Todd A. Peperkorn, STM
Messiah Lutheran Church
Good Friday (April 10, 2009)
TITLE: “Gazing Upon Him Whom They Pierced”
In the name of the Father and of the † Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Our text is from the Passion of our Lord from St. John, we focus on the quotation from John 19:37, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
They looked at Him whom they pierced. Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God, died upon the cross for us and for our salvation. He promised that when He was lifted up, He would draw all men to Himself. He promised that they would gaze upon Him, dead, and that in His death their life would truly begin.
This kind of love is beyond comprehension. It goes far past anything that we can understand or fathom. While we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. And this day we look upon His cross as the dead God, the God who gives of Himself so completely that His has poured Himself out upon the altar so that we might live with Him forever. In John 19 they quote Zechariah, which says the following:
““And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10 ESVS)
So it is that we mourn for Him who died. We mourn because it was our sin that caused His death. But it is a joyful mourning. At His death the price is paid forever. You do not have to pay for your sins. You do not have to suffer the torment of hell. You do not have to live in fear of an uncertain future.
But these wounds go on. They do not end this day. On the last day, when we shall all rise from the grave to meet our Lord in the air, we will view Him with new eyes. St. John in His Revelation paints us the picture as follows:
“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.” (Revelation 1:7 ESV)
After Jesus rises from the dead, even until the very end of time itself, the wounds which He suffers this day shall be His. That is His love, poured out for you. One of our hymns puts it this way:
Those dear tokens of His passion
Sill His dazzling body bears,
Cause of endless exultation
To HIs ransomed worshipers
With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
Gaze we on those glorious scars (LSB 336:3)
Look this day upon the death of Jesus for you. Look, mourn for your sins, and rejoice. Rejoice that His wounds are for you. Rejoice that you will rise with Him at the Last Day, robed in His blood, crowned with His righteousness, and that you with all of the ransomed shall stand before Him as His bride, holy and beloved. Believe it for Jesus’ sake. Amen.