Sermon Transcript – When Heaven Meets Earth: Real Men Cry

1 Year Lectionary – Third Wednesday in Advent – Wednesday, December 15, 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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0:22The holy gospel according
0:29to saint john the 11th chapter now a certain man was ill lazarus of bethany of the village of mary and her
0:36sister martha and it was mary who anointed the lord with ointment and wiped his feet with
0:42her hair whose brother lazarus was ill so the sisters sent to him saying lord
0:48him whom you love is ill but when Jesus heard it he said this illness does not lead to death it is for
0:55the glory of god so that the son of man may be glorified through it now Jesus loved martha and her sister
1:02and lazarus so when he heard that lazarus was ill he stayed two days longer in the place
1:08where he was then after this he said to the disciples let us go to judea again
1:14the disciples said to him rabbi the jews were just now seeking to stone you and are you going there again
1:20Jesus answered are there not 12 hours in the day if anyone walks in the day he does not
1:27stumble because he sees the light of this world but if anyone walks in the night he
1:32stumbles because the light is not in him after saying these things he said to them our friend lazarus has fallen
1:38asleep but i go to awaken him the disciples said him lord if he has fallen asleep he will recover
1:45now Jesus had spoken of his death but they thought that he meant taking rest and sleep
1:50then Jesus told them plainly lazarus has died and for your sake i am glad that i was
1:56not there so that you may believe but let us go to him so thomas called the twin said to his
2:03fellow disciples let us also go that we may die with him now when Jesus came he found that
2:09lazarus had been already in the tomb four days bethany was near jerusalem about two miles off and many of the jews
2:16had come to martha and mary to console them concerning their brother so when martha heard that Jesus was
2:23coming she went and met him but mary remained seated in the house martha said to Jesus
2:30lord if you had been here my brother would not have died but even now i know that whatever you
2:35ask from god god will give you Jesus said to her your brother will rise
2:40again martha said to him i know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day
2:46Jesus said to her i am the resurrection in the life whoever believes in me though he die yet shall he live
2:53and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die do you believe this
2:59she said to him yes lord i believe that you are the Christ the son of god who is
3:04coming into the world when she had said this she went and called her sister mary saying in private
3:11the teacher is here and is calling for you and when she heard it she rose quickly
3:16and went to him now Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still in the place where martha had met him
3:23when the jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw mary rise quickly and go out they
3:29followed her support supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there now when mary came to where Jesus was
3:36and saw him she fell at his feet saying to him lord if you had been here my brother
3:42would not have died when Jesus saw her weeping and the jews who had come with her also weeping
3:49he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled and he said where have you laid him
3:55they said to him lord come and see Jesus wept
4:01so the jews said see how he loved him but some of them said could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have
4:07also kept this man from dying then Jesus deeply moved again came to the tomb
4:12it was a cave and a stone lay against it Jesus said take away the stone
4:18martha the sister of the dead man said to him lord by this time there will be an odor for he has been dead for four
4:23days Jesus said to her did i not tell you that if you believed you would see the
4:28glory of god so they took away the stone Jesus lifted up his eyes and said father i thank you
4:34that you have heard me i knew that you always hear me but i said this on account of the people standing around
4:41that they may believe that you sent me and when he had said these things he cried out with a loud voice lazarus come
4:48out and the man who had died came out his hands and his feet bound with linen
4:53strips and his face wrapped with a cloth Jesus said to them und bind him and let
5:02him go many of the jews therefore who had come with mary and had seen what he did
5:08believed in him in the name of Jesus amen all right a little bit of a tough
5:15concept here have you all ever been told something to be true by somebody well-meaning
5:22but when they’ve told you the thing that they thought would really help you turned out that what they told you is
5:28flat out false it’s a little annoying um i’ll give you
5:34an example uh in our day and age and maybe it goes back to time immemorial we are told
5:41real men do not cry real men do not cry i’m beginning to
5:47think that sinful men are really poor definers of what a real man is
5:54or isn’t in fact i would note that in our text
5:59today as we consider the incarnation i would like to posit this idea
6:05Jesus is the most real man we’ve ever seen in human history
6:10adam had it for a bit if you would but blew the whole thing so it’s hard to
6:16give him any credit along those lines you want to know what humanity looks like you want to know what patriarchy
6:22looks like you look at Jesus Christ he’s a man’s man and he is the one who
6:28loves his bride so dearly that he lays down his life for her that he clothes
6:34her in his righteousness that he washes away her sins he is truly a man’s man you want to know
6:41what manhood looks like what it looks like to be a real man you look at Christ bleeding suffering dying on the cross
6:50so that his bride can be forgiven reconciled pardon clothed and splendor a
6:56man’s man if you would it’s in that regard then that we consider
7:01first a text that we may have heard uh one other time where Jesus wept apart
7:07from our gospel text for today and that’s in the gospel of luke chapter 19.
