Sermon Summary: Lent 5 (Genesis 22:1-14; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 8:42-59)

Jesus is Lowly and Gentle

Our Lord Jesus is gentle and lowly and full of mercy. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey (Zech 9).”28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matt. 11). 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3).”

 Jesus Has to Call Out Lies

But this just does not seem the case with Jesus as we see Him in our gospel reading today.  (John 8) “If God were your Father, you would love me,” “ 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God,” “ 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.” This seems anything but lowly and gentle and full of mercy.  This seems kind of mean and rude.  But we must understand that be lowly and gentle to a child, you sometimes have to be rough on the authorities that are lying to them and that are abusing in them.  The best way to be merciful to the ones who are being lied to is to be rough with the ones who are lying.

What you find with Jesus in our text is a God who is tired of the lies. He is tired of the liars. He knows that the lies hurt his children and his disciples. He knows that the lies come from Satan who is a murderer and a liar from the beginning.  He knows His children need to hear, “These are lies.”  He knows He needs to bring his truth, sometimes a harsh truth, hoping that 1.) The liars repent, but more than likely 2.) That the ones who are being lied to hear the voice of truth.

 Lies That Oppose God’s Law

“Sex is meant for me to use however I want to use and with whom I want to use it with.” Lie. And like all lies from the father of lies, this ends in death.  “Happiness means having enough, with the right job, a lot of money and stuff, and the perfect family with the perfect body.” Lie.  This will only end in chasing after something you will never fully catch. Satisfaction and contentment does not come from within, from others, or from television or any other stuff in this life.  “I’ll feel better once I show my anger a bit to my children, my spouse, my friend.”  Lie.  You’ll probably feel angrier and you’ll have hurt others in the meantime. “Popularity at times comes at the cost of me having to put others down with my mouth.” Lie.  That is a glory that comes from the world but not of glory that comes from your Father.  Jesus has to call out the lies because and the liars hurt His children

 Lies That Oppose God’s Gospel

These are all lies that we too often believe when we don’t believe our Lord’s Law, but there are also lies from pit of hell in which Satan tries to convince us not to believe our Lord’s Gospel.  They go something like this: “My conscience will find peace once I do enough.”
That is a lie.  Your conscience is clean by hearing this: “the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purif(ies) our conscience from dead works to serve the living God (Heb. 9).”

Abraham died (John 9). That is a lie and it would be a lie to say that your mother or brother or child or friend who died in Christ is dead.  They live just a sure and certain as Jesus lives.  That is the promise, “If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death (John 8).” That is to say, eternal death, or second death.

And you, when you are dejected and cast down, the lie is this: you will feel like this forever.  God is angry at you.  He has no favor for you.  Lie. God sends out his light and truth. The Scriptures call us to hope in God for we shall again receive his comfort and his light and truth (Psalm 43), that we will not see death, that we are not rejected by him and that he is our refuge.  Jesus has to call out the lie, for the sake of the ones who are being lied to.  The lie is death, but his word his life and truth.

 Let Jesus Call Out Your Lies

Let his word be spoken into your very conscience and heart today. You know the lies that your sinful flesh speaks to you. You know what you so often let yourself be deceived into.  You  know the lies that you too often believe.  Let Jesus be rough with your lies, so that you might repent and believe his truth.  Let Jesus be rough with the devils lies so He might rip you away from that murderer and liar and bring you to Himself.

 Abraham’s Joy and our Joy

Take joy in his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” Abraham saw that day when he was asked to sacrifice his son, his only son whom he loved, but  God provided a ram, caught in a thicket of thorns to be sacrificed instead.  God’s Son, His only Son whom He loves, received the wrath you deserve instead of you, wore a crown of thorns so that you might receive the crown of life.  Abraham saw the day when all this took place on Mount Mariah, and rejoiced to know God’s Son sacrificed on Mount Calvary.  Abraham saw the day when he had his son saddle the donkey, and knew that his God would one day ride into Jerusalem on a colt, the full of a donkey.  Abraham saw the day when he took wood and bound his son on an altar in order that he might sacrifice him, knowing that the son of God would be bound upon a wooden cross as his altar, a sacrifice pleasing to God on our behalf. Abraham saw the day when his son Isaac was willing to go through this for the love of his father, knowing that the Son of God was willing to suffer in order that He do the Father’s will, which free us from the lies and make us His again.  Abraham took up the knife knowing that one day a sword would pierce the side of God’s Son water and blood would pour out.

5Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy (Psalm 43).  Come to the altar of God today.  Here, you receive joy, repent of the lies that you believe, and gain strength from the truth.  You come to be fed and to hear so that you do not taste death and have a pure and clean conscience.

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