Sermon Transcript – I Love it When a Plan Comes Together

Series B – Good Friday – Friday, April 2, 2021 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:23The passion of our lord recorded in the
0:30gospel of john chapter 19. then pilate took Jesus and flogged him
0:36and the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a robe of purple they
0:43came up to him saying hail king of the jews and they struck him with their hands
0:48pilate went out again and said to them see i am bringing him out to you that you may know that i find no guilt in him
0:56so Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns in the purple robe and pilate said to them behold the man
1:03when the chief priests and the officers saw him they cried out crucify him crucify him pilate said to them take him
1:10yourselves and crucify him for i find no guilt in him the jews answered we have a law and
1:15according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the son of god
1:21when pilate heard this statement he was even more afraid he entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus where are you from
1:28but Jesus gave him no answer so pilate said to him you will not speak to me do you not know
1:35that i have authority to release you an authority to crucify you Jesus answered him you would have no
1:41authority over me at all unless it had been given to you from above therefore he who delivered me
1:47over to you has the greater sin from then on pilate sought to release him but the
1:53jews cried out if you release this man you are not caesar’s friend everyone who makes himself a king
1:59opposes caesar so when pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out and sat down on the
2:04judgment seat at a place called the stone pavement and an aramaic gabatha
2:10now it was the day of the preparation of the passover it was about the sixth hour and he said to the jews behold your king
2:17they cried out away with him away with him crucify him pilate said to them shall i crucify your
2:23king the chief priest answered we have no king but caesar so he delivered over them to be
2:29crucified so they took Jesus and he went out bearing his own cross to the place called the place of a skull
2:36which in aramaics in aramaic is called golgotha there they crucified him and with him two others
2:43one on either side and Jesus between them pilate also wrote an inscription and put
2:49it on the cross it read Jesus of nazareth the king of the jews many of the jews read this inscription
2:55for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city and it was written in aramaic in latin and in greek so the chief
3:02priests and the jews said to pilate do not write the king of the jews but rather this man said that i am the king of the
3:08jews pilate answered i have written what i have written when the soldiers had crucified Jesus they
3:15took his garments and divided them into four parts one part for each soldier also is tunic but
3:21the tunic was seamless woven in one piece from top to bottom so they said to one another let us not
3:27tear it but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be this was to fulfill the scripture which says
3:34they divided my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots so the soldiers did these things but
3:41standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister mary the wife of clopas
3:47and mary magdalene when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing
3:52nearby he said to his mother woman behold your son then he said to the disciple behold your mother
3:59and from that hour the disciple took her to his own home and after this Jesus knowing that all was now fulfilled
4:05said to fulfill the scripture i thirst and a jar of sour wine stood there so
4:10they put a sponge full of sour wine on a hyssop branch held it to his mouth and when Jesus had
4:16received the sour wine he said it is finished and he bowed his head and he gave up his spirit and since it
4:24was the day of preparation and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the sabbath for the sabbath was a high day
4:30the jews asked pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away
4:35so the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the others the other who had been crucified with
4:41him but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead they did not break his legs
4:46but one of the soldiers pierced aside with a spirit at once there came out blood and water he who saw it as born witness
4:53his testimony is true and he knows that he is telling the truth that you also may believe for these things took
5:00place that the scripture might be fulfilled that not one of his bones would be broken and again another scripture says they
5:06will look on him whom they have pierced and after these things joseph of arimathea who was a disciple of Jesus
5:13but secretly for fear of the jews asked pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus
5:19and pilate gave him permission so he came and took away his body nicodemus also who earlier had come to Jesus by
5:26night came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes and about 75 pounds in weight
5:32so they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices as is the burial custom of the jews now
5:39in the place where he was crucified there was a garden and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been
5:44laid so because of the jewish day of preparation since the tomb was close at hand they laid Jesus there in the name of
5:52Jesus it’s going to seem like an odd place to
5:58go but i’ve been child of the 1980s and we had some pretty
6:03awesome cheesy television shows i mean who could forget the dukes of
