Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

19 January 2014

Sermon: Epiphany 2A (OT)

19 January AD 2014
The Second Sunday after the Epiphany

Title: More Weight on the Bar (MP3 Audio)

Lifting Weights Summary: Athletes in training continually add weights in order to gain strength. Those who are wise or well-coached know not to pile on so many pounds that they end up hurting themselves.

Yet in today’s Old Testament, the Lord’s Servant — the prophetic voice of the coming Messiah — rejoices in the overwhelming, crushing weight that God places on Him. He welcomes the burden of saving the Gentiles being added to the salvation of Israel.

This second of the four “Servant Songs” in Isaiah introduces the beginnings of the suffering that the Servant must endure, the weight of mankind’s sins pressing down upon Him. Soon we will learn more about Him, how He offers His back to those who strike it, His beard to those who pull out its hairs (50:6). Finally, we witness His crucifixion, hundreds of years before the fact (52:13-53:12).

Jesus didn’t take on the weight of our sins in order to become stronger. Rather, blessed with the strength of God, He was able to bear our unbearable burden, to carry it to the cross and to leave our sin and guilt buried as He rose from the dead.

This Jesus now offers to continue the exchange, asking that we give Him the oppressive weight of sin, shame, suffering, and shortcomings. In return, He offers us the easy yoke and light burden of Christian discipleship (Matthew 11:30).

Christ Falls with His Cross Text: The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the Lord, and my recompense with my God.”

And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him — for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength — he says: It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.” Isaiah 49:1-7

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of More Weight on the Bar. Preached to the saints of God at Trinity Lutheran Church, Kearney, Missouri.

NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42a

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