Sermon Transcript – Lord, You Let Your Servant Go in Peace

Series C – First Sunday of Christmas – Thursday, December 24, 2015 | 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
0:28the holy Gospel According to Saint Luke
0:31Chapter 2 verses 22 through 40.
0:35when the time of their purification
0:37according to the law of Moses had been
0:39completed Joseph and Mary took him to
0:41Jerusalem to present him to the Lord as
0:43it is written in the law of the Lord
0:45every firstborn malice to be consecrated
0:46of the Lord and to offer a sacrifice in
0:49keeping with what is said in the law of
0:51the Lord a pair of doves or two young
0:53pigeons now there was a man in Jerusalem
0:55called Simeon who was righteous and
0:58devout and he was waiting for the
1:00consolation of Israel and the Holy
1:02Spirit was upon him it had been revealed
1:04to him by the holy spirit that he would
1:06not die before he had seen the Lord’s
1:09Christ moved by the spirit he went into
1:11the temple courts when the parents
1:13brought in the Child Jesus the Child
1:16Jesus to do for him what was the custom
1:18the law required Simeon took him in his
1:22arms and praised God saying Sovereign
1:25Lord as you have promised you now
1:27dismiss your servant in peace for my
1:29eyes have seen your salvation which you
1:31have prepared in the sight of all people
1:32a light for Revelation to the Gentiles
1:35and for Glory to your People Israel the
1:38child’s father and mother marveled
1:41at what was said about him then Simeon
1:43blessed them and said to Mary his mother
1:45this child is destined to cause the
1:48falling and rising of many in Israel and
1:50to be a sign that will be spoken against
1:52so that the thoughts of many hearts will
1:54be revealed and a sword will pierce your
1:57own soul too
1:59there was also a prophetess Anna the
2:01daughter of fanuel of the tribe of Asher
2:04she was very old she had lived with her
2:07husband seven years after her marriage
2:09and then was a widow until she was 84.
2:12she never left the temple but worshiped
2:15night and day fasting and praying coming
2:17up to them at that very moment she gave
2:19thanks to God and spoke about the child
2:22to all who were looking forward to the
2:24Redemption of Jerusalem when Joseph and
2:27Mary had done everything required by the
2:29law of the Lord they returned to Galilee
2:31to their own town of Nazareth and the
2:34child grew and became strong he was
2:36filled with wisdom and the grace of the
2:38Lord was upon him
2:40in the name of Jesus
2:43all right Our Gospel text today
2:45is brimming teeming
2:48crackling with prophetic significance
2:50hopefully I’ll be able to tease it out
2:52so that you can appreciate it we live in
2:54days when people try to crack all kinds
2:57of biblical codes and always they end up
3:00missing the whole point The Book of
3:01Revelation reveals that the spirit of
3:03Prophecy or the testimony of Jesus is
3:06the spirit of Prophecy it’s all about
3:09Christ and what he’s doing for us and so
3:11it’s important for us to note that this
3:13is the very first time Our Gospel text
3:15records that Jesus the Lord himself God
3:19enters into his Temple it’s a big deal
3:22so here’s what our text says when the
3:25time came for their purification
3:26according to the law of Moses you’re
3:29going to hear this over and again in
3:31this text according to the law of Moses
3:33according to the law of Moses according
3:35to the law and there’s a reason for this
3:38because Jesus although he’s only a 40
3:41day old infant at this point is already
3:43doing the substitutionary work of saving
3:47you and me that requires him to be
3:50actively and passively obedient to God’s
3:52law to keep it perfectly for us and so
3:56thankfully the Lord chose very wise
3:58parents for our savior because there’s
4:02things that have got to be done that
4:04Jesus can’t do on his own he’s got to be
4:06carried along to do so I was thinking of
4:08Tyler as he was coming in this morning
4:10like this with Kinsley right yeah well
4:13that’s kind of Mary and Joseph today
4:15they’re kind of coming into the temple
4:17like that Jesus is not mobile on his own
4:20so he’s got to be brought but all of
4:22these things need to be done to fulfill
4:23the law the law must be kept perfectly
4:26otherwise Christ cannot be your
4:27substitute cannot be your savior
4:29so we learn here
4:31time came for their purification
4:33according to the law of Moses which kind
4:35of begs the question what on Earth did
4:38Mary need to be purified from
4:42she conceived Christ
4:45through her ears if you would through
4:47the word of God in the in the angel
4:50telling her that she would bear the