6:09hazard you can’t watch that now i mean you know they they have the confederate flag and all
6:14that’s been canceled but i remember one of my favorite television shows
6:20was as corny as they get and it was as glorious as they get it was called the a-team and written by
6:27stephen j cannell and it had mr t in there as a bubba barakas and you know oh it’s just
6:34a great great program and every story kind of was the same story
6:39in fact i would say that stephen jay cannell who invented and wrote the a team he
6:44understood what tolkien was talking about that there’s really only one story and
6:50tapping into it is tapping into the deep myth as tolkien would put it and so
6:56as the story goes the the a team they were ex-vietnam vets who had been a charge
7:02for a crime they didn’t commit they found a way out of their military prison snuck back to the united states and they
7:08were soldiers of fortune you can hire them for whatever you know whatever you needed and always and again the people
7:14who needed the a team were those people who were incapable of overcoming their oppressors
7:22you think of you know maybe a south american village being run by drug lords and mistreating everybody they would hire
7:29the a-team and the a-team would work out their military strategy and it was always super cheesy and
7:36always and again i always found it fascinating that like nobody really died i mean nobody got hit by bullets there was no blood or anything like that
7:42but at the end of it at the end of it the bad guys always lost the a team always won and their leader
7:48who is a fellow by the name of john hannibal smith you can’t confuse him with hannibal lecter hannibal lecter is the guy who ate
7:54people john hannibal smith he was the leader of the a team he would always say these words i love
8:00it when a plan comes together i love it when a plan comes together and so this past sunday
8:08on passion sunday we considered the sufferings of Christ in light of the doctrines of the
8:15atonement the concepts teach taught to us in scripture how Christ was our substitute that he died
8:22in our place and that by his death our sins are expiated they are taken off of us and
8:28they are also our sins are propitiated in the sense that they propitiate god’s wrath and justice
8:34and fulfill his legal demands that well somebody suffer for the sins for the
8:40rebellion that you and i have committed against god but Jesus here on the cross it’s always
8:46fascinating to me that people show up on a good friday expecting to kind of hear a service that reminds them of like
8:53Jesus’s annual funeral like we’re going to have a funeral for Jesus every every year but that’s not really what’s
9:00going to be our focus today in fact in our sermon hin you may have heard just a slight twinge
9:08of one of the major themes of good friday and that is is that Christ’s death was
9:14exactly according to plan it wasn’t a defeat it was his victory
9:24that’s the idea in fact you know Jesus is the ultimate john hannibal smith i love it when a
9:30plan comes together and if you consider some of the details here last night at monday thursday
9:37the proper preface for the communion service were these words i want you to hear them because i think they will frame this
9:43well it is truly good right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places
9:49give thanks to you holy lord almighty father everlasting god through Jesus Christ our lord
9:55who accomplished the salvation of mankind by the tree of the cross that where
10:02death arose their life also might rise again and that the serpent who would obey who
10:08had overcame by the tree of the garden might likewise by the tree of the cross be overcome
10:17i love it it the details are amazing i think a good way to think of it is that the cross
10:23is not only our redemption it’s also Jesus’s revenge just a little bit against the devil
10:29he played his own game against him and played it better than the devil back in the garden of eden the devil is
10:35the one who plunged us into the death and the misery the suffering the ruin that we experience each and every one of
10:40us and it’s the devil who deceived our first parents and we know from the words of Christ and
10:47the gospel of john that the devil was a liar and a murderer from the beginning
10:53we learned from Jesus’s words that the devil intentionally set out to murder humanity created in the
10:59image of god to murder you to murder me and as far as evil plots go i can’t think of
11:07an evil villain who had a more evil plot because he knew full well that when god said he was going to do something he
11:13always followed through god never lied so he knew his enemy well and played god’s
11:21attributes his love his trustworthiness his kindness he played it against god
11:28in order to murder humanity and make god the murder weapon and we fell for it because remember what
11:35god said to adam you shall eat of any of the trees in the garden anyone you can have any of the
11:40fruit here except for the tree except for one tree the tree that’s in the midst of the garden the tree of the knowledge of the
11:45good and evil the day you eat of it you will surely die adam spoke those
11:51words that god had given him to eve and then the devil basically came and slandered god and we know how the story
11:57goes the tree of the knowledge of good and evil well he felt we failed to look at the fine print
12:02oh boy do we know the knowledge of good and evil do we not right
12:07yeah we do but we were also plunged into ruined misery and now
12:14justly suffer the consequences of our sin which is death so Jesus in his
12:21plan and it’s better than any a-team plan you can come up with he’s been telling his disciples all
