sins - because He loves you. He loves all sinners. Our sin tore us from the loving hand of our heavenly Father. Satan the father of lies, the murderer, took us captive to chain us in sin and death.
Christ has freed us! Gal 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”
    Our fallen flesh doesn’t believe the truth of God’s love for us sinners in Christ. It is works orientated, law based - Satan plays our flesh to trust in what we do - rather than trusting in Jesus’ ‘done’ ‘it is finished’ from the cross. Fight against your fallen fleshly spirituality by coming to the Lord’s feast of full forgiveness often! (LSB pg. 330. Question #18) It is in eating together that children are built up and strengthen in their parents love for them. The shattering of families and the scattering of them away from the family supper table causes emotional trauma for children. Eat with your children in your homes. Talk with each other. Listen to each other. Read the Bible, the Small Catechism, pray, and sing hymns together. It is at table they learn they are loved and valued.
      Dear Christian - you too are a child of God. Come to His Table within His House - the Church. Here you will learn of Christ’s great love for you! He died for my sin! Joh 14:22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?" This is a great mystery - Jesus is really here at table - the God-Man comes to serve a feast filled with forgiveness, life, and salvation in His flesh and blood.
      How can He show Himself to us? Joh 14:23-24 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. (24) He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.” Jesus’ Word spoken at the Last Passover is still active in placing His living body and blood in bread and wine for us Christians to eat and drink. As we confess: Certainly not just eating and drinking do these things, but the words written here: "Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins." These words, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: "forgiveness of sins."” Forgiven by the Father’s love through Christ’s loving sin sacrifice for us. God the Holy Spirit frees us to love our neighbor as Christ loves us.
        Never try to handle sin yourself. Lay it on Jesus! Sing with the hymnist: 1 I lay my sins on Jesus, The spotless Lamb of God;
He bears them all and frees us From the accursed load.
I bring my guilt to Jesus To wash my crimson stains
Clean in his blood most precious Till not a spot remains. (LSB#606) Amen

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