4:51Messiah she was a virgin I mean you
4:53could not think of a more holy and pure
4:55conception and birth right well think of
4:59it this way this is kind of where you
5:01start to begin to see that
5:02substitutionary work here because it’s
5:05going to say that Christ is going to be
5:07but what does he need to be redeemed
5:10he is sinless
5:12so what we’re going to find here is that
5:14Christ Our Redeemer is redeemed Jesus
5:17becomes the redeemed Redeemer
5:19and Jesus because ultimately when he
5:21goes to the Cross he’s going to carry
5:22the sins of the world on his back and
5:24atone for them if you would
5:26well that means that he becomes The
5:29sinless Sinner
5:30so already you kind of start to see this
5:32in the text where this work where Christ
5:35is our substitute he’s all of humanity
5:38squished into one dude
5:40come to redeem us I’m maybe that’s a
5:43little too casual but you get the point
5:47so they brought him Jesus to Jerusalem
5:49to present him to the Lord as it is
5:51written in the law of the Lord every
5:53male who first opens the womb Shall be
5:56Called holy to the Lord and to offer a
5:59sacrifice according to what is said in
6:01the law of the Lord a pair of turtle
6:02doves or two young pigeons a lot to
6:05unpack even in that small statement now
6:08just so you know we’re 40 days after the
6:10birth of Christ we fast forward a little
6:12bit we’re looking into the future if you
6:14would uh liturgically and if you do the
6:17math and the church fathers have done
6:19the math on this and I went and did that
6:21terrible thing math I mean you know what
6:23I feel about math okay but I had to
6:27double check to make sure this was legit
6:29so I went and double checked and sure
6:30enough if you do the math according to
6:33the chronology given us by Luke himself
6:36in this gospel it is 490 days when Jesus
6:41shows up at the temples 490 days since
6:44the appearance of the angel Gabriel in
6:46the temple to Zachariah
6:48you know announcing that his son would
6:51be the Forerunner of the Messiah
6:52announcing the arrival of the Messiah if
6:55you would now this is where it gets fun
6:56that is exactly 70 weeks
7:0070 weeks is hugely prophetic from The
7:03Book of Daniel we read 70 weeks chapter
7:069 verse 24 and 25 70 weeks are decreed
7:09about your people and your Holy City to
7:11finish transgression to put an end to
7:13sin to atone for iniquity and to bring
7:15in Everlasting righteousness to seal
7:17both vision and profit and to anoint a
7:20Most Holy place
7:23so here we have a literal 70 weeks from
7:25the announcing that the Messiah is on
7:27the way to now his first appearance in
7:30the temple and Malachi 3 1 starts to
7:33ring in here behold I send my messenger
7:35he will prepare the way before me and
7:38the Lord whom you seek will suddenly
7:41come into His Temple and so he has he’s
7:45suddenly come into His Temple granted
7:48it’s in a pram but he’s suddenly
7:51appeared in his Temple and that’s kind
7:53of thing no one expected him to show up
7:55that way and yet he did right so the
7:58redeemed Redeemer
8:01this all points to Christ as our
8:03substitute like I’ve said the Spotless
8:05Lamb of God who takes away the sin of
8:07the world or the sinless sinner has now
8:10in the temple
8:12because everything about Christ’s life
8:14is ultimately about that blood sacrifice
8:18for the Forgiveness of our sins and even
8:20our text or Old Testament text
8:23we read from here that this Old
8:25Testament text is pointing to Jesus now
8:28I don’t know how many of you have read
8:31that book out there it’s called The
8:32Blessed Life
8:34it’s written by a gentleman by the name
8:36of Robert Morris I do not recommend it
8:38because Robert Morris takes this text
8:40from Exodus it makes it about somehow
8:42some kind of principle of the first you
8:44give your first 10 and then God will
8:46bless the rest that’s a racket all right
8:49in the New Testament we are not under
8:51the Old Testament Commandments of the
8:53Mosaic Covenant to tithe and so Exodus
8:5513 isn’t about you giving anything to
8:58God Exodus 13 is all about what Christ
9:01has done for you and so now we learn
9:04from this of what’s going on interesting
9:06phrase let’s take a look again at our
9:08Old Testament text
9:10Chapter 13 Verse 1 the Lord said to
9:12Moses consecrate to me all the firstborn
9:14whatever is first to open the womb among
9:17the people of Israel both man and Beast
9:20of Beast is mine and truly Jesus is the
9:24one who opened the womb of Mary
9:25not a man it was he who did it
9:28interesting way of putting it so then
9:30Moses said to the people remember this
9:31day in which you came out of Egypt out
9:33of the house of slavery for by a strong
