Saturday, March 26, 2016

Good Friday Homily-Behold the Lamb of God

Behold the Lamb of God
Good Friday Homily
March 25, 2016
Lynchburg, Virginia

Prayer of Praise
         Our Father, we praise You as we remember that hour when You glorified Your Son so that He could glorify You. You gave Him authority over all flesh and to give eternal life to all whom You had given Him. This eternal life is to know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. Jesus glorified You on the Earth and accomplished all the work You gave Him to do. His greatest work was to die for sinners whom He came to save. We thank You and praise You in Jesus’s holy name. Amen.

Behold, the Lamb of God
The cross is a bloody spectacle. If you have seen the movie the Passion of the Christ, you will get some idea of just how bloody it was. It was brutal. It was horrific.
Why is Jesus so bloody? Because we are bloody. We are bloody in our appetites to advance over others, even at the expense of blood. If you are angry towards your brother in your heart, you have committed murder in your heart. Blood.
We are a bloody nation. You have to look no further than the abortion mills, Planned Murderhood, and all nice and legal like, too. A majority of Americans like this blood, want to keep it flowing. Jesus’s blood has to cover our bloody spectacle. If He is going to save the world, if He is going to save the United States, it has to cover that bloody mess, too.
Why is He stricken, smitten and afflicted? Because we deserve to be punished for our many sins. The tormentors laid stripes on him. They scourged Him. They spit in His face. They mocked Him. They beat a bloody crown into His sinless head. They pierced His side. Why? Because we deserve all that, like the thief on the cross who said to the other thief who cast insults at Jesus, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
         You see, we deserve the beating, we deserve the insults, we deserve the affliction, we deserve the cross. Handed out to us, it would be justice. But we don’t want justice. We wouldn’t’ survive it. We need Jesus to suffer for us so we can receive mercy and grace.
Why is He murdered? Because we are murderers. Jesus didn’t die to save the good people, the upright, the whole, the healthy, the wise. He died to save murderers. Father forgive them who crucify me, for they know not what they do.
Who put Jesus on the cross? The Romans? The Jews? We can think of them as bad people. But who put Jesus on the cross? Was it not Judas? Was it not those who forsook Him and fled? Was it not the very ones He came to save? Was it not you? He is murdered to save murderers, who in their hearts would have even betrayed the Lord of glory. We hate to admit it because now we love Jesus. But apart from His grace, regeneration and salvation, you would kill Him. You would have Him die the death. Why was He murdered? To save envious, jealous, ambitious, and guilty men, women and children like you. Thank God Jesus does not leave us in that condition!
Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. In the Old Covenant, a lamb was to be brought and killed for a sacrifice. It had to be an unblemished lamb. That is a high requirement but no lamb is perfectly perfect. And the fact that no lamb is perfect reveals the need for a better sacrifice. The Bible teaches us that the blood of animals can never take away sins. God received the sacrifices as offered in good faith and He reckoned that faith as righteousness.
But something more glorious is happening with Jesus. Because He really is the perfect Lamb, the sacrifice is perfectly efficacious. It accomplishes exactly what the Lord intends. The sacrifice of Jesus takes away sins. It purges us. And it does not need repeated year after year. We remember the sacrifice year after year but it was only performed once for all.
One time on the cross for all sins. One time on the cross for the salvation of men. One time on the cross for all time. One time on the cross to propitiate the Father. One time on the cross to defeat the devil and make a show of him openly. One time on the cross to endure death. One time on the cross to secure life. One time on the cross to end all sacrifice. One time on the cross to pay it all.
Jesus paid it all.
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow.

Let us Pray
Our Father, who sent Jesus to the cross for our sins and raised Him for our justification, we hallow Your name. We confess our sins to You and thank You that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness. We were worthy of His death but not capable of paying for our own sins. Only the perfect Lamb of God could do that.
Father, we thank You for the obedience of Jesus, even to death on the cross. We thank You also for the joy that He saw on the other side in the Resurrection. As we leave here tonight in a solemn manner, prepare us for the overwhelming joy of the glory of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead, defeating sin and death that we would have abundant life.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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