Sermon Transcript – What Have We Done?

Series B – Fifth Wednesday in Lent – Wednesday, March 24, 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 Matthew chapter
0:3227. now from the out from that
0:35the sixth hour there was darkness all
0:37over the land until the ninth hour
0:39and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out
0:41with a loud voice saying
0:44that is my god my god why have you
0:46forsaken me
0:48and some of the bystanders hearing it
0:50said this man is calling elijah
0:52and one of them at once ran and took a
0:54sponge filled it with sour wine and put
0:55it on a reed and gave it to him to drink
0:58but the other said wait let us see
0:59whether elijah will come to save him
1:01and then Jesus cried out again with a
1:04loud voice and he yielded up his spirit
1:06and behold the curtain of the temple was
1:08torn in two from top to bottom
1:10and the earth shook and the rocks were
1:14the tombs also were opened and many
1:16bodies of the saints who had fallen
1:18asleep were raised
1:19and coming out of the tombs after his
1:21resurrection they went into the holy
1:23city and appeared to many
1:25when the centurion and those who were
1:26with him keeping watch over Jesus saw
1:29the earthquake and what took place
1:31they were filled with awe and said truly
1:34this was the son of god in the name of
1:40what have we done you’ll note that there
1:43at the cross as soon as Christ dies
1:47then there’s an earthquake the rocks are
1:51the temple of the curtain is torn in two
1:53from top to bottom meaning only god
1:55himself could have done the tearing
1:57and there standing at the foot of the
2:00there’s a centurion as well as others
2:03keeping watch over Jesus
2:05and filled with awe they confess truly
2:08this was the son of god and this is one
2:11of those moments these words of theirs
2:13their this confession
2:15i think can only properly be understood
2:17in the context of
2:19what have we done have you ever worked
2:22on a project
2:24you know maybe you you had some
2:26do-it-yourself project you went to
2:28lowe’s or the home depot you got the
2:32you bought the kit you brought it home
2:35and then you started to put the whole
2:36thing together and realize that you put
2:38the whole thing together backwards
2:40and you sit there and go what have i
2:42done and then at that point you’ve got
2:45tear the whole thing apart and start
2:48but here’s the thing when you have that
2:51kind of a revelation what have i done
2:53you recognize that you’ve made a mistake
2:56but in saying that Jesus truly is the
2:59son of god
3:00there’s a lot more than well a mistake
3:03an oopsy a slipsy-doopsy
3:05it’s nothing like that in fact this is
3:07the kind of what have we done
3:09this is truly the son of god you can
3:12hear guilt
3:16in the confession consider how that day
3:21for the centurions um that morning
3:24began like every other morning it was
3:26just a routine
3:29crucifixion if crucifixions could
3:31actually be routine
3:32you’ll note that luther in the large
3:34catechism talks about the fact that in
3:36the commandment as it relates to thou
3:38shalt not murder
3:39that when the state has found a criminal
3:43and deserving of the death penalty that
3:45the one
3:46who does the hangman’s job
3:49is committing no sin when acting on the
3:52state’s command
3:53they put a person to death and so the
3:56empire well crucifixion was a
4:00standard way that they made examples
4:03of those people who were being crucified
4:07that’s what they did and that’s why they
4:10did it
4:11and centurions were the ones tasked with
4:13the job
4:14of actually performing the crucifixions
4:18they were the hangmans
4:19and so they were just following orders
4:22and in their way of looking at things
4:24that friday morning
4:26Jesus was just the next person that they
4:29were to make an example of
4:31he claimed to be a king at least that
4:33was what they heard
4:35and well they were to make an example of
4:37any would-be
4:38upstart royals who would dare to assert
4:42above caesar and so what did the
4:44centurions do
4:46they gave Jesus the royal treatment
4:50and boy the details on that are brutal
4:53all the while they were assuming that
4:56they were dealing with
4:58just another jewish
5:02zealot i mean jewish zealots apparently
5:05were quite
5:06you know a frequent thing they were a
5:08dime a dozen at the time of Christ and
5:10if you look at
5:11Jesus’s list of disciples there’s a
5:15not simon peter simon the zealot there
5:17was a zealot
5:19among Jesus’s disciples so
5:22at the time Jesus was handed over to the
5:24centurions there wasn’t even the
5:26faintest of thoughts
5:28that Jesus was actually a king
5:31or even worse that he was the son of god
5:36that thought wasn’t even in their mind
5:38in john chapter 19
5:40we learned that pilate when he took
5:42Jesus he had him flogged
5:44and at that point the soldiers had
5:46twisted together a crown of thorns put
5:47it on his head and rayed him in a purple
5:50this is the royal treatment and so they
5:53came up to him saying hail
