Summary: Part three of our Easter Series - do we realize that when we hear of the Throne room - we are part of the crowd?
Concordia Lutheran Church
Easter 3, April 18, 2010
Let us Rejoice for He is Worthy – Demonstrated!
† In Jesus Name †
Let us rejoice, for He is Risen! And His grace, that incredible mercy and peace has been poured out as He has become the salvation of His people! Upon you! Hava Negilah!
Hava Negilah – Let us Rejoice – He is Worthy Demonstrated!
The apostle John, last of those who walked with Jesus, stands there, observing the incredible scene. The leaders of the twelve tribes of Israel, and his brother apostles, along with the incredible seraphim are bowing before the lamb of God, bowing, lieing prostrate, singing at the top of their voices.
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
I wonder if John can pick out Peter’s voice, or his brother James. As the scene expands out, in view come the millions upon millions of angels, adding their voices, the sound crescendos beyond belief. The vision incredible – but still, our eyes cannot be taken off the throne.
When we talk of the victory of Easter – it doesn’t end at the upper room – or even upon the day of ascension. It is this scene, taken from the Revelation of Jesus Christ, that is what the cross, and Easter focus upon. Here described is the victory celebration. Here is where God is praised, for the incredible work done… hear it again.
“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Worthy are you! Let us Rejoice – Hava Negilah – For He is Risen!
Demonstrated in Paul’s Ransom
Our readings today – testify of God’s worthiness, and yet, I often think we see that worthiness as distant, as that salvation as a piece of knowledge but not immediate and now. We aren’t sure if it includes us, in that incredible crowd where the people of God gather around His throne.
As we look at the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we begin to see why Jesus is worthy of all praise. For in His interaction with the Pharisee named Saul, God shows His glory, His worthiness, and all His love.
Paul will write in Romans, “7 No one is really willing to die for an honest person, though someone might be willing to die for a truly good person.“ Romans 5:7 (CEV) His view of this is personal – that there might be someone who is really good – that we would die. But Paul would write that, knowing that once he was as much an enemy of God, as Osama Bin Laden is the enemy of the United States. Though Paul was working on behalf of the religious government, his job was to terrorize Christians. To kill them, and torture them, to scare anyone considering following Christ to stop.
He was an enemy – straight out. Yet, he would write of God’s glory, 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:10-11 (ESV)
Imagine the reaction of Bin Laden, if one of our soldiers died, trying to save his life? That is the kind of reaction Paul would have, as he realized that Jesus was the Messiah, Such is the reaction that Paul would have, knowing that his sins are forgiven as well.
Such is the worthiness of the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Demonstrated in Our Ransom
But it is not just Paul who was redeemed, Hear more of his words,
15 "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all! 16 But since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life. 17 I pray that honor and glory will always be given to the only God, who lives forever and is the invisible and eternal King! Amen.