S-1029 2/10/08 1SIL/3A. Hymns: (O)#359; (S)#135 ; (C) #126
Texts: Genesis 3:1-21; Epistle Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4-1-11
Theme: “The Warrior Son and Eve’s Savior” (Gen. 3:15)
Armour, SD. SOLI DEO GLORIA
Faithful followers of the Savior, ‘Christ is Risen!’ “He is Risen! Indeed!” The text for this First Sunday In Lent is from the O.T. lesson: “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” (Gen. 3:15).
Saints in Christ, we know tragedy. We saw the images of this Thursday night. Cookie Thornton, crazed with perceived injustice, took the law into his own hands and murdered 6 people. The image of this kind of carnage that brought such death to our sight is nothing short of a tragedy.
But this tragedy Thursday night is nothing compared to the greatest tragedy of all time. We read of it in the Old Testament lesson today. It is the story that took place between the children of God and the fallen angel—the devil, who seduced them and brought upon them God’s wrath and anger. This story is so tragic that the results are still being felt today. Death, evil and hatred are the fruits of that fall; all because Adam and Eve obeyed the devil instead of taking God at His Word.
Since that tragic day in the garden there has been war between the sons of Adam and the evil forces of the devil. The war is so severe that there are casualties all along. Look at the war in Iraq and you will know what I mean by casualties—death, destruction and disaster of both life and property. Homes demolished, limbs torn, trees uprooted and death played out on the streets. These are the signs of war.
But unlike the war that is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war I am talking about is war for the souls of humanity—yours and mine and every child of God. A war that is not fought on the streets, but in the hearts of people; a war that is not fought by bullets, and bombs, missiles and planes, tanks and torpedoes, but with words of deception and sleazy ideas. This war, while we freely admit that it is closer to home than we care to admit, it comes even closer. The war is waged in our own flesh. The first battle was fought and lost in the Garden when Eve was deceived by the serpent. It raged at Babel. It was a pitch battle there in the wilderness when Jesus faced down that age old accuser. And it continues in us. The battle still rages. Every time you sin, you, like “Cookie” Thornton, go to war against authority. You go to war against the authority of the Word of God and the very Lord who spoke that Word into existence. Think about that! You go to war with God when you sin? Do you think for a moment that you can win that war? No! That war will end in your utter, total and complete annihilation! But the Father would not sit still for this!
The war began, when Adam and Eve broke the Commandment of God of eating from the tree of good and evil. Yet, while they were hiding in the bushes from fear of the God who created them; God gave them a life-giving promise—a Covenant that will last forever. To Adam and Eve the Author of Life spoke of a coming Warrior an everlasting Messenger, and a Messiah. This Warrior would take on the fallen angel who had seduced Adam and Eve into rebellion.
To our first parents, in the presence of the evil, wicked, slimy enemy of man—the DEVIL, who had tricked them into grasping at God-hood; God gave this precious and life-giving promise
I Am declaring war between you Serpent and the woman, between your offspring and Her Descendant. He will crush your heard and you will bruise His heel. (Gen. 3:15)
The Warrior Son and Savior of Eve would in the fullness of time come from the seed of Abraham. He would have to come in a most unlikely manner and crush the head of the evil foe in a most unusual way.
And so it was, the Warrior Son came. He came from heaven to fulfill the promise of God. He came to redeem the fallen children of Adam and Eve. He came to bring salvation and healing and to restore the broken relationship with the Father of all grace. He came to undo what the fallen angel had done. He came to give His life as the payment for all mankind.
While He was on earth, we are told of the battle that ensued between the Warrior Son, and evil foe. We saw it play out in the Wilderness in the heat of the day and the coolness of the night. The war was severe and lasted for forty nights. For forty nights the war roared and raged.
On one side of the mountain stood the Warrior Son, and the other side the enemies of man—all of the evil forces of darkness and wickedness. While the Warrior Son was hungry and thirty, the wicked One sent His full artilleries to destroy Him from completing His Mission. Every arsenal weapon at his disposal the devil unleashed, but with the Shield of the Word, the Warrior Son stopped every bullet and bomb, every missile and weapon. For forty nights and days, the Devil tried again and again to lure the Warrior Son from saving fallen man, but he didn’t succeed. Finally, he left from the presence of the Warrior Son, until the opportune time.
The opportune time finally arrived during the Holy Week of the Jewish celebration of the Passover. The evil, wicked, slimy enemy of man—the DEVIL, lured another son of Adam to join his forces to defeat the Warrior Son. Judas took the bait and followed the deceptive words of the devil in betraying the One who had come to save him.
And the war raged the battle was fierce when all of the rulers, authorities, powers and spiritual forces of this dark evil world. The venom came upon the Warrior Son in full force. They grabbed Him, beat Him, made fun of Him and finally crucified Him on a tree, and laughed and mocked Him as they saw Him struggle for every breath. The war continued not with bombs and bullets, but with His blood. The carnage of His death, His savage suffering, His hanging in humility are the marks of the battle. They continued to send the artilleries until at last the Warrior Son, with every ounce of energy, lifted His bleeding and bruised body enough to scream the shout of victory. IT IS FINISHED! (Jh. 19:30). What was finished was the suffering. What was finished was the carnage. What was finished was the humility. What was finished was His life. The Victory was marked by His death.
The Warrior Son and the Savior of Eve rose victoriously on the third day. And with that glorious resurrection, the victory had been proclaimed in the streets of Jerusalem and every street ever since. The enemy had been defeated, destroyed and demolished. The Warrior Son and the Savior of Eve had won the battle, had given us the sons of Eve the spoils of war—freedom and peace, Light and Life, Forgiveness and Faith.
The Warrior Son and the Savior of Eve has fulfilled the demand of the Father. The Warrior Son and the Savior of Eve, Jesus Christ and our second Adam had accomplished the undoing of the first Adam, by restoring us to life again with the Father of all grace once more.
The thought of losing you was unthinkable to the Father. He wanted to go to war to save you. So He gives Eve and You this Warrior Son. He has armed Himself for the fight. His weapons are not bombs and bullets or guns and grenades. Rather, the secret weapon that this Warrior Son brings to bear in this War for your soul is His life.
That war, while the battle still rages, is already over. Even though we struggle in the flesh with the weapons of war of the evil one, the outcome of the War is decided. That is the reason we observe the season of Lent. We don’t walk with Jesus to Jerusalem with the outcome in doubt. No, we KNOW that Jesus has already won for us the only thing we need.
Today, we receive the spoils of this war. You heard the words of Absolution. You hear the words of the Message of this Warrior Son proclaimed week in and week out. You will receive into your mouths the very body and very blood that this Warrior spent on the battlefield for you. This Victory is yours. This Warrior fights for you. This Warrior has won for you. Thank God that our Champion is alive again. AMEN.
Now the peace…