Sermon Transcript – The King Who Pardons His Enemies as His First Act in Office

Series B – Third Wednesday in Lent – Wednesday, March 10, 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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0:28our text tonight is taken from the
0:30gospel of john chapter
0:35so pilate delivered Jesus over to them
0:37to be crucified
0:39so they took Jesus and he went out
0:41bearing his own cross
0:42to the place called the place of the
0:45skull which in aramaic is called
0:48there they crucified him with him two
0:52one on either side and Jesus between
0:55pilate also wrote an inscription and put
0:57it on the cross
0:58it read Jesus of nazareth king of the
1:02many of the jews read this inscription
1:04for the place where Jesus was crucified
1:07was near the city
1:08and it was written in aramaic in latin
1:11and in greek
1:12so the chief priests of the jews said to
1:14pilate do not
1:15write the king of the jews but rather
1:17this man said
1:18i am the king of the jews pilate
1:22what i have written i have written in
1:25the name of Jesus
1:27amen all right now normally in human
1:31coronations are a big deal
1:35now we americans i’ve noted in the past
1:37we don’t really get along too well with
1:40at least monarchs over us we got rid of
1:43and we’re now self-governed if you would
1:47boy are we doing a splendid job at that
1:51anyway all of that being said i would
1:54have to make allusions to history
1:56that is a little unfamiliar for uh we
2:00and i would note i i’ve watched the
2:02netflix series the crown
2:04and i noted well the coronation of queen
2:08and that was a fascinating thing and
2:09i’ll note also in my lifetime
2:12so far we have not seen a new monarch in
2:15the united kingdom
2:16arise but when we think about
2:18coronations and things like that that’s
2:20a splendid affair
2:22i i sometimes think of the coronation of
2:25have you seen it depicted in artwork you
2:27would think the fellow thought he was a
2:29deity on earth
2:30that’s kind of the way that all went
2:32down but you’re going to note here
2:34we in the united states we don’t have
2:36coronations we have inaugurations
2:38and usually if a president
2:42is um less than virtuous things
2:45start off well and they don’t generally
2:48end well
2:49right you know how it goes you know they
2:51they maybe
2:52fight a war win a war or something like
2:54that but then
2:55you learn about how certain things
2:57weren’t ethically done
2:59and then by the end they kind of slink
3:02out of office
3:03and the last thing they do
3:07out come the presidential pardons right
3:10that’s always the last thing because
3:12everybody’s scandalized by the list the
3:14people who are getting off
3:16the people who are not going to be
3:18prosecuted the people who
3:19the president has given his well you
3:23prosecute this person they’re going to
3:25be able to get away with murder
3:27and sometimes literally so you get the
3:31things kind of go differently along
3:34those lines but you’ll note that human
3:35beings who start off
3:37well don’t always end well when it comes
3:39to being
3:40in charge and so we’ll note here
3:43something is
3:43different about Jesus the order in which
3:47he does
3:47things and the coronation that he’s
3:49chosen for himself
3:51and will note that even the official
3:53roman governor
3:54recognizes properly who Jesus
3:58is but Jesus isn’t like the monarchs
4:01of our world so our text it says that
4:04pilate delivered Jesus over to be
4:08and we’ll note that when we get towards
4:10the end of our meditation tonight
4:12that we’ll take a look at some of the
4:13details finer details of Christ’s
4:16coronation itself the one that he chose
4:18and it he was bearing his cross to the
4:21place called the skull
4:23and there pilate ordered
4:26something to be written above Christ’s
4:29written in three languages and the
4:32inscription said
4:33Jesus of nazareth the king of the jews
4:39wow was he right i mean we know that
4:42is the heir to the davidic kingdom he
4:46is the son of david if the davidic king
4:48kingdom had continued on
4:50Jesus would have been inaugurated
4:53coronated in the king but here we have
4:56the official roman governor
4:58occupation uh force if you would they
5:01recognize properly who Jesus is that’s
5:03the charge
5:04he’s being charged with being a
5:06competing king
5:08but well the jews they were pretty upset
5:10about this and said no
5:11no say that he said that he was the king
5:14not that he is
5:17and see that’s kind of the thing here
5:19you’ll note that
5:22while pilate gets it right but it’s not
5:25like he gets credit for it
5:26and those who recognize what is being
