[One of the practices at Concordia Theological Seminary is having a professor preach through one of the Passion accounts Monday through Wednesday of this week. This year it is my turn. Here is homily number one. I have included a link to the chapel service at the bottom of the post. -TAP]
Dr. Todd A. Peperkorn
April 11, 2022
Monday of Holy Week
Jesus got it.
The chief priests and the elders of the people got it.
The woman got it.
Judas got it.
The Father got it.
Even the soldiers got it.
Everyone, it seems, knew what was going to happen. It was a setup. Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, was going to die. There were some who wanted it to happen, who thought they could even make it happen. There were some, especially the woman here, who saw it coming and could do nothing but prepare Him before burial. Jesus saw it coming, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:2) Certainly the Father knew it was coming, although His silence in the Garden is, well, troubling. They didn’t all know WHY it was coming, Jesus’ death, but they all knew THAT it was going.
All of them, that is, but the disciples.
Jesus had been preparing them for three years on what was to happen, that the Son of Man would be betrayed into the hands of sinners, would die, and on the third day would rise again from the dead. This should not be a surprise.
Truth be told, this had been foretold from the beginning. The serpents head would be crushed. The Ram would be sacrificed so that Isaac would live. The blood would go on the doorposts, and the Lamb would be eaten in haste. Israel has its Rock, its bronze serpent, its Manna, its substitute. God’s people live by the death of His Son. It has always been so, and now that great sacrifice for the sins of the people comes into sharp focus.
Jesus is so clear in purpose that when they gather to recline at table, they still recline. This IS my body. THIS IS MY BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, WHICH IS POURED OUT FOR MANY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. It is as if it is a done deal for Jesus. All that is left is the dying and rising. The blood marks your door, faith points to it, and death passes o’er.
But the disciples still don’t get it. ONE OF YOU WILL BETRAY ME, Jesus says, and they go IS IT I, LORD? Surely not I! We have followed you for years. We are the good ones. We are the righteous ones. We are the ones who have it together. Right Lord, right?
But lest we be unclear, Jesus speaks to you as much as He did to them. You have betrayed Him as much as Judas. You have plotted to have your own way as much as the schemers in the San Hedron. You are as clueless as the disciples. You are as arrogant as Peter. The kiss of Judas is on your lips, and mine.
But for all their planning and plotting and scheming and fear and unbelief and violence and anger, it was a setup, but not by them. It was a setup by the Father. Our Lord’s passion and death is setup, so that you would live, not die. Jesus’ blood is poured out for you. It has been setup from before the foundation of the world. The flock will be scattered, but He will then gather them together under His wings.
God’s setup is for you. Jesus will drink the cup of suffering which is the will of the Father. He will be struck so that you might be healed. He will suffer abandonment and loss, so that you may rest in His gracious presence forever. He will endure the very curse of God, so that you may receive the blessing forever.
Lord have mercy upon us forevermore. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Chapel Link (from here you just click on the service for 04/11/2022. It is on the right.)