9:36hand the Lord brought you out from this
9:39place no leavened bread shall shall be
9:41eaten when the Lord brings you into the
9:44land of the Canaanites of it as he swore
9:46to your forefathers that he shall give
9:48it to you you shall set apart to the
9:50Lord all the first that opens the womb
9:53all the firstborn of your animals that
9:55are males shall be the Lords every
9:58firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem
10:00with a lamb or if you will not redeem it
10:02you shall break its neck every firstborn
10:04of man among your sons you shall redeem
10:06and when in time to come you ask your
10:09sons what does this mean you should say
10:11by a strong hand the Lord has brought us
10:12out of Egypt from the house of slavery
10:14for when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to
10:17let us go the Lord killed all the
10:19firstborn in the land of Egypt both the
10:21firstborn of man and the firstborn of
10:23animals therefore I sacrifice to the
10:25Lord all the males that first open the
10:27womb but all the firstborn of my sons I
10:32interesting commandment all of this in
10:34light of being brought out of slavery
10:36which then shows us that the story of
10:39The Exodus ultimately points really to
10:42the same story that we find ourselves in
10:43just like the children of Israel were
10:45born in slavery slavery under Pharaoh a
10:49false god king we are born in slavery
10:52slavery to the devil a false god king
10:55one who exalts himself to be God who
10:57isn’t and the Lord is the one who
10:59mightily saves us and this redeeming of
11:02the firstborn all of this points to
11:06Christ the firstborn son of Mary and the
11:09only begotten Son of God all of this
11:12ultimately has its fulfillment and
11:13pointing to him and to his sacrifice and
11:16what it means basically to redeem in
11:19this case so if you have if you were
11:20living in Israel at the time if you had
11:22a firstborn son you take your son to the
11:25temple and you’d offer a sacrifice to
11:28redeem it you wouldn’t break your son’s
11:29neck you’d redeem your son all right
11:31basically say Lord he’s yours
11:35here’s our sacrifice may we have him
11:37back for a little bit of time
11:40until he’s like old enough to drive and
11:42then we’ll buy him luggage or something
11:45that other parts stuff I added but you
11:48get the point
11:52so this is what’s going on now
11:54later in the Mosaic Covenant when this
11:57law gets put into the Covenant itself
12:01there is a Proviso
12:03and the Proviso is is that if the people
12:07the persons the family who is redeeming
12:09their son cannot afford a lamb
12:12then there’s a poverty level sacrifice
12:15two turtle doves
12:19and that’s what Christ was redeemed with
12:22Mary and Joseph were poverty stricken
12:25they couldn’t even afford a lamb and so
12:28when you read that Christ is redeemed
12:30according to the law with a pair of
12:32pigeons two turtle doves
12:35this shows that Mary and Joseph couldn’t
12:37even afford a lamb
12:39and this points to how Christ himself
12:42God in human flesh if you would the
12:47well-being because he’s not a creature
12:49the richest being that ever was and ever
12:51will be
12:53has come into the world and humbled
12:56himself to the point of being born in
13:01poverty this is all part of his emptying
13:04himself this is all part of his service
13:07to us his humbling as he comes to serve
13:11us not to be served
13:13and so we now go back to our text so
13:15while this is all going on this
13:17Redemption is going on it says there was
13:20a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon
13:21and this man was righteous and devout
13:24waiting for the consolation of Israel
13:26and the Holy Spirit was upon him
13:29it had been revealed to him by the holy
13:31spirit that he would not see death
13:33before he had seen the Lord’s Christ
13:37fascinating way of putting it
13:39a pastor of mine noted years ago that
13:44Simeon wasn’t given a death sentence he
13:46was given a life sentence he was
13:48promised he would continue to live until
13:49he saw the Messiah
13:51so he was given a life sentence no death
13:54for you
13:55Simeon no death for you until right
13:58and so the Holy Spirit was upon him and
14:01he came into the uh he came in
14:06in the spirit into the temple and when
14:09the parents brought in the Child Jesus
14:10to do for him according to the custom of
14:12the law there it is again sacrificial
14:15substitutionary work he took him up in
14:18his arms and he blessed God and said
14:22Lord now you let your servant go in
14:25peace your word has been fulfilled
14:28for my own eyes have seen your salvation
