“I Appoint You to a Kingdom.” Wednesday after Invocabit 2014. “What is the Office of the Keys?”
Lenten Midweek Vespers + St. Peter Lutheran Church+ March 12, 2014
Passion History, Part 1 + “What is the Office of the Keys? Where is this written?”
“I appoint you to a kingdom”
As surely as I live God said, I would not see the sinner dead.
I want him turned from error’s ways; repentant, living endless days.
God doesn’t have pleasure in damning sinners. He wants to see them turned, repentant, and forgiven.
It’s because David knew that about God that he is so bold when he prays to God for forgiveness in Psalm 51. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, cleanse me from my sin, blot out my transgressions according to your steadfast love. Purge me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
And when David is cleansed of his awful sin of murder and adultery? Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to you.
Because David will teach them who the Lord is—He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, eager to see those who have sinned be reclaimed. David will say, “See, this is what the Lord did for me. He cleansed me from bloodguilt. He made me whiter than snow.”
God does not want the sinner dead and damned. He wants him to come back and be saved.
But first the sinner has to realize his sin. When they don’t, they have a different spirit. They do have pleasure in damning, in condemnation.
See the priests. They are not like the Lord. They do have pleasure in the death of sinners. They plot in the darkness to have Jesus killed. They don’t come out in the open and say, “Jesus is a false prophet.” They’re afraid of the people. They’re more concerned about their well-being than about the people God has appointed them to serve by telling them the truth, His Word.
But when Judas comes to hand Jesus over, they are delighted. God has no pleasure in the death of sinners. He condemns them and punishes them, but has no pleasure in it.
But the priests have pleasure in it.
How different Jesus is!
He is about to die unjustly. His disciples are going to leave Him in the lurch while He suffers for them.
You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.
If you knew you were going to be betrayed and killed in a matter of days, would you find it hard to think about other people? Would you lament the injustice? Would you be afraid?
All Jesus is concerned about is His disciples. About the people He is going to serve and die for—the apostles, but also the Church that would come after them, born from their preaching and service.
He is loving them. Proclaiming the Passover. Longing to eat it with them. Turning it into the new testament of His body and blood. Teaching them about His kingdom and what greatness in His kingdom is.
He loves them to the end. He loves them to the fullest. He fills up the full measure of love toward them and us. He gives Himself completely.
The Father gave all things into his hands—really? As He is about to be handed over and to suffer not just nails, spitting, flogging, a crown of thorns, mockery, agony in the garden—but above all God’s righteous wrath against sin? Really everything is in his hands?
Yes, right then, when He gives up everything for sinners, He reigns.
He reigns from the cross. Because He pays for all sins, He has authority to forgive sins and retain them.