S-1249 GF/3A 04/22/11, (O) LSB #455, (S) #153, #172, #175; #159; 149; #156;
Text: Isaiah 53 1-12; Lamentations 1:1-14; John 3:16-17; 19:14-15; Psalm 22:1-2, 6-8, 12-18
Theme: “Broken WORLD” (John 3:16-17; 19:14-15)
Question: “Do you like Bread?” 8th in Sermon series Broken BUT not Broke
SOLI DEO GLORIA, Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, the text for our Good Friday is from the Gospel lesson: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him…Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, ‘Behold Your King!’ They cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify Your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar’” (John 3:16-17; 19:14-15).
Introduction: In Nomine IESU
In the name of the God of love, saints in Christ, when I was 8 months old my father died from complications of a surgery. Soon after my uncle (dad’s brother) married my mother and he adopted my brothers and me as his children. For all of my life this man has been my father. He loved us, raised us and nurtured us as his very own. His was selfless love. Dad could have married another (younger) woman, but chose to do what is not easy—to take a widow and her children and make them his. That is love—sacrificial love.
I didn’t know that the man that raised me was not my own father until I was 14 years old. That shows the true love of this man to an orphan like me. PAUSE.
What do these famous people have in common: Johann Sebastian Bach, Nelsen Mandela, Bill Clinton, John Lennon, Babe Ruth, Herbert Hoover, Andrew Jackson, and Eleanor Roosevelt? They were all orphans—raised by someone who adopted them and loved them. All these people were given homes to grow up in. Tonight, we learn of the One person who loves the whole world—God the Father.
From before the foundation of the world, God loved His world. He created it with beauty and majesty. It was the perfect place. He set in it a lush Garden that had grandeur like no other—known as the Garden of Eden—where everything was peaceful and lovely. But then, the arch enemy of God—Satan attacked God’s loving creatures and caused them to fall into sin. And from that day the world has been Broken.
You and I know well that our world is Broken. Look around, read the newspaper, watch a little TV and you will come to the realization that sin is rampant, hatred is everywhere and death, oh death is claiming so many of our loved ones. Yes, our world is Broken, and we self-centered sinners are the cause of it. And I’m not just talking about the litter along the roads, or the effect of fertilizer on our land. No, I’m talking about what sin has done to God’s world—SIN that polluted and destroyed the beautiful life of Adam and Eve in the Garden. Sin separated the Creator from His creatures; SIN that cuts us from the Source of Life and Light and gives us death and destruction. Sin that horrible deadly disease has broken us and broken our relationship with God.
We see this brokenness in our lives too. We enjoy living for ourselves, serving ourselves and putting our trust in our abilities and resources instead in the One who gives all things to sustain our lives. Oh, don’t take me wrong, it is not that we don’t want to serve others. Our sinful nature always says serve yourselves first and then if you have the time, energy and resources serve God and neighbor. Our aim is to meet our needs. DO YOU SEE THE BROKEN WORLD you and I live in?
The broken world that wouldn’t receive the Messiah they had waited for; the broken leadership that were willing to reject all that they had confessed in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (“we have no king but Caesar”); a broken world is always willing to set aside beliefs, principles, truth, for the sake of satisfying its own ends, its own desires, its own selfish interests; as Adam and Eve chose to do in the Garden, seeking something more than their Creator had already given them, as if they were still lacking something; under-handed dealing by some in business; cooking the books in accounting; giving in to the temptations of the flesh when heart and faith is saying “no.” This is our world—our BROKEN WORLD.
Yes, our world is broken. We see the evidence of it daily: we see it in broken relationships and broken lives. The life that God intended to live with Him forever has been claimed NOW by death. Death calls the young and the old, the loving ones and the lost ones; parents and children too. The truth is we shall all die. As a matter of fact every person who is born has the clock ticking towards his death.
Know this truth: Death is the ultimate indicator, that creation is broken. God didn’t create us for suffering and sorrow, death and destruction, pain and punishment nor to live and die in frustration and regret and guilt. He didn’t put us on His planet to HURT others, as we so often do, even when we’re not trying to. And He didn’t put us here to BE hurt by others as we so often are. All the things that make the news—the terrorists, the revolutions, the natural disasters, all the senseless violence and tragedies, the broken homes, broken bodies, and broken spirits—none of those things were supposed to be news! But that is the proof of our broken world. Welcome to my world beloved. PAUSE.
But God has an answer to this broken world it is called love. The Apostle Paul describes what LOVE is: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). But it is God who paints with a wide brush the view of this love: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” The love of God is revealed not in words, but in action. God doesn’t just talk the talk but He walks the walk. God in mercy sends His ONLY Son, into the world to restore that which is Broken—His created world.
You know why He does that? Because every soul is precious in His sight! You matter to Him. In love therefore, He sent His only Son so that He may restore this Broken world with the only tool possible—the Tree of the cross.
On this Good Friday, as we gather in Golgotha amongst the darkness, jeering and the shouting of many: “Crucify Him! “Crucify Him!” we see that Christ is Broken once and for all for the sins of Adam, Eve, you and me. He is broken for you so that He may restore you to the God of love. He gives His life unto death so that YOU WILL LIVE FOREVER.
Good Friday, or GREAT FRIDAY as they say in my country is the answer to our Broken World. God has painted them on Golgotha for us in broad and bloody brushstrokes, so we may see the severity of sin and the brokenness it brought. Great Friday is what makes us know what love—true love is all about. Love that forgives, love that heals, and loves that restores the world and us to a loving relationship. PAUSE.
Sometimes back I got in the mail An Arbor Day Foundation survey. The letter begins like this: “Nabil Nour we’d like to ask you about trees. Whether you climbed them as a child, cultivate them now, or if you’ve lost interest, we want to know! You may be wondering why what you think about trees is important. The answer is that trees are important and our job at the Arbor Foundation is to make sure people in SD—and across the country—know that. But we can’t try to change the way people think about trees until we know what they think about them now.”
I am happy the Arbor Day Foundation is trying to plant more trees. That is good for our State and the country. But in truth there is only one tree that we need for this life and the next—it is the TREE OF LIFE upon which the Almighty Father nailed His Son for the Broken World. This is indeed a love unlike any love known to the human heart. God’s love given for you! This love is more than earthly father or uncle can give. It is unconditional love—LOVE that takes us from being orphans and adopts us into a loving family—God’s family where brokenness is no more; LOVE that claims us to be His beloved sons and daughters FOREVER. Amen.
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA