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

24 November 2019

Last Sunday of the Church Year Sermon: Green Wood, Dry Wood

Preached on Luke 23:27–43
Last Sunday of the Church Year — Proper 29C
24 November AD 2019

Title: Click to hear the MP3 of Green Wood, Dry Wood

Luke 23:31a Summary: In today’s Gospel, Luke shows Jesus prophesying the fall of Jerusalem for the third time in less than a week. Its fall is tied both to his own death and to the end of the world. God’s judgment on sin will fall all who reject His Word and His will. Jerusalem becomes a sign for the Last Judgment.

Jesus shows how bad it is in His comparison: He — the green wood innocent and holy — should be impervious to destruction and flame. Yet sinners are taking Him out to be crucified. Meanwhile, sinful humankind is dry, brittle, and easily put to the torch. What will happen to us?

Our salvation only comes when we trust that divine judgment on sin already fell on Jesus. God put our guilt on His Son and sent Him to die for us. When we believe that He carried our sins to the cross, we possess the salvation and new life that came in His resurrection.

Luke 23:31b Text: And there followed [Jesus] a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him.

But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’

“For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:27-43

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 Green Wood, Dry Wood

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 46; Malachi 3:13-18; Colossians 1:13-20

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