The Victory March–Palm Sunday/Confirmation
St. Peter Lutheran Church
St. Matthew 21:1-9
April 1, 2012
I bind unto myself today The power of God to hold and lead, His eye to watch, His might to stay, His ear to hearken to my need. The wisdom of my God to teach, His hand to guide, His shield to ward, The word of God to give me speech, His heavenly host to be my guard.
Eternal God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, give us Your Holy Spirit who writes the preached Word into our hearts. May we receive and believe it and be cheered and comforted by it in eternity. Glorify Your Word in our hearts and make it so bright and warm that we may find pleasure in it, through Your Holy Spirit think what is right, and by Your power, fulfill the Word, for the sake of Jesus Christ, Your Son our Lord. Amen.
You who are so loved by God, that He gave up for you His only begotten Son:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
[10:45…Brandon, Shelby, Emily,
Families of those to be confirmed,
Members of St. Peter who rejoice with them:
Grace and peace to you…]
Jesus’ victory march.
Joe’s Baptism birthday.
What we may forget in our joy: baptism means the cross.
Confirmation…you confess the faith, you confess Jesus’ victory, you become a participant in the feast of victory.
But how slow we are to understand His victory!
This is the feast of victory for our God…but it is the feast of remembrance of Jesus’ suffering and death.
- 1. He marches to death on the cross.
- a. Background to Jesus’ passion—John 8, 10, 11—plots to kill Him
- b. The whole world is going after Him! Priests, Pharisees.
- c. It is expedient that one man die for the people. It is realistic.
- i. Caiaphas says this.
- ii. Pilate does the same thing.
- iii. And Peter.
- iv. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus—late bravery.
- d. Let us look honestly at where He is going.
- e. Are the praises appropriate? Do the angels sing?
- f. This is where the confirmed are going. What happened to Jesus will happen to all who belong to Him…and let’s not make it metaphorical.
- 2. Why it is a victory march.
- a. He does not come to take sides and to destroy the “bad guys.”
- b. He comes to be destroyed.
- c. He comes with the truth, with God’s word, knowing He will not be enthroned but killed.
- d. He goes alone.
- e. He goes willingly.
- f. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
- i. But His triumph is riding to His death.
- g. He is storming hell.
- h. Behold, your king comes to you gentle…riding on the foal of a yoke animal…Not with violence, but gentle.
- i. Catechumens: You know your sins. I’ve heard you say it. Now, you look to Jesus only, and how He loves you.
- 3. We follow behind with joy.
- a. “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
- b. Blessed are the meek (or the gentle), for they will inherit the earth.
- c. Make no mistake; living as a Christian is going to the cross with Jesus—going to die.
- d. But not alone.
- i. The real suffering was His alone.
- ii. We go with the victory ours already.
- iii. Our crosses are small in comparison…suffering, our plans/will being destroyed. Perhaps being killed, perhaps being despised. But these with death and hell conquered.
- e. Our weakness is a victory march:
- i. 14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
- f. The yoke is light because we look at Jesus’ cross and resurrection; we hear the Word…it is finished.
- i. If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
- ii. When? Baptism.
- iii. Philippians 2: Let this mind be in you which is yours in Christ Jesus…
- iv. We have the victory, so now with His patient voice, the voice of Him who bore our sins, wounds, cross…we are asked to serve others.
- v. This is the voice of Him who gives us His body and blood and forgiveness.
- vi. This is the way of victory and the way of peace.