Encountering God at the Cross – A Sermon for the Sunday of Christ’s Passion
at the Cross
† In Jesus Name †
May the grace of God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ enable you to hear people when they want to meet Jesus!
An Odd Question
I have a question for you, one I wish I you were to here to answer. Message me your answers, no cheating.
Did the Greek visitors to Jerusalem in the gospel reading meet Jesus that day?
Yes or no? (Pause)
Come on, no cheating! No cheating!
Well, if you said yes, or if you said no, you have done what most people do – they give their opinion on what they think the Bible teachers, without really knowing. The answer is simple – we do not know.
We know that Phillip, not knowing what to do, went to Andrew, who didn’t know what to do, who went to ask Jesus… but that is where the story transitions to Jesus teaching.
So did the Greeks get to see Jesus that day?
I don’t know, but they would before the week was out.
Which Jesus did they want to see? (Miracle guy, Great Teacher, The Amusement)
Which Jesus did they want to see, anyway?
There were a ton of rumors floating around. This was the greatest speaker ever, this was the guy who does all the miracles, this was the guy who was going to kick out the Romans or maybe they heard the rumor out of Bethany, that there was this guy with two sisters… who died.. and was buried for half a week – and he’s walking around town now.
For these foreigners, here to experience this Passover thing, this was one of the things on their vacation list. This was a curiosity, and attraction, something special they may have thought, but they had no clue.
The Jesus they saw..
They had no idea they would see him, just a few days from now…beaten and bruised, with spikes that shattered bone and ripped though flesh into the hard wood of the cross.
Jesus had pointed this out, as He said,
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate how he was going to die.
My friends, He knew….
These Greeks showing up simply confirmed it, he was drawing everyone to himself.
To forgive them
To save them,
To have them dance with God the Father….to be swept up in His arms the way the prodigal’s dad did.
It’s not what they expected, it was shocking, but it was amazing.
Be His voice
An abrupt change of direction here….one appropriate for the day Jesus was praised but not for why He should have been praised.
There are people all around us, that need to know they are loved by God.
They are looking for hope, even while they are stuck in their homes. But like the Greeks, and often like us, they are looking for someone to save them, to change the brokenness of life which crushes them.
Which crushes us.
These days we need to encounter God just as the Greeks wanted to so desperately.
But why do we want to see Him? Do we want to see the miracles? Do we really want to hear what He wants to teach us? Do we want to see Him raise people from the dead?
Why are we seeking Him out?
Just like the Greeks, it doesn’t matter why we are going to seek Him, what matters is that we see Him revealed to us in all His glory, as the love is seen in the harsh light of the cross.
God brings us all there, to the cross – to not just encounter Christ, but to join Him.
To not just see us die with Him, but to raise us, free of all the brokenness, free of all the sin, free of the idolatry, where we decide to play God and control Him.
You can’t do that at the cross… it is not possible.
You can’t control the God who dies there
who dies there… to embrace you… and give you life,
We want to see Jesus – but we need to see Jesus crucified for us…
As do our Greeks visiting us.
That is the Jesus they need to see.. these visitors.
Yes – you want to see Jesus, it doesn’t matter why – Here he is.
He loves you…
Just let that wash over you, comfort you, cleanse you, heal you.
Then when someone needs to meet Him.. introduce the one who loved you from the cross you cling to.
Posted on April 5, 2020, in Devotions, Sermons and tagged Concordia Cerritos, Concordia Lutheran Church, Crucifixion, El Shaddai, Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross, Looking to the Cross, Palm Sunday, Passion Sunday. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.