Dballa's Weblog

Archive for March 2018

It is Finished

Good Friday

It is Finished
John 19:17-30
March 30, 2018

Nov 2, 2016 the Cubs won the world Series, The event was at Cleveland that day. But the celebration in Chicago was on the 3rd day, if you count it as we do in the church.

Good Friday is the event day, this is where our salvation is won for us, this is where our sins are atoned for, this is where the relationship with God is restored because of Christ. The formal celebration of the fans is like the Easter when the church celebrates, on the 3rd day,

But tonight we focus upon on the event day, what it cost Jesus to go to the cross.

Isaiah 53:6–8 (ESV) 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?

We hear the betrayal, the arrest, the trail, the agony, the moment of death and our salvation

John 19:30 (ESV) 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Our Salvation finished, but the passion continues with His side pierced and out came blood and water. Our salvation as some artist depicted the blood and water exiting our Savior in connection with our life in baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

But is it fair to take the suffering of Christ and turn it into “What is in it for me?”

I will let St. Paul answer that question with 1 Corinthians 11:26 (ESV) 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Yes, this is how we proclaim His death, by consuming His body and blood, we proclaim our salvation, because it is finished when Jesus died on the cross.

While our salvation is finished, we continue celebrating, always remembering, always participating on the body and blood of Christ, because there is no better way to proclaim our Salvation is finish, completed in Christ with His death, we see our victory over sin and death.

After the passion narrative, our service tonight moves into the reproaches. Where it seems that God is asking us how has He offended us what more could a loving and caring God do for His people, and yet we crucified His Son.

After the Law has worked and convicted our heart, we end with the Adoration of Christ, for we see our sins forgiven on the cross and then received through His body and blood at the altar, so we have joy. First the sorrow, then the joy, like a well read children’s book, we know how the story is going to end.

So tonight we don’t end the service with the reproach from God, but with the adoration of Christ, for we know how it ends, it ends with our life in Christ.


Written by dballa

March 29, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Participation in Christ

Maundy Thursday
Participation in Christ
1 Corinthians 10:16-17

March 29,2018

Tonight we remember when our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ decided to celebrate the passover early with His disciples. Many things happened this Holy Thursday, beside the passover. You have the foot washing, institution of the Lord’s Supper, the betrayal from Judas, and the prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.

This day is called Holy Thursday or Maunday Thursday. Maunday meaning command when Jesus gives two command to his disciples, that to love one another and the Eucharist that is the Lord’s Supper. Why Holy Thursday, well it is the Thursday of Holy Week, but we need to realize that this week in which the church celebrates these days are the events that makes us Holy, that is when God who is Holy touches us who are unholy, we become Holy.

Today we will focus upon the Lord’s Supper, Particularly as St. Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 10. This may sound kind of strange to use St. Paul’s words when St. Paul wasn’t even there when Jesus instituted the Lord’s supper. So wouldn’t St. Paul consider to be a secondary source, no. You need to remember the Christ spoke directly to St. Paul on the road to Damascus and St. Pauls describes himself as

1 Corinthians 15:7–8 (ESV) 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.


So what does St. Paul teach us?

1 Corinthians 10:16–17 (ESV) 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

The Cup of Blessing he calls it. The Lord’s Supper is a blessing. It is a blessing, but even during Luther’s day, many didn’t see it that way. In the Large Catechism Luther writes:

We must never regard the sacrament as a harmful thing from which we should flee, but as a pure, wholesome, soothing medicine that aids you and gives life in both soul and body. For where the soul is healed, the body is helped as well. Why, then, do we act as if the sacrament were a poison that would kill us if we ate of it?FOOTNOTE: Footnote

So the Lord’s Supper is a blessing, not a burden.

St. Paul also teaches that the Lord’s Supper is a participation in the Body & Blood of Christ.

St. Paul was not speaking of a sign of his body, or of a symbol, or of a figurative body, or of the power of his body but he was speaking of his true, essential body, which he gave into death for us, and of his true, essential blood, which was poured out for us on the tree of the cross for the forgiveness of sins.

We receive the bread and wine naturally, but the Body and Blood supernaturally, but it is still the body and blood of Christ. No wonder why early Christians were incorrectly called cannibals.

This isn’t something we make up in our head, but in which Christ tells us to do. It is Christ body and blood, because only Christ can be a blessing to us sinners. God is giving gifts, that is Christ.