14:30that you have prepared in the sight of
14:32All Peoples a light for Revelation to
14:34the Gentiles and the glory of your
14:37People Israel do those words sound
14:39familiar to any of you here
14:42all right some of you yes some of you
14:45look at me like what are you talking
14:47about all right well let me explain
14:50in the historic liturgy which the church
14:53has had for millennia this is a song
14:57that’s part of the Liturgy and it’s
14:59called the Midas
15:01all right see if you I’ll I’ll torture
15:05you guys with my rendition of it but it
15:07goes like this Lord now you let your
15:10servant go in peace your word has been
15:14fulfilled my own eyes have seen thy
15:19salvation which you have prepared in the
15:23sight of every people
15:26all lie to reveal you to the Nations and
15:32the glory of your People Israel and then
15:36everyone sings glory be to the father
15:40and to the son and to the Holy Spirit
15:44as it was in the beginning is now and
15:50will be forever amen messed up the last
15:54part but you get the point okay that is
15:57a song that Christians have sung for
15:59millennium and these are the words of
16:01sim is called the nutmitus and the
16:03lutherans did something outrageous they
16:06tinkered with the Liturgy shortly after
16:08the reformation and they moved the
16:11naktimetus they moved it and you know
16:14where they moved it to right after the
16:17Lord’s Supper
16:19right after the Lord’s Supper that was
16:20the big Lutheran Innovation we took the
16:23song that everyone’s been singing we
16:25stuck it right after that and here’s why
16:26because Simeon says Lord now you let
16:29your servant go in peace
16:31your word has been fulfilled
16:34Simeon is saying Lord now
16:38I’m ready to die
16:40if you were to ask a Lutheran catechuman
16:43you know 12 year old boy or girl getting
16:45ready to go into catechism class you
16:48know what that song’s all about they’d
16:49probably say something to the effect of
16:51well that’s a song We Sing when church
16:53is over we’re getting really close to it
16:54Lord just let us go in peace we’re just
16:57about done thank God right that’s how
17:00they talk I don’t know why they talk
17:01this way but not like I’ve raised any
17:04Lutheran kids any but anyway the idea
17:08here though is that’s not declaring that
17:10the service is over it’s declaring that
17:14because we have seen the salvation of
17:17God and truly we do see God’s salvation
17:19because Christ is present with us we
17:22begin in the name of the father and the
17:24Son and the Holy Spirit and God’s word
17:27says we’re two or more are gathered in
17:29Christ’s name he is there among us and
17:31he is also among us when we take the
17:33Lord’s supper and we come to the rail
17:35here and you hear these words take e
17:37this is the body of Christ broken for
17:39you take drink this is the True Blood of
17:42Christ shed for you for the Forgiveness
17:44of your sins and so it’s appropriate
17:46that we end and sing Lord now you let
17:49your servant go in peace your word has
17:51been fulfilled because when you hear the
17:54Absolution when you hear the gospel of
17:56the Forgiveness of your sins when you
17:58receive Christ’s body and blood for the
18:00Forgiveness of your sins you like Simeon
18:03are ready to die
18:06you really are
18:08you can go in peace because God has made
18:12peace with you for you in Christ and so
18:17these are very important words and this
18:20is why the church historically has sung
18:22these words as part of the liturgy
18:25so depart in peace
18:27so his father and his mother marveled at
18:31what was said about him marveled
18:34Simeon blessed them and said to marry
18:36his mother
18:39this child is appointed for the fall and
18:43the rising of many in Israel
18:45and for a sign that is opposed
18:49keep this in mind when it comes to Jesus
18:53you are either a Believer or you are an
18:57you are either at peace with God
19:00and have received the Forgiveness of
19:02your sins penitently on your knees
19:05or you are hostile to God
19:07there is no
19:09third ground no one in Switzerland when
19:12it comes to Jesus you can’t say I’m
19:16no it’s one or the other and so here
19:18Simian is prophesying this and telling
19:21some important things to Mary that he’s
19:22going to be a sign that is opposed
19:25and a sword will pierce through your own
19:28soul also
19:31have any of you seen that amazing
19:32Michelangelo statue of The Piazza
19:35all right you know what that is it’s a
19:38it’s a statue and there’s Mary and she’s
19:41holding the dead corpse of Christ
19:44and where this is supposedly to have
19:45taken place is while she was there when
19:48Christ was crucified she watched him die