12:28along as they’ve been heading to jerusalem here’s the plan i’ve even preached on it over lent
12:33where Jesus says okay boys here’s the plan i’m going to jerusalem they’re going to
12:39arrest me i’m going to be convicted for crime i never committed false witnesses are going to testify
12:44against me i’m going to be handed over to the gentiles i’m going to be flogged beaten crucified
12:51die and then rise again remember what peter said may this never happened to you lord
12:56right but that was a plan and Jesus had to keep telling that plan to the disciples
13:02over and over and over again that was the plan for victory
13:11nobody can win this way except for Jesus because i mean i mean was it patton who
13:16said it’s not your job to die for your country it’s your job to make sure that the other guy dies for his country
13:23right death is so final when it comes to us
13:28so that’s the plan and so this good friday let’s consider
13:34how well Jesus is going to work the plan because his plan includes taking the tree of
13:40death which is what a cross is if you think about it they’re not good for much else i mean yeah we make decorations of
13:48them and maybe put them into jewelry but in reality what’s a cross good for it’s good for killing people and making
13:55sure that the experience is as painful as humanly possible that’s what they’re good for
14:02and Christ will die and it’s the tree of the cross then that Christ by his death and his
14:08resurrection will turn into the tree of life for us this side of the resurrection in the new
14:16earth it’s the ultimate irony it’s the it’s the complete flipping of the tables
14:21if you would the tree of death now becomes the tree of life and the fruit of that tree the body and
14:27blood of Christ is the food that leads to eternal life if you think about it it’s so amazing
14:34so as we pick up our story in our gospel text tonight
14:39Jesus has just been handed over to pilate so pilate takes Jesus and has him flogged the soldiers twisted
14:47together a crown of thorns they put it on his head arrayed him in a purple robe
14:52they came to him saying hail king of the jews and they struck him with their hands
14:58and boy you got to note here the absolute control that Jesus is exercising the restraint
15:05that is upon him we know from the words of Christ that an entire legion and legions upon
15:12legions of angels already at the standby all he has to do
15:18is give the signal and these soldiers are done for pilot is going to be toast
15:24and the people who put him in that kangaroo court there where he was found guilty they would perish in the melee but
15:31Christ makes no signal he takes the beating
15:37everything is going according to plan so pilate went out and said to them you
15:44see i’m bringing him out to you so that you may know that i find no guilt in him even pilate who history tells us was a
15:51pretty brutal man in fact he was so brutal when it came to killing
15:56people under his care that the romans had to discharge him
16:03later in his career and so he was he was too brutal even for the romans and so it’s fascinating
16:09you know pilate knows it’s his job to make an example of people but if you’re going to make an example
16:14of somebody the somebody has to have like stepped out of line so that everybody knows that he stepped out of line so
16:21that they can be made an example of what what good is this he knows for sure that they’re
16:27bringing him to him because they’re jealous of him so i’m bringing him out so you know that
16:33i find no guilt in him so Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns the purple robe
16:39and pilate said to them behold the man and by this point Jesus is in need of pretty good medical attention
16:46and when the chief priest and the officer saw Jesus they cried out crucify him crucify him
16:53ah yes the devil brought out his ultimate weapon yeah this ultimate weapon existed all
16:58the way back then and we still have it today what is it the cancel culture you can’t
17:05reason with the council culture for all their claims of being about
17:10justice they are guilty of the greatest indus justices and here’s the thing since we’re the ones guilty of
17:16crucifying Christ and peter is the one who lays the guilt upon us in acts chapter 4
17:22that we were the ones who handed Jesus over to be crucified then understand this we’ve all
17:28participated in this cancel culture they canceled Jesus but do you think that’s going to hold
17:34him back no so pilate said them you take him yourselves and you crucify him i find no
17:40guilt in him and pilate knows full well that they can’t crucify they don’t have the authority to do it
17:46so the jews are not happy with this they say we have a law according to that law he ought to die
17:52because he has made himself the son of god
17:58and this causes pilate to have fear wait what
18:06he he he’s he’s made himself the son of god earlier and it’s not in our gospel text
18:11tonight pilate’s wife sends word to pilate don’t have anything to do with that holy
18:18man i had a terrible dream about him and he he’s innocent let him go the
18:24pilot’s wife was interjecting in matters of state she didn’t have authority to do
18:29that kind of odd so when your wife emphatically is trying to get your attention say ah something something’s afoot here
18:38and of course they believe the romans believed that when you had dreams like this that the deities the gods were
18:43speaking to you that it was from the spirit realm and so he hears now that Christ claims to be the son of god
18:49and he’s a little shaken he’s a little shaken and not well he
18:56needs some explanation so he entered the headquarters again and he said to Jesus