5:54king of the jews and then they struck
5:58him with their hands
5:59pilate went out again and said to them
6:01see i’m bringing him out to you so that
6:03me you may know that i find
6:04no guilt in him even pilate knew
6:09that Jesus really hadn’t done anything
6:11wrong but they can’t
6:12so they brought Jesus out wearing the
6:14crown of thorns and the purple robe
6:17and pilate said to them behold the man
6:20all part of the royal treatment you know
6:23so when the chief priest and the officer
6:25saw this they cried out crucify him
6:28crucify him and pilate said to them will
6:31you take him yourself and you crucify
6:33him for i find no guilt in him
6:35but we know that they prevailed upon
6:39matthew’s version then says that the
6:41soldiers of the governor then took Jesus
6:43into the governor’s headquarters and
6:45they gathered the whole medallion before
6:48they stripped him put the scarlet robe
6:51on him twisting together a crown of
6:52thorns put it on his head
6:54put a reed in his right hand kneeling
6:55before him they mocked him
6:57and then he spit on him took the reed
7:00struck him
7:00on the head and when they had mocked him
7:02they stripped him of the robe put
7:05his own clothes on him and then led him
7:08to crucify him
7:11it’s just a standard everyday
7:15crucifixion you know it’s all in a day’s
7:20well it says this that when Christ got
7:22to the cross
7:23the soldiers took Jesus’s garments and
7:26divided them into four parts one part
7:28for each soldier there were four
7:30soldiers there responsible to do the
7:33of taking Christ to the cross nailing
7:36him to the cross
7:37taking him and suspending him between
7:39heaven and earth
7:40and once they did that they took his
7:42garments his tunic
7:44and the tunic though was seamless woven
7:46into one piece from top to bottom
7:49so they said to one another let’s not
7:51tear it but cast lots to see
7:53whose it shall be and this was to
7:55fulfill the scripture that says they
7:56divided my garments among them
7:58and for my clothing they cast lots so
8:02the soldiers did these things well once
8:05you have your victims
8:07happily impaled to a cross
8:10now comes the waiting game
8:14there is no cell service there’s no
8:17wi-fi there’s no instagram or facebook
8:20to check
8:21so they decided to just do what they
8:23always do
8:24wait it out and of course you needed
8:26soldiers at the foot of the cross
8:29if the people could overpower the
8:31soldiers then
8:32they might be able to tear somebody down
8:34from the cross and to free them
8:36and so it was imperative that they
8:37stayed there but it was basically a
8:39waiting game
8:40and if the waiting game went too long
8:42they could always hasten things by
8:45breaking the legs of the victims because
8:48in order to breathe while impaled to a
8:50cross you have to pull yourself
8:52up to take a breath and let yourself
8:55down that’s going to take your leg
8:57and what’s what’s left of what you can
8:59use your arms for
9:01but then things got
9:05different they began to take a turn
9:08for the unexpected at noon
9:12rather than high noon being that time
9:14when everybody tries to shield
9:17from the highest power of the sun at
9:21almost like clockwork at noon the sun
9:24stopped giving its light and darkness
9:28overtook the land and this wasn’t
9:31you know one of those eclipses you can
9:33predict those that there was no eclipse
9:35predicted for that day
9:37and it stayed dark the sun couldn’t even
9:40at its creator being crucified there in
9:45and so the sun stopped giving its light
9:48afternoon and you’ll note they had to
9:50have taken
9:51notice of that it also tells us in the
9:54gospel of
9:55matthew that when there was darkness
9:58over the land
10:00that that there were people at the foot
10:02of the cross
10:03and here the soldiers were are able to
10:05kind of take in
10:07all of what’s going on a little bit of a
10:08circus atmosphere
10:10if you would you know you got the two
10:13you know one of them hurling insults and
10:17Jesus if you’re the son of god save
10:20save us and then you have the bystander
10:23saying if you who would destroy the
10:26temple and rebuild it in three days
10:27save yourself if you are the son of god
10:30come down from the cross
10:33and and here’s the part where you have
10:35to put yourself
10:36into the sandals of the roman centurions
10:39and ask the question did they have any
10:44that one of the things that was being
10:48the scuttlebutt about Jesus was that he
10:51was the son
10:52of god and so
10:55with them claiming he is the son of god
10:58and with the sun
10:59no longer shining things
11:03are well not turning out to be
11:06a normal day as far as routine
11:10go and then we hear in our gospel
11:14text from tonight that Jesus
11:17that he cried out with a loud voice
11:20and Jesus yielded up his spirit
11:23six hours into his crucifixion on the
11:27at exactly three in the afternoon the
11:29time of the evening sacrifice
11:31the time when the passover lambs are
11:35Jesus yielded up his own