19:51and so after he’s let down from the
19:54well the artists basically depict that
19:57moment in What’s called the pieta
20:00and if you think about it all of us who
20:03are parents the last thing on earth we
20:05ever want to see is one of our children
20:09and here Simeon moved by the holy spirit
20:13prophetically is letting Mary know
20:16of the suffering that she’s going to
20:19because of her own son
20:21she too will have a sword Pierce her own
20:24soul as she watches her son and her
20:27savior die
20:29and then he concludes with this so the
20:32thoughts of many hearts may be revealed
20:34and there was a prophetess Anna daughter
20:37of fanuel of the tribe of Asher think of
20:40it this way Simeon and Anna really old
20:45really old in a sense they kind of
20:47represent the old Covenant the Old
20:49Testament the Old Testament has run its
20:51course it’s become aged
20:54it’s got all kinds of wrinkles it’s
20:55crackly it’s on its last leg the New
20:58Covenant is about to Spring forth so
21:00Anna and Simeon in a very real way kind
21:03of embody the the prophets and Moses and
21:06the old Covenant itself ready to give
21:10to the Next Generation the New Covenant
21:12and Anna again you can’t make this stuff
21:16you know she was married for seven years
21:19and biblically seven is the perfect
21:22number for God
21:24and how many tribes were there in Israel
21:2712 well 7 times 12 is 84 and she’s 84
21:32years old
21:33again one of those things you sit there
21:35and go hmm that’s numerically
21:38interesting somewhat significant there’s
21:40a Gentleman on YouTube by the name of
21:42William Tapley I wish you’d spend more
21:43time trying to crack these kinds of
21:45codes but anyway it says of Anna the
21:47daughter of Faneuil she was advanced in
21:49years having lived with her husband
21:50seven years from when she was a virgin
21:51and then as a widow until she was 84.
21:54she did not depart from the temple
21:56worshiping and fasting and prayer night
21:58and day and coming up at that very hour
22:00she began to give thanks to God and to
22:02speak of him to all who are waiting for
22:04the Redemption
22:06of Jerusalem
22:08look at that
22:10a woman prophet
22:12comes picks up Jesus and says this is
22:15the one
22:17I’m sure there were people looking at
22:18her going granny what are you talking
22:22you know are you talking like this kid’s
22:25the Messiah he is he is right and the
22:28holy spirit’s the one who reveals all of
22:32it’s amazing stuff so when they had
22:35performed everything according to the
22:36law of the Lord there it is again
22:38performed everything according to the
22:39law Jesus has come to fulfill the law
22:41Galatians 4 verses four through five
22:43when the fullness of time had come God
22:46sent forth his son born of a woman
22:49born under the law
22:51why to redeem those who are under the
22:54law so that we might receive adoption as
22:58yeah Jesus was born so that we can be
23:01born again
23:03that’s the idea here
23:05and so he’s already fulfilling his work
23:07and then it says they return to Galilee
23:08to their own town of Nazareth and the
23:10child grew became strong filled with
23:12wisdom and the favor of God was upon him
23:16fascinating story is it not
23:19so what’s it all mean what’s your
23:21application go and believe
23:24this that God himself has suddenly
23:27appeared in his Temple and he’s done so
23:29to redeem you he who did not need to be
23:33redeemed was redeemed so that you can be
23:34redeemed that’s a lot of redemption
23:36going on there right
23:38or as Simeon says
23:41now that you believe and you’ve seen
23:43your salvation you now can depart in
23:46peace you are ready to die
23:49you are ready to die today tomorrow 30
23:52years from now or ready to live when
23:55Christ appears because you have peace
23:58with God because your King has suddenly
24:00come into His Temple
24:02and has done so to fulfill the law in
24:05your place so that he can die in your
24:08place and be punished for your sins so
24:10that you might live and be adopted as
24:13sons and truly that’s what you are you
24:15washed baptized Believers here at Kong’s
24:17Winger you are the children of God
24:20adopted into his family and you pray
24:22things like Our Father Who Art in Heaven
24:25you’re not asking for a potential father
24:27my potential Father Who Art in Heaven I
24:29hope that I’m good enough to hallow thy
24:31name no
24:33you have been made good enough by what
24:36Christ has done for you and all of this
24:38is gift
24:40which makes Christmas all tomorrow
24:41better does it not
24:43in the name of Jesus Amen
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