7:13and the context here is actually quite interesting if you consider the implications of it how many times have
7:20you heard somebody complain or grumble that somehow god is so unloving so
7:27unkind so mean so despicable that he would dare judge human beings and send
7:33upon them death or destruction or judge them or whatever right and so they look at the god of the old testament as
7:40somehow he’s a big old meanie grumpy pants and you can’t really trust that god because he well he sent the children
7:48of israel to slaughter those poor canaanites those innocent people and and
7:53no loving god would do such a thing
7:59you have no idea what god’s like none whatsoever now it is true that god acts in judgment
8:07that is not what god is like he does this because he’s exhausted
8:14every possible way to be reconciled with those who have rebelled against him and when we look at
8:20luke 19 starting at verse 41 as Jesus is drawing near to jerusalem
8:26he’s heading in to bleed and die for your sins and mine it says when he drew near to the city he
8:33wept over it
8:38we’ve all seen weeping right weeping isn’t just the little dobbing you know you’ve got a little moisture
8:44coming out of your eyes oh no no i i no no don’t worry my eyes are just a little dry that’s all
8:50no weeping can’t be hidden weeping is something that people take notice of weak weeping involves sobbing weeping
8:58involves at times uncontrollable noises
9:03and blubbering is this any way for a man to behave
9:08yes and consider then Jesus what he says here
9:14is well it reveals to us the heart of god and how it is so loathsome for him when
9:21he acts in judgment listen to what Christ said
9:26o would that you even now had known on this day the things that make for peace
9:34but now they’re hidden from your eyes for the days will come upon you when your enemies will set up a barricade
9:39around you surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground you and
9:46your children within you and they will not leave one stone upon another because you did not know the time of your
9:53visitation does that sound like a god who is just chomping at the bit
10:00to act in judgment you know i remember when my dad would spank me and say that
10:07proverbially stupid thing this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me
10:12i never believed it with my dad but you know what i believe it with god i believe it with Christ
10:19he wept over jerusalem wept that she remained impenitent wept
10:24that she wouldn’t hear his words wept that she didn’t see the time of their of her visitation god himself was in her
10:33midst and they behaved like the devil
10:38in fact to Christ’s crucifixion while he was on trial before he was crucified
10:44pilate asks what shall i do with this one Jesus the king of the jews
10:49crucify him what does pilate do coward that he is washes his hands and says your blood his
10:57blood be on you what do they say well his blood be on us and on our children
11:03now we recognize that what we meant for evil Christ worked for good
11:10but what Christ works for good it’s only for those who believe
11:16without faith it’s impossible to please god and so we in this regard then
11:23consider our gospel text we won’t reread the entirety of it but you’ll note that
11:30lazarus has died Christ got word that he was sick and Christ cools his heels for
11:35several days isn’t that like god hello
11:40can you hear my prayers up there don’t you know i’m suffering i could die
11:46yeah yeah i know i know and he does nothing
11:52but you’ll note that he already said ahead of time this will not lead to death it will be for the glory of god
11:57so when Jesus came he found that lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days bethany was near jerusalem about two
12:04miles off and many of the jews who had come to martha and married to console them concerning the brother so when
12:09martha heard that Jesus was coming she went out to meet him but mary
12:16remained seated in the house one of the things i love a little minor detail is that if you remember when Jesus went
12:22to their house right it was martha who was the one who was clanging the dishes
12:28who was making a fuss in there practically looking outside the door saying to her sister mary get in here
12:35and help me and what was she doing sitting at the feet of Jesus doing nothing
12:41right and so she comes and make my sister get up and help me
12:47and what does Jesus say oh martha martha you’re troubled anxious about
12:53many things but one thing is necessary and what
12:58and what mary is doing will not be taken from her right it’s a great picture if you would of the
13:06all the anxiety of trying to impress god with your good works as opposed to sitting at his feet and hearing him but
13:11apparently that had such a huge impression on her that rebuke of Jesus
13:17which was necessary right Jesus had to mansplain a few things to
13:23her but she took the lesson
13:28she took the lesson and here at the death of her brother martha
13:34now is the one man she stopped what she was doing and she
13:41listened to Jesus it shows in what she says so martha said to Jesus lord if you had been here my brother would not have died
13:48true but listen to the but but even even now i know that whatever you ask
13:53from god god will give you that’s faith and Jesus said to her your brother will
13:59rise again i know i know that he’ll rise again in the resurrection in the last day
14:05i stopped i listened i heard i believe it’s such a great redemption story if
14:11you think about it right the pot clanger to the confessor of the truth regarding the resurrection