5:29they want to like quiet it up
5:33and so i think about that psalm psalm
5:362 which we read together today why do
5:39the nations
5:40rage why do the peoples plot
5:45in vain and the thing is is that we do
5:47this too so don’t think this isn’t
5:48talking about
5:49us because all of the different ways in
5:51which we plot
5:53and scheme to not bend the need to king
5:56Jesus in what he has expressly stated is
6:00his will
6:00for us in all of those ways we do things
6:03we’re doing this
6:04in vanity the kings though the kings of
6:07the earth
6:08they set themselves and the rulers they
6:10take counsel together
6:12against yahweh and against his messiah
6:16saying let us burst their bonds apart
6:18let us
6:19cast their cords from us and i would
6:22note that this seems to be happening
6:24in spades nowadays you know how dare
6:27god tell me that i was born a man that
6:30i’m a man i want to be something
6:34right okay yeah we see how this works
6:37but note then and these are terrifying
6:40words he who sits in the heavens
6:43laughs and it’s not because he has a
6:45sense of humor i don’t care what rick
6:46warren has preached in the past
6:48on that sentence it was not in context
6:51he who sits in the heavens
6:52laughs and the reason why is because the
6:54lord holds them in derision
6:56he will speak to them in his wrath and
6:58he will terrify them in his fury
7:01saying as for me i have set my king
7:04on zion my holy hill and i will tell of
7:07the decree
7:08the lord said to me you are my son today
7:11i have begotten you
7:12ask of me and i will make the nations
7:15your heritage
7:16and the ends of the earth your
7:18possession all of it
7:19from australia to the united states the
7:22united kingdom
7:23india down into africa all the way over
7:25to china all of it
7:27god the father is going to hand it all
7:29over to god the son
7:30and he will have possession of it and it
7:34says this
7:34of Christ that he will break them with
7:36the rod
7:37of iron and dash them in pieces like a
7:40potter’s vessel
7:41well so much for care bear Jesus that
7:43doesn’t sound very
7:45uh inclusive tolerant or loving by any
7:48of the world’s standards but this
7:49is the thing and so you’ll note when we
7:52confess in the creed
7:54we confess that Jesus is going to return
7:57in what
7:58glory glory to judge the living
8:01and the dead this then invokes for us
8:05images of power images of wrath
8:09images of judgment and all of that is
8:13correct you’ll note that Christ
8:14returning in glory
8:15isn’t the gospel now granted for all who
8:18are in Christ
8:19it will be well like the liberation
8:22forces arriving and finally setting us
8:25free from the tyranny of the devil
8:26that’s what it will be like
8:28but that’s not the good news so when we
8:31king Jesus flexing his power and you’ll
8:35note that his conquering comes
8:37at the end of the world
8:40which doesn’t make any sense at least
8:42not by any human standards
8:44that when he does come this is to exact
8:48justice this is to judge and so these
8:51words are written in warning
8:53to me written in warning to you again it
8:56is a call for us
8:57to repent it is a call for us to
9:01that we are powerless to keep
9:05king Jesus from taking dominion over
9:08his creation and he’s already
9:12enthroned at the right hand of the
9:16so the psalmist writes therefore o kings
9:19therefore oh lay people mere citizens
9:23be wise be warned
9:28serve the lord with fear rejoice
9:32with trembling kiss the son lest he be
9:35angry and you perish in the way
9:37his wrath is quickly kindled but the
9:39psalm ends
9:41not with justice not with something to
9:44cause us to fear
9:46blessed are all who take refuge in him
9:50and that’s what we have done we’ve taken
9:52refuge in
9:53king Jesus this kind of backwards king
9:56one that it would be easy to think of
9:58him in lowly terms
10:00and not see truly who he is and i would
10:04everybody that in revelation 19 we get a
10:07fuller picture of what
10:08Christ’s dashing of the potsherds looks
10:12in revelation 19 verse 11 it says then i
10:14saw the heaven opened
10:16behold a white horse and one sitting on
10:19it is called
10:19faithful and true and in righteousness
10:22he judges
10:23and makes war and yeah Jesus goes to war
10:27war with all those who persist in sin
10:29and unbelief
10:30his eyes are like a flame of fire and on
10:32his head are many diadems
10:34and he has a name written that no one
10:36knows except for himself
10:38he’s clothed in a robe dipped in blood
10:41and the name by which he is called is
10:42the word
10:43of god same language same title that we
10:47found in john chapter 1.
