The Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 20, 2015
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
During this Advent season, we watch, we wait, and we anticipate the Christmas Day. That is the day of our dear Savior’s birth. This is not a birthday in which we eat birthday cake. No, this is the Day of Lord’s Visitation in which we eat the bread of His presence. In days of Micah, the people of God were waiting for the Christ Child to be born. Instead of seeking the LORD at Jerusalem, they we to search for the LORD in Bethlehem.
The Prophet preached, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel.” (Micah 5:2–3, ESV)
This Child would be the promised Ruler. He will sit on the throne of His father David. He will be born in the city of David- not Jerusalem, but in Bethlehem. The city where David was born. This would be a new Kingdom. He would reign over the house of Jacob forever. His Kingdom will have no end.
This Child would be the promised Ruler. His coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. He is eternally begotten from God the Father. He was in the beginning. He is the beginning. His coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. The promise of His coming was given to Eve in the Garden of Eden.
This Child would be the promised Ruler. Ruler’s reign and govern bringing order where there is disorder. That means that there will be a regime change. Under the old way, there was injustice and wickedness. Under the new way, there will be justice and righteousness. In order to bring about this change, the current establishment must be disestablished.
This Child would be the promised Ruler. He comes to overthrow the ruler of this world, that is, the devil. The devil usurped the reign of God among us, buy Christ is the rightful heir of the Kingdom.
Now, here in lies a problem. We all have invested interests in this fallen world. We are born loyal to the lying serpent.. By nature we are intoxicated with iniquity. We want wickedness. We desire disobedience. We treasure transgressions. We think that we are in control. We will not let go without a fight. We need a Ruler from God who can override, overrun, and overrule the control and governance of sin in our lives.
All humanity is conceived and born in sin. The fruit of Eve’s womb has been cursed. We are brought forth in iniquity. We live out our days addicted to sin. We have all been given the death sentence. Yet, ever since the days of Eve, we have received a promise of a substitute who would take our sentence and grant us pardon. This substitute would be born of a woman at the proper time.
Until that time came, God instituted a sacrificial system. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. Under Moses a tabernacle was constructed. Under Solomon a temple was built. The city of Jerusalem was chosen by God to be the place of His presence. It was a great city. However, the offerings of goats and bulls God did not desire. The sacrifices of animals were merely types and shadows of the True Atoning Sacrifice. God desires a change of heart and mind, eyes and ears, lips and mouths, feet and hands. God wills that the whole body and soul of each individual to be renewed and restored.
In Psalm 40, the Only-Begotten Son declared, “Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me.”” (Psalm 40:7–8). In order to do God’s will, in order to be our substitute, a body was prepared for Him in a womb. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin. He received a heart and mind, eyes and ears, lips and a mouth, feet and hands. Mary believed the promise and was called blessed. Blessed is she amongst women. Blessed is the fruit of her womb.
In her womb a body was prepared for the Son of the Most High. In this body, the Only-begotten Son of God was given an open ear to hear. The Father’s words were placed within His heart. He went from little to great. Over His head the anointing of the Holy Spirit remained. His hands did the deeds of good. His own feet were set upon a rock. His steps were made secure. He did not slip. A new song was placed in His mouth and His lips did not refrain from teaching. “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
He preached the glad news of deliverance to His brothers. However, His brothers did not receive Him. His own people did not believe Him. They chose to abort Mary’s boy and put an end to His teaching. They wanted to terminate His life and cut Him off from the land of the living. They tried to prevent His Kingdom from coming.
Judas sold His body parts for 30 pieces of silver. The soldiers struck His head and placed a prickly crown upon His brow. They pierced His hands and nailed His feet to a tree. They would need to some type of forceps to extract that body from the cross. His ears were filled with mockery. His eyes beheld the priests and rabbis looking at Him with disgust. His mouth was swollen from being struck. Blood was upon His lips. A spear sliced through His side like a surgical scalpel. The body that came forth from the womb of a handmaiden was placed in the tomb of a rich man.
By the offering of Christ’s body, we have been sanctified once for all. Christ comes to do away with the First Testament in order to establish the Second Testament. The old is over and the new is now. With His holy, precious blood of the New Testament, He makes us His own so that we would live under Him in His Kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness. He is preparing our bodies by pardoning them from treason. The King comes to populate His Kingdom with sinners. The Prince of Peace comes to colonize His city with rebels. His rule means our release from the captivity of sin. His rule means the remission of our transgressions. He is our Ruler. His our peace. Amen.
Rev. Brian L. Kachelmeier
Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church
Los Alamos, NM