First Sunday in Advent 2017

December 3, 2017

Bible Text: Matthew 21:1-9 |

Series:

Jesus Christ—the Lord, the Savior, the King—He’s coming! The crowd was electric. Here comes Jesus, the descendant of King David, riding a donkey into the holy city, just like his famous ancestor did. Surely He is coming to save us from these evil Romans and from King Herod. The disciples had already put their cloaks on the donkey to make it fit for the King; the crowd followed suit, people laying their cloaks on the road and waving palm branches as if Jesus was on His way to be crowned.

He did not come to be that kind of king. Anyone who had paid attention to Him during His earthly ministry would know that. When Jesus was born, the Magi came to Herod, seeking the One who would be King of the Jews; old King Herod thought there was a usurper. But He did not come to be that kind of king. When He fed the 5,000, they wanted to crown Him king for the sake of His miraculous food. But He did not come to be that kind of king. The only two thrones Jesus would know would be the manger where He lay at His birth and the cross where He was raised up before those He came to save. He did not come to be an earthly king. He came to die.

Still, He was always greeted as King. When Jesus was born, the angels sang songs to the glory of God concerning the newborn Savior King. The magi greeted Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. When Jesus entered into Jerusalem, riding a donkey, He was greeted with palm branches and shouts: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Even the Roman soldiers and Pilate the Governor hailed Jesus as King, even though it was in mockery. They adorned Him with a crown of thorns, wrapping Him in purple robes, placing a stick as a scepter in His hand; they knelt before Him; Pilate hung a sign over Christ’s head in which he called Jesus “King of the Jews.” Everyone knows: when Jesus comes, He comes as King.

This is the season of Advent. It’s as true today as it was two-thousand years ago: Jesus Christ, the Lord, the Savior, the King, is coming! So how do we greet Him appropriately? After all, “He comes to judge the nations, a terror to His foes, a light of consolation and blessed hope to those who love the lord’s appearing.” How does one greet a King? One honors him. Whether He’s the most wonderful king ever or the stingiest miser ever to sit on a throne, one does not dare to turn one’s back on the king. And so we kneel before Him. And then we beg for His indulgence. This morning it sounded like this: “Stir up, we implore you, your power, O Lord, and come that by your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and be saved by your mighty deliverance; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”

And as the best of kings will do, He will answer graciously. He will, indeed, save us from our sins. He came into Jerusalem, heading for the cross. He came to die, and in doing so, to save us from our sins and from the death our sins earned us. After three days He rose again so that we would never die. He delivers that salvation to us this day in His body and blood, given for us to eat and drink for the remission of our sins.

This Advent season, as we kneel before our King, the only hope that we sinners have to rescue us from the “threatening perils” of our sins is the coming of our Lord—Jesus coming to us with His Cross-won gifts in the Sacrament of the Altar. What a wonderful gift from our most gracious King! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” In the name of the Father and of the Son (†) and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

The peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus always. Amen.

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