10:49and the armies of heaven arrayed in fine
10:52linen white and pure they were following
10:56on white horses and from his mouth comes
10:58a sharp
10:59sword with which to strike down the
11:02and he will rule them with a rod of iron
11:05he will tread the winepress of the fury
11:08of the wrath of god
11:09the almighty and on his robe and on his
11:12he has a name written king of kings
11:16and lord of lords kind of awesome
11:20right he even has his own branding his
11:22own merch
11:24it’s even better than nike king of kings
11:26lord of lords that’s
11:29who he is but these images again because
11:32of our sinfulness because of all the
11:33ways in which we
11:34daily do not keep his commandments daily
11:38do not hear his word
11:39daily our prayers falter daily
11:43our love for god and our love for
11:45neighbor also
11:47is weak and anemic at best
11:50we hear images like this and you get
11:53that little knot in your stomach that
11:54little catch in your throat and you’re
11:56thinking yeah this doesn’t sound
11:58very good and so i would remind you
12:03that it was for sure pilate who called
12:06but it was pilate who presided over
12:09Christ’s coronation and his coronation
12:11is one that
12:12does bring us some kind of comfort some
12:15kind of peace
12:16because rather than being crowned in
12:20he returns in glory instead
12:23is crowned in weakness
12:26his first act is to go to the cross
12:31and to die which is completely backwards
12:34kings end their reign with their death
12:38but Christ begins his reign with his
12:41and rather than waiting to pardon people
12:45at the end Christ front loads all the
12:49at the beginning he’s very different
12:51than any of the rulers of the earth
12:53in john 19 starting at verse 1 says
12:56pilate took Jesus
12:58and he flogged him Christ bleeding
13:02suffering for the enemies
13:05of god for his enemies has begun
13:08the soldiers then twisted a crown of
13:12put it on his head and arrayed him in a
13:14purple robe
13:16and they came up to him saying hail king
13:18of the jews
13:20and they struck him with their hands
13:25this is Christ’s coronation
13:29being king of kings and lord of lords he
13:31could have chosen
13:33any coronation for himself
13:36and this is the one he chose
13:39he chose to be flogged he chose to be
13:43he chose to be mocked he chose to bleed
13:46and to die
13:47for his enemies so that we can be
13:50and although they said to him hail king
13:54of the jews
13:55mockingly the words they spoke were true
13:59because that is indeed who Jesus is so
14:03brought him out and said see i am
14:05bringing him out to you
14:06so that you may know that i find no
14:09guilt in him the verdict was innocent
14:11so Jesus came out wearing the crown of
14:15and the purple robe and pilate said to
14:19behold the man
14:25by earthly standards it’s just
14:30horrifying this is a mocking
14:34that is so blasphemous and yet at the
14:37same time what we meant for evil
14:40Christ has worked for good pilate was
14:42right behold the man
14:43indeed behold our king but the chief
14:46priests and the officers when they saw
14:48him they cried out crucify him
14:50crucify him pilate said to them take him
14:52yourself and crucify him i find no guilt
14:55in him
14:55the jews answered him we have a law and
14:58according to that law
14:59he ought to die because he made himself
15:02the son of god
15:03but he didn’t he is the son of god
15:06even the psalmist in psalm 2 says you
15:09are my son today i have begotten you
15:12so when pilate heard this he was even
15:14more afraid
15:15he entered the headquarters again and
15:17said to Jesus where are you from
15:19and Jesus gave him no answer so pilate
15:21said to him do you not speak to me do
15:23you not know that i have authority to
15:25release you
15:26an authority to crucify you and here’s
15:29the important part Jesus answered
15:31you would have no authority over me
15:32unless it had been given to you from
15:36everything that is happening to Jesus is
15:40according to plan and so that next time
15:44you see
15:46the next time you see Jesus in artwork
15:49depicted standing with a royal robe and
15:52a crown of thorns before
15:54everybody and pilate saying behold the
15:57see this for what it is the coronation
16:00that Christ has chosen for himself
16:03and this is important because again when
16:05we think of kings we think of glory
16:09but Christ has chosen his coronation in
16:12shame the shame that you and i deserve
16:15because of our sin
16:16so that we can be clothed in his
16:19glorious righteousness when he returns
16:23in glory
16:24so that we can be pardoned have peace
16:27with god
16:28and not be broken to pieces like his
16:31enemies on the day that he returns
16:34so today is not the day of Christ’s
16:37because Christ has chosen to hold that
16:40to some day in the predetermined future
16:44but he hasn’t arrived yet so today is
16:47not the day of
16:48the glory of king Jesus today again
16:51is the day of salvation the day of mercy
16:54the day of peace the day of the lowly
16:58who’s crowned in thorns
17:01bleeding dying so that you and i can
17:03live today
17:05is a day we think of Christ not in the
17:07glory that he will be but in the
17:09gloriousness of his humbleness
17:14it’s a good thing it is a good thing
17:18so when we think about Christ being
17:20declared king
17:22there’s a lot of different layers to it
17:25but they don’t contradict each other
17:27they hold together paradoxically
17:29and we do confess that he will return in
17:32glory and because he was the lowly king
17:34who was beaten flogged crucified died
17:37buried and risen we also
17:40will rise and be with him when he
17:44in the name of Jesus amen
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