Emmanuel Ev. Lutheran Church

511 Todd Street N.  .  Long Prairie, MN 56347

(320) 732-4234

 

Trinity 10 + 2011

Title: Jesus Wept.

Text: St. Luke 19:41-48.

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost. 

Dearly Beloved:

   The Gospels only tell us about two particular times when Jesus wept. One is at the grave of Lazarus. The other - is today's Gospel.

   And when you hear today's Gospel, it reminds you - that real men do weep. Jesus was 'true man'. 

   And what brought Jesus to tears? He wept - over the city of Jerusalem. He wept - because that city did not know the things that would make for its peace. That city was about to face terrible destruction. Jesus knew it, but they did not. And Jesus knew - what they so desperately needed - to avoid that destruction, to make for their peace. But they had closed their eyes and their ears - so that whatever could have made for their peace remained hidden from their eyes.

   Talk about a sad situation.  

   And you, too, dearly Beloved, may know what it is like to weep. For you also have loved ones, and you weep for them - when they do not know the things that would make for their peace. So often, you find yourself - standing on the outside of their situation, looking in, watching your loved one walking down a similar painful path - to one that you yourself may once have walked. And you think to yourself: "Oh, no!" And you say: "Please, don't go there!" But they won't listen. They think that they know better. They want to go there, anyway. Maybe they're too proud. Maybe they're too stubborn. Maybe they think that they have to do things their own way. It breaks your heart. It moves you to tears. 

   And when you hear today's Gospel, you hear that your Jesus - also wept. He wept for sinners - who were lost in their state of rebellion against God. 

   And when you hear today's Gospel, do not think - that Jesus was simply weeping for other people. Do not think - that Jesus did not need to shed any tears for you. 

   Do not make the mistake - of placing yourself outside of lost humanity. Do not think to yourself that God looks down from heaven upon you and smiles, or think that you have earned a special place in God's heart. If you listen to God's Law, you know - that the only thing which you have earned is eternal wrath and destruction. The only thing that you deserve - is weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

   For God looks down from heaven, and He sees how you, too, have traveled the same painful path that was taken by Adam and Eve. You, too, have turned a blind eye to God's Word - the Word that would make for your peace. Like your forefathers, you have turned your hearts instead to the words of demons - words which would make for your destruction. 

   Repent! Confess the truth. You are a sinner!

   And hear it again: Jesus wept for sinners. Jesus wept for you. 

   And His great love for you - moved Jesus beyond shedding tears. Jesus was moved - to take the great steps that were necessary - to make for your peace. Jesus was moved - to walk the road to Jerusalem. He walked into torture. He walked into death on a cross. 

   His great love for you - moved Jesus beyond shedding tears. He was moved - to step into your shoes, to take your place in death, so that He should make for your peace, so that He should forgive your sins and give you life forever. 

   His great love for you - moved your Jesus to shed His blood for you. He became the sacrifice - whose blood is sprinkled on you - to cleanse you, to restore you before God, to open your eyes to the great truth - of what really and truly does make for your peace.

   And what is it? What really and truly does make for your peace? 

   O, Jerusalem! What is it - that makes for your peace - when you are surrounded by the devil, the world, and your sinful human flesh? 

   O, Jerusalem! What is it - that makes for your peace - when your walls of security come crumbling down, when you find yourself in the throes of death? 

   O, Jerusalem! Where should you turn when heaven and earth are passing away before your eyes? 

   The answer is Jesus - the Son of God made Man, who came to shed tears for you, who came to shed His blood for you, who came to bind you to Himself in Baptism, in order to take you through the water - through death to a life that never ends. The answer is Jesus - God made Man who shed tears for you, who shed His blood for you, who even now feeds you with His Body and Blood - so that His elemental Word should be placed in your mouth to heal you, to cleanse you, to restore you. Your sins are forgiven. Christ has paid the price for you with His own suffering and death on the cross. He has risen again in body and soul and now lives and reigns to all eternity. 

   And He has done all of this, so that He should wipe away every tear from your eyes. He has done all of this - to deliver you from every evil of body and soul. He has done all of this, so that when your last hour should come, He may grant you a blessed end, and graciously take you from this vale of tears to Himself in heaven. 

   Jesus is the real Man who wept for the city of Jerusalem; He wept for you - because He wants you to know the things that make for your peace. And He gives you what you so desperately need - He opens your eyes to see the things that make for your peace - and He gives you that peace forevermore.  

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Ghost. 


Rev'd Nathan W. Higgins, Pastor

 

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Emmanuel Lutheran Church
Long Prairie, MN

Stained glass artwork by Sally Young.