St. Paul continues 1 Corinthians 10:17 (ESV) 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

St. Paul makes an interesting connection here. After he establishes that this is Christ body and blood, he moves into the reason why we also call the Lord’s Supper Holy Communion. We are made Holy by Christ, but we are in communion with each other as we are Holy in Christ. The emphasis here is that we are made into one body, by what Christ has done for us by the forgiveness of our sins, that is being made Holy.

Holy Communion with all believers throughout Time are part of this Holy Body of Christ.

To the Thief of the cross Jesus said today you will be with me in paradise, notice the timing, today, and Christ putting the thief with himself Christ, the one body. The Thief is with Christ, Christ with us, hence the Body of Christ. This includes all believers, those still breathing and those not still breathing, one in the body of Christ. Christ brings us into Him, We are not alone, but part of a mystical Union, much more gathering that what we see, when we come to the communion rail. That is why some. Christians refer to the Lord’s Supper as a mass, one mystical body of Christ.

So now the Maundy part of this day, A New Command I give you love one another, brings about another emphasis, that since we are one we love one another. This would make sense especially as we talk about the communion together part of the Lord’s Supper.

This is the wonderful connection, as Christ dies for all of humanity, and that Christ wants all people, His creation connected to Him. Why would His creation not once one another?

Yes, our ugly sinful self poke it head forward. So Christ has to spell it out, as we gather in communion, we proclaim the Lord death, not just for you but for all people. As we struggle with this loving one another, the communion of Christ brings that healing forgiveness that we need. For the Lord’s Supper is truly a participation in Christ, and a blessing that we need, as we are called by Christ into His body, as redeemed sons and daughters.

Written by dballa

March 29, 2018 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Lord's Supper, Sermons

Blessed is He

Blessed is He
John 12:12-19
March 25, 2018

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

You can’t be in 2 places at the same time, needless to says, three places at one time won’t happen either. But today, the church does celebrate three things at the same time. Most popular today we celebrate Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus enters into Jerusalem right before His crucifixion. It was a major festival for people would be crowded into Jerusalem, for the passover. But the raising of Lazareth, brought a lot of excitement and as Jesus enters with shouts of Hosanna (Save us Now), the Coronation of the Messiah from

Psalm 118:25–26 (ESV) 25 Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.

The church also celebrates this day as Passion Sunday. Where the focus is upon the events of Jesus right before His death on the cross, so that we are prepared for next Sunday to celebrate Easter. If you don’t have the passion, you can’t have Easter. Whereas Easter we see, we have witnesses, to what really happened on Good Friday. So picking up on the people’s Words, this is Hosanna, this is how Jesus is going to Save us Now. But the people don’t know and will not know until Easter, then the message can begin to go out.

The third point that is celebrated today, that just happens to coincide with Palm Sunday is March 25th the Annunciation of our Lord, when the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary the conception of our Savior Jesus Christ. Why March 25th, well it is nine month before Christmas. There was an old tradition expectation that people would die on the date of their conception. March 25th is a possible date for the passover, a possible date for the crucifiction. If you remember Easter of 2016, just a couple of years ago was on March 27th, so the Good Friday was March 25th. We don’t know if that is exactly the way it happened, but it is an interesting parallel. But there is another connection. When the Angel announces to Mary the name of the baby, Jesus.

What means as Matthew 1:21 (ESV) 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Jesus Saves, just was Hosanna implies, Save us Lord. Hosanna and the name of Jesus, well connected, to be fulfilled is a few days later on Good Friday.

For this is the purpose of Jesus taking on flesh and blood, to go to the cross. What a Beautiful connection

But there is still more to this connection. Because on Good Friday Jesus is rejected by the crowd. You may remember that Pilate wanted to release Jesus and asked the crowd if they wanted Jesus released for the passover, but the people wanted Barasabus, instead of Jesus and they wanted Jesus Crucified.

Jesus was rejected. And here is the connection. Remember the Psalm 118 which was quoted on Jesus Entry into Jerusalem.

Permit me to back up three verses, just three: (yes I love the Old Testament)

Psalm 118:22–26 (ESV) 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (beautiful Good Friday or Passion Sunday and then )25 Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.

If only the people would have backup three verses, they would been able to predict the Good Friday event.