19:02where are you from and Jesus gave him no answer
19:09none whatsoever now believe me if this were me on trial i’d be going help save me
19:17please i’m innocent please don’t kill me don’t crucify me i don’t want to die i’d
19:23probably just fall apart but Christ doesn’t even speak a word not
19:29only in his own defense he doesn’t even speak a word in order to help himself out like nothing where are you from
19:40notice Jesus doesn’t deny that he’s the son of god that he’s from heaven so pilate says him will you not speak to
19:47me do you not know that i have the authority to release you and authority to crucify
19:52you but remember everything’s going according to plan here this is exactly the plan that the son of god and the
19:59father and the holy spirit had worked out together and Jesus said you almost hear it with
20:05kind of like a yawn or maybe some you know i’m you know you’re kind of wasting my time can we get on with the crucifixion please
20:12you see you would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given to you from above
20:19therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin
20:25now pilate stuck well Jesus isn’t going to help himself out i mean maybe he should do something here
20:30so he sought from that time to release Jesus oh but the cancel culture comes in and they’re
20:36chiming if you release this man you’re not caesar’s friend everyone who makes himself a king opposes caesar since
20:43when did the pharisees and the temple priests all of a sudden become great
20:49roman citizens this is a first
20:55so when pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out he sat down on the judgment seat at a place called the
21:01stone pavement in aramaic called gabatha it was the day of preparation the passover it was about
21:06the sixth hour so it’s just about nine in the morning he said to the jews behold your king
21:14they cry away with him away with crucify him cancel cancel cancel
21:22shall i crucify your king chief priest answered we have no king
21:27but caesar well these are words that make your head spin these are the same chief priests who set
21:35up the whole scheme regarding the money changers you want to know how that scheme worked it was the chief priests and the scribes
21:41and the pharisees who say caesar claims to be a god on earth he claims to be a deity
21:47and look at the daenery that’s his face that’s his image on the coin that’s
21:52idolatry you can’t use that dirty idolatrous coin when it comes
21:57to exchanging your money for the goods and the sacrifices and the tithe animals that
22:03you need for the sacrifices you have to exchange them for pure money
22:08temple shekels and we’ll only charge you 25 on the exchange rate those same guys who
22:16set up that whole system said we have no king but caesar now
22:21they’re complete loyal citizens all the way down okay king caesar he’s
22:27he’s it wow and so you’ll note
22:32the cancel culture they got their justice but it was a complete injustice
22:38and the one who was tasked with actual justice caves completely buckled under their
22:46well their fevered feelings what was the issue Jesus wasn’t the
22:52messiah they were looking for and there’s the other bit of the irony that Jesus wasn’t the son of god that
22:58they were that they were really hoping would show up the the messiah they were hoping would show up
23:03would have gotten rid of pilate and so since Jesus isn’t going to get rid of pilate we’re just going to get rid of him
23:13you know we all do this in various ways you know
23:20the the Jesus i’m looking for uh he i i need him to help me get a better job
23:27a promotion at work need him to get my kids to behave i i need him to help me find my purpose that
23:33will exalt me and give me power and authority and wealth and prosperity and health and things like this and so what do they
23:40do with the real Jesus away with him away i have no use for that guy
23:46and then the men who actually preached the biblical Jesus to them oh man they’ve run them out of
23:52town the canceled culture is alive and well
23:58and the reality is we’re all guilty of this but everything is going according to
24:03plan nothing has gone wrong the plan
24:08is being executed flawlessly hannibal smith would be jealous
24:18so they took Jesus he went out bearing his own cross
24:24brought him to the place of the skull and there they crucified him the soldiers divided his garments to
24:30fulfill the scriptures actually even through cast lots through dice for them and then the charge is written and
24:37placed above the cross this is Jesus of nazareth the king of the jews and of course the canceled
24:44culture was upset with that too right they have Jesus derangement syndrome
24:50clearly why it says what i’ve written i’ve written so they crucified Jesus
24:58and while Jesus is on the cross this little bit i think is actually quite fascinating remember
25:04he’s suffering bleeding and dying for your sins mine he’s suffering in our place
25:12vicariously he’s bearing the sins of the whole world and propitiating the wrath of god and
25:20while in the midst of all of this he decides that it’s time to work out some
25:25of the details regarding his estate you know Jesus is about ready to die and
25:30so he has a legal obligation as the firstborn son of mary who’s a widow at this point to
25:37make sure that she’s taken care of and so we get this interesting account and it
25:44says that when Jesus saw that his mother and the disciple whom he loved were standing nearby he said to his mother
25:50woman behold your son and he said to his disciple behold your mother and from that
25:55hour on the disciple took her as his own as his own in his own home i mean he makes you
