Only One Guy Understood—How Ironic
† In the name of Jesus, Son, Savior, King †
May the grace of God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ draw you closer and closer to them! As close as a criminal executed for his bad (crappy) life!
- I Love Good Irony
Pastor Parker knows I like irony, for a few reasons….
But theological Irony? Well, I might need more teaching…to understand that!
Take this cartoon that someone put on the internet (ask Doug to advance slide or use the clicker)
But what most of you don’t know is that Charles Schultz was a devout Christian and used the Peanuts cartoon as a way to tell people about Jesus!
Linus will go from waiting for the Great Pumpkin in that movie to reciting the story of Jesus’ birth in the Christmas special. Hmmm That’s cool! From waiting for Someone to Come and bring ultimate blessings–to seeing that Someone to come at Christmas! Sound familiar?
Anyone make that connection?
Here is where irony comes in… Lucy kills Jes… err the Great Pumpkin and serves Him up for everyone to eat.
HMMMMMMMM… someone mocked the Peanuts characters and unknowingly revealed one of the most blessed mysteries in scripture. That Jesus would provide His body and blood to us, to help us know He loves us and would die for us! And we would share in that Body and Blood as gather here today!
Pastor thinks Schultz would love this cartoon… He certainly does. I think I do too!
So back to the gospel reading, and more irony!
- The Crowds and Experts (and sometimes us)
So, let’s talk about some serious mocking—or, as they say today—trash talking.
This is even more intense than pastor and I comparing Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers!
Hear the gospel again,
The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
That’s pretty nasty to say to a guy tortured and nailed to a cross to pay for your sins, don’t you think?
Other’s picked up on it, saying,
The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
Even Pilate, the governor, got into the act. This is what he had done…
A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
Man, these people are cruel!
I mean—I can’t see myself being that cruel to a guy was guilty and about to be executed!
Never mind doing that to Jesus, we would never ever do that, would we?
Here is the hard part of the law—we have…
Every time we have tried to kick Jesus off of the throne, by choosing our way, rather than His. Every time we have broken the commandments, or failed to love our neighbor, we deny the fact that He died to save us!
This is harsh—and I wish Pastor was preaching this… o wait- then I would sit there and pay attention…. And hear the law. It would sting and rip my sinful heart to pieces… hmmm… maybe it’s better I am up here…
We need to see our sin as…well sin. We need to see it as just as much a betrayal of Jesus as those people who mocked him, and those who laughed. We have to struggle with it, so that we become as desperate as the man on the cross… whose only hope…hanging there next to Jesus… was Jesus.
- Irony Man
Now we get to the criminal on the cross. Not the dude that mocked Jesus, but the one the Holy Spirit worked on, the one whose heart was opened, who saw Jesus as the Messiah, as the savior
The word for criminal is interesting. Kaka-poi-a-oh. It’s actually two words merged into one. The Poi-a-o one is to craft something—to bring artistic level skill to your work. So this guy is an artist when it comes to what he does…
What he does is the Kaka part. Now, that isn’t what it sounds like! It means the worst of the worse, the scummiest kind of bad actions against others. He was convicted of a capital crime—murder, treason; you know the other options.
And while everyone was mocking Jesus, telling him to save himself—this guy was the one to see that Jesus had to die… that Jesus must die, if there was any hope..
It is ironic—that the baddest, scummiest, crappiest sinner in the crowd was the one to see the need for Christ’s sacrifice… and to say… “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
I think it’s only when we put ourselves in his shoes… when we realize how broken and bad we’ve been, that we can see how wonderful Jesus is! How he is our hope—whether we are facing dealing with the consequences of our sin, or the ultimate consequence of sin as death approaches!
He is our King, the one who came to save us.
No matter how bad our kaka-poi-a-o has been…
We can cry out—Jesus, remember us, dear King!
And at Communion, what is called the Great Feast, I almost said pumpkin—as we celebrate, we recall what He said—do this; remembering me… proclaiming my death for you… until He comes again.
Jesus is here, and He could not save Himself, because He was saving you.
But in doing so, He entered His kingdom, and there will be a day when that Kingdom will be as clearly seen.
Until then, you still dwell in His Kingdom, as surely as the sinner on the cross next to Him, and therefore in His peace that passes all understanding, which He will keep you in…. AMEN!