Now our connection to this three events:

John 12:13 (ESV) 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

Blessed is He referred to the one who saves bearing the name of the Lord.

This also applies to you, as you bear the name of the Lord through Holy Baptism and at the end of our service as God’s name is placed upon you and you are blessed.

Numbers 6:22–27 (ESV) 22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

The Old Testament priests were instructed to say this: This is how God puts His name name upon us and blesses us. This is how we are blessed. How we are given success, not as the world defines it with money power and fame, but with forgiveness, reconnection to God, a restoration to paradise.

Psalm 118:25–26 (ESV) 25 Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.

He does give us success and we will see that success next Sunday. Until that time we remember the palm branch waving, we remember and receive again the blessing God gave to Arron to place upon the people, because we need a savior we need a deliver, we need Jesus and Jesus comes into this world as Mary was told for He will be names Jesus for He will save His people from their sins.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

March 24, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Posted in God's Name, Sermons

The Life of the Weak

The Life of the Weak
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
March 4, 2018

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I was in school during gym class the teacher picked two students to be captains and they in turn would pick their team. Being a scrawny boy I was assured to be picked last or next to last. I would love to tell you that one day it all changed, but it didn’t. You might be wondering, then why tell the story, if there isn’t much of a story. It doesn’t make sense. The Life of the Weak, doesn’t make it to Hollywood. The Life of the Weak, doesn’t have a great business success story. The Life of the Weak, isn’t very powerful, in our culture driven by Strength, Power and Success.

Even in the Old Testament lesson gives us the Ten Commandments, which shows us that we fall short of God’s expectation. But this is for our good because St. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 1:28–29 (ESV) 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

We don’t boast in our selves, because no one can stand before God. Even the captains picked in class, even the world leaders, even the great CEO, or Hollywood’s famed, or the richest in the world, no one can stand before the almighty God, unless as St. Paul continues

1 Corinthians 1:30–31 (ESV) 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Paul notes in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV) 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Before his conversion to Christianity, St. Paul had it all, good upbringing, well educated, climbing the ladder, he was headed to the top. Then Christ came and chose him, and Christ showed him that it is in weakness, that Christ is glorified.

Not the connection here with what St. Pauls says and our Gospel reading

1 Corinthians 1:22–24 (ESV) 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

John 2:18–22 (ESV) 18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

And again in Matthew 12:38–42 (ESV) 38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

The sign that the Jew wanted were some sort of miracle.

Luke 23:8 (ESV) 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him.

Miracles, entertainment, these are not the signs of God, but the crucifixion of the Christ is the sing given. Death and resurrection weekly, can we have something new people ask.

The rest of the verse

1 Corinthians 1:22 (ESV) 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,

Acts 17:19–21 (ESV) 19 And they took [Paul] and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

1 Corinthians 1:22–23 (ESV) 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,

It is a stumbling block.

Consider Christopher Hitchens, a decreased Atheist. He did his research extremely well, better than many Christians do. He writes in his book God is Not Great:

Once again we have a father demonstrating love by subjecting a son to death by torture, but this time the father is not trying to impress god. He is god, and he is trying to impress humans. Ask yourself the question: how moral is the following? I am told of a human sacrifice that took place two thousand years ago, without my wishing it and in circumstances so ghastly that, had I been present and in possession of any influence, I would have been duty-bound to try and stop it. In consequence of this murder, my own manifold sins are forgiven me, and I may hope to enjoy everlasting life.FOOTNOTE: Footnote

He understood the Gospel message of Christ crucified, but through of it as foolishness.

The Gospel we preach is Christ Crucified not profound wisdom, not a song and a dance. But Christ. Sure we love a message well put together creative and brilliant, but are we listening to Christ Crucified or do we want as St. Paul describes it in 2 Timothy 4:3–4 (ESV) 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

God being killed by His own creation. Talk about weakness, as our God is hanging on the cross.

Peter was shocked in last weeks reading when Jesus said He was going to the cross. But this is the way God saves people

All our wisdom is foolishness, but by Christ we boast.

So when I was a little boy being picked last ment, that I was still picked.

Jesus notes in John 15:16 (ESV) 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you.

Christ choose you, The Life of the Weak, that is how God works. Rejoice in that you are chosen by God, so Boast in the Lord. In His Holy Name. Amen.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

March 3, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Sermons