26:01wonder was there a notary standing by to make this legal thing binding Jesus is taking care
26:09of the finer details of his legal obligations while on the cross
26:15doesn’t even forget his mother and then what comes next
26:21everything is going according to plan and it’s at this point that we
26:27need to consider something what was Jesus doing the a team they
26:34were mercenaries for hire their job was to rescue those who could not rescue themselves
26:40but the better stories are always the ones about the fellow the hero who rescues the damsel in distress
26:49oh believe me the a team did that a few times too it was always so cheesy and glorious the
26:54way they did it but have you ever stopped to think what is Jesus doing why is he doing this why is this plan
27:00in place and the answer is this is because the church collectively is
27:06the bride of Christ the church you sinners me
27:13it can be said of us that we are the love of his life
27:22the devil knows nothing about love if the devil understood love he would
27:29have never allowed Christ to be crucified all he could think
27:34in terms of his hate and malice but Christ this was the plan that was
27:42necessary to redeem his beloved
27:47to wash her in water mixed with his own blood to cleanse her of her sins so that she
27:55can be well have her nakedness covered up and clothed in his righteousness
28:03scripture describes what Christ did and why he did it it says that who for the joy set before
28:10him endured the cross despising the shame
28:17the very thought of washing his bride clean of her filth and her sin brought
28:24him joy further scripture describes the joy that
28:30we will experience when we see the new earth for the very first time
28:36when we breathe the air of the new creation witness the spectacle of the new
28:43jerusalem see the glory of god light the sky
28:48scripture says that we will be like calves skipping i don’t know anything
28:55about calves i didn’t know they skipped but it’s an amazing thing but here’s the thing it is the joy of Christ
29:02to see you experience that joy the joy that comes from knowing
29:09that once and for all you will never again have to deal with your own sin the sins
29:15of others the temptations of the devil the world nor will you ever experience
29:21death again or pain again or sorrow again you will live forever
29:27and god himself if that is not enough if you are overcome with emotion
29:36in the joy and the sorrow of what is past then Christ himself will be there
29:42holding the kleenex wiping the tears from your eyes in that new earth
29:49who for the joy set before him endured the cross and despised the shame and so it says
29:56then in this text knowing all that now all what now was
30:02finished what an interesting way to say it finished finished was he working oh yeah
30:10indeed he was Jesus then says i thirst so they filled a jar full of sour wine
30:19they put a sponge in it and then put it on a hyssop branch and boy that’s a small detail that’s
30:25easy to to skip hyssop it’s not mentioned very many times in scripture first time it shows
30:30up in scripture is on the eve of the passover the first one in egypt when they slaughtered the
30:37passover lambs they took the blood of that lamb those lambs and used hyssop branches to
30:43take the blood and painted on the doors and on the lintels so here hyssop makes another appearance it
30:49doesn’t appear very many times in scripture and they held the sour wine up to his mouth
30:55and it says this Jesus said it is finished it’s done
31:02he didn’t say i’m finished he said it is finished and these words have to have just
31:09sent a cold chill to the heart of the devil himself because in saying
31:16it is finished Jesus reveals everything went according to plan i accomplished
31:23that for which i was sent i have suffered for my bride
31:31i have now about ready to die for her
31:36and i have accomplished her reconciliation and her salvation it is finished
31:44the work is done he bowed his head he gave up his spirit and it doesn’t say
31:51this in the text we’ll take a little bit of license shall we i can just imagine
31:56all the hordes of demons surrounding the cross hiding in the crevices and in the dark
32:01cracks and in the shadows going yay ding dong god is dead god is
32:07dead god is dead but you can see the devil watching ongoing said it’s finished
32:18i think we’re in trouble that was too easy
32:23and that’s the point you see as hannibal smith said i love it when a
32:31plan comes together
32:37Christ accomplished the very thing that he set out to do
32:43everything went exactly as he said it would go just as he had chosen it there wasn’t a
32:49hitch in the plan at all and now his corpse hangs lifeless on the tree
33:00the details of his death show the magnitude and the depth of our own sin
33:06the price necessary to redeem us and reconcile us to god
33:11shows us the great love of god that he would be willing to lay down the
33:18life of the son of god so that we could live
33:24so truly it is finished it is horrible and it is glorious
33:32and for the past 40 days as we’ve been in lent there has been a word that we have not
33:39sung or spoken this entire time
33:44it seems out of place during a penitential season the word is alleluia
33:52liturgy has completely been well it’s been taken out of it I cannot think
33:59of a better thing to say then in light of the fact that the plan was accomplished i love it when a plan comes
34:05together Jesus cried out it is finished he bowed his head he gave up his spirit just as he said he
34:12would so maybe maybe just maybe you’ll forgive me i’ll whisper it but it’s appropriate
34:23hallelujah in the name of Jesus amen
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