S-l240 3M1L/3A 03/23/11, (O) #151 w. 1, 4, 7, (S) #428, (C) #416
Text: Psalm 37; Isaiah 12; Matthew 26:17-25
Theme: “Broken Trust" (Mt. 26:21-25)
Question: “How is your Trust level?” 3rd in Sermon series Broken.. .But NOT Broke
SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed! The text for our 3rd Midweek is from the Gospel lesson: “And as they were eating, He said, ‘Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’ And they were very sorrowful and began to say to Him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, ‘He who has dipped his hand in the dish with Me will betray Me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.’ Judas, who would betray Him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, ‘You have said so.’” (Mt. 26:21-25).
Introduction: In Nomine IESU
In Jesus’ name beloved children of God, it is a small word, but oh what a word. Only 5 letters, but it is a word that runs deep into our being. It is a word that sets us apart from all others and the way we behave as Christians. It is a word that runs our lives, our churches, our marriages, our country and our response to the grace of God in Baptism. The word is TRUST.
Where there is Trust there is unity and love. Where there is Trust there is peace and joy. However all of the arguing and fighting that goes on between people, occurs because people don’t trust each other. How true and yet how sad. You are seeing it played out daily in what is happening in the Middle East Libya and other countries—lack of trust.
You have heard it said: “How could you do this, I TRUSTED YOU?” You know the pain and heartaches that occurs when trust has been broken. Some of you have experienced this first hand and others have witnessed it play out in the lives of some people you know.
A couple of years ago in the city of Sioux Falls, a mother dropped her son at a Day Care Center. That same afternoon the police called the mother at work and asked her to come to the hospital. When she arrived at the hospital she discovered that the Day Care provider had broken the child’s arm. Even though the authority closed down the Day Care Center because of abuse, the mother still asked the question: “How could you do that to my child? I trusted you. You betrayed me!”
In our own town of Armour, few years back someone was hired to fix a basement job for a lady. The lady trusted this person to complete the task. However, this person swindled from her thousands of dollars. (Over $200.000). He was a thief and a scoundrel. She said, “How could you do that to me? I trust you. You betrayed me!”
A young couple got married. At the altar the husband said, “I, in the presence of God and these witnesses, take you to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death parts us, and I pledge you my faithfulness.” Yet, shortly after the wedding ceremony, the abuse began. It started out with a coarse word on how she looked and how she walked. Then the abuse increased. It was no longer an emotional abuse, but now physical. So much so that she was shoved, beaten with a baseball bat and taken to the hospital on numerous occasions with broken arm and ribs. Often time the woman was in the hospital her body bloodied and bruised. The woman said to the police, “How could he do that? He is supposed to protect me and care for me? I trusted him and he ruined my life”. PAUSE.
Tonight, we see the BROKEN lives of many people. As we continue on our journey to Golgotha we learn that broken trust is nothing new. Travel with me to the Upper Room in Jerusalem. Jesus the Rabbi from Nazareth had been with His disciples for over 3 years. During this period He taught them many things. He taught them He had to go to Jerusalem, suffer, die and rise again. He taught them that He was the Heaven-sent Savior of the world. He taught them that love is stronger than hate. He taught them that forgiveness is better than revenge. He taught them that serving God is 24 hours of joy and blessing.
And with all of this teaching something happened that made that night a night etched in the memory of many people and labeled this man as the betrayer. That night Judas broke his trust of Jesus. That night Judas sold out His Lord. That night Judas the disciples became Judas the Betrayer. You and I might ask the question, “How could Judas do this? How could he betray His innocent Lord?” It was no surprise for Jesus. He knew ahead of time that someone will betray Him. He even told them of that night and how they would identify him.
What would make Jesus do this? His love for us! He was willing to be betrayed by the very people He came to save. This is something that we can’t even begin to comprehend. But there was only one way that Jesus could be able to do this. It was because He had implicit trust in His Father in heaven.... PAUSE.
Tim Hansel in His book, Holy Sweat wrote: One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around in some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, “Hey Dad! Catch me!” I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and then yelled “Hey Dad!” I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk.
When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: “Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that???”
He responded with remarkable calmness: “Sure...because you’re my Dad.” His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted. Isn’t this even more true for a Christian? Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987. Word Books Publisher, pp. 46-47.
Jesus was able to fall into death without fear because He had an unshakable trust in His Father. From the cross He cried, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit!” Hear these words tonight dear saints. Hear them and know that Jesus knew He could trust His Father in life and death. His Abba was there to catch Him as He fell in death. But He did more than catch Him. He accepted His obedient sacrifice on our behalf and raised Him from the dead.
It is this sacrifice that makes our trust in God possible. If God would not spare His own Son for us. and would not forsake Him into death, will the same Father, OUR Father, leave us to hang? NEVER! Our Father is there for us. We can trust Him. He even remains there every time we in disobedience wander from His Word and will. While we may not be trustworthy, our Father is!
It is this trustworthy Father, who is shown to us by a trustworthy Son who was willing to be betrayed for us that then inspires this truth about trust....
Trust is found only in the Cross of Christ. All other sources of hope will disappoint. Remove the cross from Trust and all you are left with “Rust” (cf. Matthhew 6:19-20, treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust may destroy). Trust is broken because we are broken. He has remained faithful... forever. He saw our brokenness even before the foundation of the world, knowing Christ, not as mentor or helper, but as Savior in our Flesh, brother who substitutes Himself totally (Totally Reliable Under Sin’s Test) for us. Do we disappoint? Yes! Does a faithful husband or wife fail to put their beloved first, all the time? Absolutely! Do good parents still lose their temper unnecessarily at their beloved Children? Without doubt! Must we confess our sins daily to the One who alone is able and faithful to hear, to receive, to forgive, to release, and in all that to love us? Absolutely!
“Is it I?” You bet IT IS you! The precious Father poured forth, without measure, the full wrath in payment for all your sins on His Only-Begotten Son. Are you guilty? Yes... and no! Yes, it was your sin that betrayed His trust. No, you are free, for He bore the full weight and payment for that sin. Jesus became the “Greatest of Sinners” as “He who knew no sin, became sin for us, in order that you and I might become the righteousness of God, in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“Is it I?”... who has received mercy and grace, peace with the Father, peace with my brothers and sisters, all because He, my Brother, who wore my flesh, who wore my sin, took it all the way up the Via Delarosa, the way of suffering up Golgotha's heights? Yes, yes, it is I! In that calm assurance that He has indeed proven to be Totally Reliable Under Sin’s Test has done so for you. Even so, Amen.
He is this for you! AMEN
Now the peace of God…