14:17so Jesus said to her beautiful words i am the resurrection and the life the resurrection isn’t an
14:24event life is not some abstract concept the resurrection is Jesus life is Jesus
14:31apart from him there is no life and then he says whoever believes in me though he died yet shall he live and
14:37everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die do you believe this
14:45every time this text comes around in the series a in the three-year lectionary
14:51i point out that i’ve presided at the funeral
14:57funerals of kong’s winger members and if god gives me more years here i’m
15:03pretty sure i’ll be conducting more right so how can Jesus say
15:09they will never die i always point out does Jesus ever lie
15:15never not even once what he’s saying is true how i have no idea i just trust him
15:22so she said to him yes lord i believe that you are the Christ the son of god who is coming into the world
15:28and when she had said this she went and she called her sister mary mary the one who sat at the feet of Jesus who
15:34wouldn’t even help her sister with the hors d’oeuvres or or his divorce as my wife would say right
15:42she came to mary in private said the teacher’s here he’s calling you so she heard it
15:47she rose quickly and went to him now Jesus had not come into the village
15:53but was still in the place where martha had met him and when the jews who were with her in the house consoling her saw mary rise
15:59quickly and go out they followed her supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there now when mary came to
16:06where Jesus had saw him she fell at his feet saying lord if you had been here my
16:11brother would not have died but there’s no butt here she’s truly truly in mourning
16:20and Jesus saw her weeping and the jews who had come with him were also weeping
16:26he was deeply moved and and here’s the issue
16:31is that when you read this in the greek imbrama oh my
16:37he was deeply moved the implication of imbrama oh my in the greek
16:43is that Jesus is angry he’s displeased
16:50in an angry way which kind of leads to the question
16:56what on earth is he angry about it’s so clear in the greek um
17:01you know it’s just hard to pull it over into english so listen to how it goes Jesus saw her
17:07weeping the jews who had come with her also weeping he was ember oh my in his
17:12spirit greatly displeased angered greatly troubled at whom
17:19mary that doesn’t make sense the jews who were with her who were also
17:25weeping no
17:31he was deeply moved by just how wrecked everything is
17:38this isn’t the world he created this is the world we created
17:45at the end of the sixth day god said everything was tolvema oh very good
17:51but we listened to the serpent we traded paradise
17:56for the shot of being gods ourselves and we’ve come up woefully short we’ve lost paradise we’ve lost god
18:04we’ve gained death Jesus is deeply moved he’s displeased he’s angry at the whole
18:12mess not at the people at the wreck and here’s where we have to
18:18point something out this is the consequence of our sin this is the consequence of our rebellion
18:26but scripture says god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him
18:32will not perish but will have everlasting life Jesus is the man who weeps over the city
18:40that will not repent and will ultimately face god’s judgment and he weeps that they receive god’s wrath rather
18:47than mercy the same Jesus is deeply moved by how absolutely wrecked
18:54humanity is the creation is how the whole thing is
18:59groaning in anticipation of the revealing of the sons of god it’s nothing like what he made it to be
19:06and in this world that we live in people suffer they get sick they die
19:14there are children who have lost their parents there are parents who have lost their children
19:20there are deep relationships that we have that are torn
19:25apart by death and each and every one of us has death stalking us
19:31you can see him hiding off in the corner somewhere and we’re just wondering when he’s going to pounce next
19:38he’s ruined you satan’s ruined me
19:45and this is not how he meant it to be and Jesus is angry
19:50but he’s not angry at us he’s angry at everything that has happened to us
19:57and like a man’s man he weeps
20:04over the whole thing and he asked where have you laid him
20:10come and see and Jesus a second time in scripture weeps
20:21those who saw it didn’t quite know what to make of it i thought real men don’t cry
20:29looks to me like they do see how he loved him
20:36some said couldn’t not he who opened the eyes the blind man had also kept this man from dying
20:43you know it’s in this regard that man i think about some of the brutally
20:50horrible things that i’ve heard that Christians have said to other Christians
20:55those who are suffering from illnesses
21:01or they’ve been in accidents or they’ve had their health taken from them because of one consequence or another
21:10Christians say horrible things like if you just believed enough
21:16then you would have your healing if you just had enough faith if you just
21:24tithe if you just did more if you just if you just if you just then god would
21:32what did lazarus do to be raised from the dead
21:38he’s not mentioned as an as a tither here or even as a
21:44great man of faith that’s in fact the text right here is super clear you
21:50know the only thing that lazarus was doing was the same
21:55same thing that well corpses do and have been doing for a long time
22:01decomposing how much effort does that take how much
