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Archive for April 2019

Keys of Death

Keys of Death Revelation 1:17-18 Second Sunday of Easter

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

It is the Second Sunday of Easter, which is also the day we celebrate the rite of confirmation for four of our youth here at Peace. It is truly a blessing to be able to celebrate the Christian faith with those confirming their faith that was given to them when they were baptized. What do you say to Jr. Highers and other Christians on this day. You use the words of Jesus:

Revelation 1:17–18(ESV) 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

Fear not, is always the best place to start. We have many fears, and the opening words of Jesus to St. John are perfect to us. Fear not. Death is on thing that many fear, but for the Christian, we realize that Christ Jesus has defeated sin, death and the devil, as we saw by celebrating His resurrection from the dead. So Jesus even names this to St. John.

I am the first and the last,18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore. It is always about Jesus. Jesus is eternal, the first and the last, Jesus is the living one, He died on Good Friday, and behold last Sunday we hear that He is living. Jesus reaffirms this Easter message as the reasoning why we should not fear. The icing on the cake so to speak is when

“I have the keys of Death and Hades”

Just like the prison guard or jailer has the keys to the prison, so also Christ Jesus has the keys of Death and Hades. Keys permit and deny access.

Isaiah 22:22(ESV) 22 And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

Only Jesus can open and close death and hades. As Christians who believe in Christ JEsus death and resurrection, we have no fear of death and hades, because our savior is in control of them.

Christ Jesus having the keys of death and hades sounds a little unusual. We would think that Christ Jesus would have the keys to heaven and opening the doors to heaven for Christians. Something a little more positive.

But we dare not forget the initial default of our spirituality so to speak. After Adam and Eve sinned, we no longer belonged to God, but to Satan. So in

Genesis 3:15(ESV) 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

The promise of God is to make enemies between Satan and humanity as God says by putting enmity between you and the woman. Do by default, we were destined to hell. Good Friday broke that default as we see Jesus alive on that first Easter.

Since this was God’s plan of salvation Jesus was able to give away the keys of heaven. So who hold them now, you in one essence you do, since you are part of the church.

Matthew 16:18–20(ESV) 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (If I may add because Jesus is on control of death and hades) 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

The keys are not the property of Peter alone, but it given to the believers on Jesus Christ. Because what is what prompted Jesus is giving them. The confession of faith that Peter stated is the rock (the gift of Faith) that Jesus will use to build His church.

What was that confession of faith that Peter made? Matthew 16:16(ESV) 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

This is the confession that Jesus is going to build His church, The keys of heaven, are given to all who make this confession, which is the Christian Church. So our confirmands have been instructed in this confession, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, as taught in the Small Catechism of Martin Lutheran, will publicly confess this faith. The Christian Faith they were baptized into. The Christian Faith they were taught. The Christian Faith (through the Holy Spirit) that will continue to keep them, as Luther explains in the 3rd Article of the Apostle’s Creed

In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

The Holy Spirit keeps us and these confirmands as Hebrews 10:25(ESV) 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

As we meet together here at Peace Lutheran Church we gather around Christ’s Word, Baptising people in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and celebrating the Lord’s Death until He comes with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. All for the purpose as Jesus notes in Revelation 2:10(ESV) 10 Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

So we fear nor, because we gather around the one who is the the first and the last,18 and the living one. The one who died, and is alive forevermore, the One who had the keys of Death and Hades.

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

April 27, 2019 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Sermons

A Troubled Soul

A Troubled Soul

A Troubled Soul

A Troubled Soul John 12:27-28 April 14, 2019

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

Have you ever had trouble with prayer, where you didn’t know what to say or how to say it. Well you always have the Lord’s Prayer. But sometimes because of the circumstances, you may need a shorter prayer. The Kyrie, Greek for Lord as in Lord have mercy is only three words. But even if 3 words still seems long, there is a one word prayer. To which most people would reply with the word HELP. But I as thinking of another one word. Today is the day in which the church celebrates Palm Sunday, in which the people were shouting

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!”