11:41now there are a lot of powerful people
11:43on planet earth that can do all kinds of
11:46but none of us has the ability to
11:50actively take our own life like this
11:53especially without the aid of some kind
11:56of a device
11:57in which to end our own life Jesus
12:01yielded up his own spirit and when he
12:04did this
12:05the temple in the temple the curtain was
12:07torn from top to bottom
12:10showing that the dividing wall between
12:12jew and gentile was now torn down
12:15god himself tore that thing in half the
12:19shook big earthquake rocks
12:22were split everybody’s going to take
12:24notice of that
12:26tombs are opened many bodies of the
12:29saints who had fallen asleep were raised
12:31and coming out of the tombs after his
12:32resurrection they went into the holy
12:34city and appeared
12:35to many and there you have those four
12:38roman soldiers
12:40and what’s left of the crowd at the foot
12:43of the cross
12:46and what do you do in this situation
12:49well i think it’s interesting that when
12:52Jesus yielded up his
12:53spirit you know we remember his words
12:57that he had the power to lay down his
12:59own life and he had the power to take it
13:01up again
13:02and he said of himself that i lay it
13:05down of my own
13:06accord and it this is a fulfillment of
13:10kind of an obscure passage in the psalms
13:13but in psalm chapter 64 verses 7 to 9 it
13:16says this
13:18god shoots his arrows at them
13:21and they are wounded suddenly they are
13:23brought to ruin with their own
13:25tongues turned against them all who see
13:27them will wag their heads
13:29and then all mankind fears and they will
13:32tell what god has brought about
13:34and ponder what he has done and so with
13:38laying down his own life him
13:41bringing his life to an end of his own
13:44well this truly got the attention of
13:48the soldiers in fact the church father
13:51writes about it in this way it says
13:53another gospel this the gospel of
13:55matthew demonstrates more clearly
13:56that the cause of the centurion’s
13:58astonishment after the shaking of the
14:01it wasn’t until after he had seen Christ
14:03give up the spirit that he said truly
14:05this was the son of god
14:07for no one has the power to give up the
14:09spirit except that he who is the creator
14:11of souls himself and so
14:15uh here we can understand soul for
14:17spirit because the soul animates the
14:19and makes it spiritual and because the
14:21spirit is the substance of the soul
14:23as it is written you take away their
14:25spirits and they cease to be
14:28and with this then this revelation
14:31that not only was the written charge
14:34against Christ
14:35true that he was the king of the jews
14:38but further that the scuttled but being
14:40circulated at the foot of the cross that
14:42Jesus was the son of god
14:44also was true and here comes that aha
14:48almost terrible aha moment truly this
14:52was the son of god
14:55and now they are left as the psalmist
14:57prophesied to ponder what god has done
15:01but not only that to ponder
15:05what they have done but here’s the thing
15:10if we carefully exegete the scriptures
15:14we cannot merely say what have they done
15:18we have to ask ourselves what have we
15:23because scripture makes us all guilty of
15:25the crucifixion of Christ
15:27i again always like to make reference to
15:29that movie
15:30the passion of the Christ put together
15:32by mel gibson
15:34brutal movie one that i’ve watched a
15:36couple of times in the first one i had a
15:38very difficult time getting through it
15:41and in that movie mel gibson decided to
15:44portray the brutality of crucifixion
15:47that was really what it was all about
15:49and to show us what it is that our god
15:51and savior suffered
15:53as a result of your sin and mine and in
15:56that movie
15:56very few people really know this anymore
15:59because it’s been so long since it came
16:01mel gibson made a cameo appearance he
16:04in the movie once his face
16:08wasn’t seen though and in the movie
16:12he plays the role of the soldier who
16:14nails the spikes into the hands and feet
16:17of Jesus
16:18those are mel gibson’s hands wielding
16:22the hammer when asked about this
16:26at the time that the movie came out mel
16:28gibson rightly confessed
16:30it was me who put him on the cross
16:33not talking about in the theatrical
16:36but in the truest sense and you cannot
16:39rightly understand
16:40our lenten responsibility our daily
16:43responsibility as Christians to repent
16:46unless you understand your own
16:50you put Christ on the cross so did i
16:54and so in this regard then we must not
16:59although this word from the
17:02roman centurion truly this was the son
17:05of god
17:06rings across time comes to us and asks
17:08us the question what have we done
17:11scripture gives us some comforting words
17:13and i think of one of the earliest
17:15sermons that peter preaches not the one
17:18at pentecost but the one
17:20right after in chapter three after
17:23peter had the well the privilege
