Sermon for Lenten Midweek 5 – March 24, 2021

+ Lenten Midweek 5 – March 24, 2021 +

Isaiah 11:11-16

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA

 

“The Promise of a Cosmopolitan Exodus”

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Sometimes God’s promises sound too good to be true. I mean, what military general would not have to stifle laughter upon being told that the walls of Jericho would be toppled by a Levitical marching band? Or what doctor wouldn’t chuckle at God’s plan for Moses to put a bronze serpent on a pole to cure the dying Israelites? It sounds far too far-fetched. But as we know, the Lord was not speaking tongue in cheek to Joshua or Moses. He meant what he said and would do what he promised.

 

So too, as impossible as it seemed to Abraham and Sarah, the Lord was not kidding when he told childless Abraham that through him would arise descendants that numbered more than the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. God meant what he said and would do what he promised. Through Abraham, Christ would bless all nations of the earth.

 

It all might sound a bit crazy, laughable, too good to be true. Abraham was approaching the century mark. Sarah, too, was old enough to be cashing in her social security checks. She even giggled a little when she overheard that she, at her age, was going to be mother. And sure enough, a year later, when was 90, Sarah held a baby boy in her arms. Abraham gave him the name Isaac, which means laughter.

 

While God’s people might think his promises too good to be true, even laughable, God always delivers. God always comes through, without fail.

 

So, what about the promise God preached by Isaiah, that Abraham’s descendants, scattered here and there and everywhere, would be gathered again to Jerusalem? The Exodus of Israel out of Egypt was one thing, but a worldwide exodus? Imagine the logistics!

 

But that’s exactly what the prophet Isaiah says. In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people… He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

It all sounds too good to be true. How could the Heavenly Father rescue his captive children from all over the globe, remove every barrier that stands in their way, build a highway for them to travel on, and lead them safe and sound to the holy city?

 

As wild as his promises sound, God always delivers. God always comes through, without fail. For once in the days when a decree went out from Caesar Augustus and Quirinius was governor in Syria, there in a feed trough in David’s hometown lies an infant like all other babies, yet also unlike any other. Here is David’s son and David’s Lord, whose rule and reign is over the four corners of the world.

 

And if his birth wasn’t remarkable enough, listen to the message Abraham’s Seed preaches. That he will draw all people to himself in his crucifixion. That he will be a shepherd not only over the flock of the Jews, but over the Gentiles as well, so there will be one flock and he the one shepherd. That he will send out his apostles into all the world to teach and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 

But of course our Lord wasn’t done there. Jesus goes to Jerusalem to accomplish a bloody exodus from the city of Jerusalem, up to the mountain called Golgotha, onto a tree to die for you, and laid into the tomb. We might think the devil has the last laugh here. But he doesn’t. Just wait one day. Wait two. Wait three.

 

And then, if you want to laugh, then by all means, when our resurrected Lord Jesus climbs out of the grave on day three, then laugh with all the joy you can muster as soldiers faint like dead men, as demons shriek in horror, as the women come to the tomb in utter astonishment and amazement. There is only a bit of burial cloth left. Nicely folded in its place. The Lord and Creator and Savior of all is alive once more, never to die again.

 

So we laugh with Sarah and Abraham. We laugh joyfully and triumphantly, for God has accomplished the impossible. God always delivers. God always comes through, without fail. What seemed too good to be true has come to pass. Christ has risen. And all of it, every last bit of it, done for you.

 

This is how God fulfills what Isaiah foretold. Lift up your eyes and see the nations streaming to Jesus. From Assyria to America, from Egypt to Japan, from the four corners of the earth, people once fettered in sin are freed in Jesus. In his own bloody exodus from the city of Jerusalem, the Son of God has paved the way for all – for you – for the whole wide world – to enter the heavenly Jerusalem, the Church of the living God.

 

And no matter who you are or what you’ve done, you’re part of this pilgrim throng – sons and daughters of Abraham by faith. Sin, death, shame, guilt, regret, failure – these are gone. Death and the devil are utterly destroyed. They have no power over you, for you are children of God. Beloved. Redeemed.

 

It is finished. The exodus of all exoduses has been accomplished in Jesus’ death for you.

 

God always delivers. God always comes through, without fail. Jesus has done it all for you. And he who sits in the heavens, at the Father’s right hand, he laughs. And we laugh with him. Yes, even in Lent! For he has kept his promise. The last laugh is his, and yours as well, for God has kept his word, now as always.

 

 

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
8:30am-12:30pm

By appointment only June and July

Contact

Address
2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
Phone
(253) 922-6977
Fax
(253) 922-6977
E-mail
staff@mybslc.com