22:06faith does it take to decompose they’re already talking about the odor and the stench but see that’s the thing
22:14that’s how Jesus finds all of us scripture is clear we were conceived and
22:19born dead in trespasses and sins but god sent forth the good news in the mouth of
22:26the apostles and then the pastors after them who have proclaimed it to you and
22:31to me they’ve been sent to baptize and make disciples of all nations they are
22:36sent to do these things by god himself and where the gospel reaches god the holy spirit works and finds spiritual
22:44corpses zombies the walking dead that’s what we all are by nature
22:49and god has mercy and some
22:56are raised to life they are vivified
23:03they are regenerated by the mercy of god through the means of grace
23:12so could not he who opened the eyes of the blind men also have kept this man from dying of
23:17course he could but we’ve all seen Jesus
23:23heal the sick we’ve seen him give sight to the blind
23:29but giving life to a dead man and it’s in this context that Jesus said i am the resurrection in the life
23:36and martha’s the one who confessed that he will be raised on the last day on the day of the resurrection
23:42so the text says Jesus then deeply moved again ambra oh my
23:47deeply moved angered displeased i always like to picture this as like back in the
23:52day when i was watched cartoons when i was a kid like popeye the sailor man it kind of seems like a little bit weird
23:58but remember you knew that popeye was getting ready for do some business to put a world of hurt on brutus when he
24:05opened up his can of spinach right that’s what’s going on right here
24:10Jesus is like opening up his can of spinach he’s deeply moved and he comes
24:16to the tomb and you can almost see him rolling up his sleeves
24:23and he said take away the stone
24:29now martha needs to speak a little sense the sister of the dead man said to him lord
24:38there’s going to be an odor he stinketh he’s been dead for four days
24:45and i don’t think Jesus turns on her hard you can just see him looking at her going
24:51did i not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of god
24:57a little bit of a rebuke and maybe like
25:02Jesus’s mother in john 2 where she says you do whatever he says you can see martha kind of giving the
25:09nod all right go ahead so they took away the stone Jesus lifted up his eyes and he said
25:15father i thank you i thank you that you’ve heard me i knew that you always hear me but i
25:22said this on account of the people standing around so that they
25:27so that they may believe that you sent me and when they said these things
25:32he cried out with a loud voice lazarus come
25:38out and the the reality of this is kind of interesting
25:44the tomb where lazarus was laid is a multi-storied tomb he was on the bottom floor
25:50all right and they didn’t have the benefit of a spiral staircase so there’s a little bit of time
25:58in between going on here lazarus come out and you can almost hear
26:03the crowd kind of murmuring is he going to do it can Jesus do this can he really raise a guy from the dead yet he says
26:09what’s going to happen here they’re all looking and they’re all staring they’re all listening
26:15right and you can only imagine the gasp when lazarus comes out and he’s still
26:22bound hand and foot it’s almost comedic if you think about it poor lazarus going
26:33right and everyone going ah
26:41and the text says the man who had died came out his hands
26:46and his feet bound with linen strips his face wrapped with a cloth
26:53and listen to the words Jesus said to him them unbind him and let him
27:08that same Jesus one of our hymns that we sing in easter
27:14Christ Jesus lay in death strong’s bands oh
27:21Jesus who had lazarus unbound from death himself was bound
27:27beaten flogged crucified
27:34suffering with every breath six hours three in the sunlight
27:41three in the dark bearing your sin and mind
27:47so that we could be unbound from death and Jesus doesn’t do this
27:52dispassionately he doesn’t play that stupid game while i’m a man so i better act like i’m all
27:59strong and stuff Jesus
28:05truly can sympathize with our weakness
28:11since we have such a great high priest who has passed through the heavens Jesus
28:16the son of god let us hold fast to our confession for we do not have a high priest who is
28:21unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but who one who in every respect has been tempted as we are and yet is
28:27without sin and i would even add to this text although i can’t really add to it
28:33just look at the cross references not only was Jesus tempted in every way that we are and yet is without sin Jesus
28:40knows exactly what it means to suffer
28:46and suffer he did not for any wrong that he did but for every wrong you and i have ever
28:53done his hands and his feet pierced
28:58crucifixion being a grueling process agonizing excruciating
29:05he knows not only what it’s like to be tempted but he also knows what it is exactly like to experience
29:12excruciating pain and yet he never flagged
29:18he never said uncle yes he wept
29:24but he did this so that you and i can be unbound so that you and i can live
29:29it’s in that regard then that you can almost hear the beginning strains of that glorious hymn sung by
29:37the angels glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth the
29:42announcement of the angel proclaiming to humanity unto you is born this day in
29:47the city of David a savior Christ the lord
29:53because that’s exactly what we need and he’s a man’s man
30:00and he wept in the name of Jesus amen
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