Hosanna, the one word prayer is translated as Save us now.

Save us from what? The Roman occupation of the time? Well Jesus didn’t have an army. Jesus never showed any military prowess. There was a different enemy that Jesus was going to save the people from.

Out text

John 12:27(ESV) 27 “Now is my soul troubled.

Does God have a soul? Well not really, but we need to remember that in Jesus God took on human flesh and blood, and humans have a soul. But why would the soul of Jesus be troubled? Our souls are troubled, because of sin. Our Own sin, and the effects of the sins in the world around us. Especially near death. Jesus was near death, but

The death of the a believer, knowing that we are forgiven brings some uncertainty, as a new experience. But the death of a sinner, who had to bear the weight of their many sins, bring a much heavier weight.

But Jesus didn’t sin you may say. True. But the crowds saying Hosanna save us now did and so do we. Save us from what? Not from the Roman occupation, Hosanna save us now, is the deliverance of our sin.

How do you undo the past? You can’t. So also with sin, you can’t undo it, you need your sins transferred to Jesus. So now we have Jesus, true God who has taken on human flesh and blood which comes with a soul is about to die carrying the weight of the sin of the entire human race.

So yes the Soul of Jesus is very very troubled.

What do you do when your soul is troubled? When you see your mistakes, the evils of your life, the outbursts and rage. Notice where Jesus goes with this troubled Soul, to the heavenly Father.

John 12:27(ESV) 27 “And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.

This isn’t about Jesus’ personal comfort, but about our salvation. This is why Jesus is here, no thoughts of turning back, for the shouts of Hosanna drive Him forward.

Like athletes who hear the 60,000 plus fan roar with excitement which gives strength and encouragement to the athletes, Jesus hears our Hosanna and even with a troubled soul, continues closer to the Cross.

But we need more than just hype in our lives. So Jesus teaches us what we truly need.

John 12:28(ESV) 28 Father, glorify your name.”

Yes, that God’s name would be glorified. Consider again the shouts of the Hosanna, shouts of people, trusting in God to deliver them. Isn’t that what a God should do, deliver the people from sin death and the devil, yes. This is how God’s name is glorified.

So the shouts of the people’s hosanna was reason for the for Jesus to go to the cross. Yes it was a the Father’s plan of salvation.

Matthew 7:11(ESV) 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Well the shouts of the Hosanna were asking.

Did the people know what they were asking? Probably not

As Jesus will say as He is dying hanging on the cross

Luke 23:34(ESV) 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

The crowd shouting Hosanna, would have no idea, what they were asking for, but they got it.

Hosanna Save us Now equals the death of Jesus.

What about us, when the troubles of this world consume us. When we are in agony and dread of what is happening around us.

We go to the Father, in Jesus’ name.

Knowing that the shouts of Hosanna, save us now has ultimately been completed, but now we need to realize it daily in our lives. Nothing wrong with saying Hosanna when we are grieved, Nother wrong with saying Lord have Mercy or even the Lord’s Prayer. For often we struggle in asking for mercy, but we have a Savior is gives much more mercy than we can ever ask.

Jesus continues

John 12:28(ESV) 28 Father, glorify your name.”

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

Consider the name of God. It was first placed upon you with the water of Holy Baptism. You are a child of God, born a new of water and Spirit.

Titus 3:5(ESV) 5 he saved us (Hosanna), not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.

Because of God’s name placed upon you, God will glorify it again.

Revelation 3:5(ESV) 5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.

When the chances and challenges of this world begin to consume us, we turn to Jesus, because just like Jesus we know how it will end. We know the Hosanna, and God name will be glorified.

Which gives us strength when our soul is troubled in this world and we don’t know what to say.

So it is fitting, that we also shout Hosanna, For Christ Jesus saves us now. In His 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

April 14, 2019 at 5:26 am