17:27by the power of Christ to give healing
17:30to a man who was
17:32incapable of walking a paralytic in fact
17:34in that account we all know
17:36how that story goes where peter says to
17:39the man
17:40silver and gold we do not have but what
17:41i do have i give you in the name of
17:43Jesus Christ of nazareth
17:45walk and of course everybody
17:48there that saw the miracle knew and
17:51recognized the fellow
17:52as the one who was always begging at the
17:54beautiful gate
17:55they were astonished and peter stands up
17:59and he addresses the crowd at this time
18:02and it’s important to note that when he
18:04addressed them it wasn’t as if peter had
18:07taken a computer tablet and was there
18:10when Jesus was on trial and said okay it
18:13was fred
18:14and solomon and morial and
18:17these other guys they were all saying
18:19that crucified Jesus and took down their
18:22it’s not what he did in fact what’s
18:24fascinating here
18:26is that the crowd that he addresses
18:29there may have been a few people
18:31there who were there when pilate brought
18:33Christ out and said behold the man
18:36and there may have been a few of them
18:37from that crowd who shouted out
18:39crucify him but note here we’re talking
18:43we’re what two three months out
18:46from the crucifixion of Christ now how
18:49many of those people
18:51have long since left who cried out
18:53crucify him
18:55they were in town for the passover but
18:57there was no
18:58feast day in jerusalem that day so
19:00listen to these words
19:02and see if we can find some comfort
19:05the magnitude of this discovery of what
19:08it is that we have done
19:10so peter says the god of abraham
19:13the god of isaac the god of jacob the
19:16god of our fathers
19:18he has glorified his servant Jesus
19:21whom you delivered over you
19:24denied in the presence of pilate when he
19:26had decided to release him
19:28but you denied the holy and the
19:30righteous one
19:32and you asked for a murderer to be
19:34granted to you
19:35and you you killed the author of life
19:39whom god raised from the dead to this we
19:42are witnesses
19:45those are strong words
19:48the thing is is that they strike true
19:51for me
19:52and they strike true for you as well
19:54it’s true
19:57when we read the gospel accounts of
20:00trial it’s each and every one of us
20:02who’s there
20:04vicariously if you would shouting
20:07crucify him
20:08we want barabbas we
20:12because of our sin your sin mine
20:15we’ve killed the author of life
20:18what have we done
20:21peter goes on and his name
20:25Jesus name by faith in his name
20:30has made this man strong whom you see
20:33and you know
20:34and the faith that is through Jesus has
20:37given the man this perfect health in the
20:39presence of you all
20:41and now brothers i know that you acted
20:44in ignorance as did also your
20:48rulers and is that not true for us
20:52we have and that’s the deceit of sin the
20:56darkness of sin
20:58the blackness of it
21:02it blinds us to the truth
21:05and each and every one of us has learned
21:07to love the darkness instead
21:09but note this that when you that friday
21:13morning in jerusalem cried out crucify
21:17peter is speaking the truth that we
21:19acted in ignorance you acted in
21:20ignorance i acted in ignorance
21:23and so did their rulers but what god
21:26foretold by the mouth of all the
21:29that his messiah would suffer he thus
21:31has fulfilled
21:33so repent turn back so that your sins
21:37might be blotted out
21:39so that times of refreshing may come
21:41from the presence of the lord
21:43and that he may send the Christ who has
21:46appointed for you
21:47Jesus so brothers and sisters that’s our
21:51comfort that although we acted in
21:55ignorance although we are
21:56responsible for putting Christ on the
21:58cross we again hear these lenten words
22:01these baptismal
22:02words to repent daily
22:06return back to the waters of your
22:10return back so that your sins may be
22:13washed away and may be blotted out
22:15and so that the times of refreshing may
22:18come from the presence of the lord
22:20the times of refreshing that are not
22:21promised for this earth
22:23but for the world to come and he will
22:27send the Christ who is appointed for you
22:29on that glorious day when he returns in
22:31glory to judge the living and the dead
22:33and having been then forgiven of all of
22:35your sins because of what Christ has
22:36done for you on the cross
22:38you need not shrink back and fear and
22:41say oh no what have i
22:43done but instead can stand before him
22:46confident of his grace
22:48his mercy and his pardon because he
22:51truly is the king of the jews
22:53and he truly is the son of god and he
22:55truly was sent because of god’s great
22:58love for you
22:58and he was truly the one who bled and
23:01died and suffered your
23:02penalty on the cross so that you might
23:05live so repent
23:07and Christ offers you the refreshing
23:11of forgiveness pardon and peace
23:14in the name of Jesus amen
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