TITLE: “Sir, We Wish to See Jesus”
Many pulpits throughout the world have the words from our text plastered where only the preacher can see them: Sir, we wish to see Jesus. Jesus Christ, crucified and bloody upon the tree is the content our our preaching and faith and indeed is the shape of our very lives as His children and followers.
Sir, we wish to see Jesus. It’s who you are, beloved. If you don’t see Jesus shaping your identity and making you in His image, that what do you see? You by nature would hide in the shadows, look in all the dark places, and seek only what would be your doom. You would look at yourself in pride, look in lust upon your neighbor, with, uh, “purpling” thoughts, and you would look with longing and envy at the things and stuff of this world.
Our lives are spent searching, hunting, longing, desiring and trying to find what you can never find on your own. You search and long for what you cannot have because the one thing needful was ripped from your heart on that dark day in the Garden of Eden so long ago.
And so Jesus Christ, our Lord, He is lifted up on the cross so that the whole world will look at Him in His glory. But look where His glory is found! His glory is in the folly of the cross. God’s nature, His very character as one of love and self-giving, that nature of God is what you see in this Jesus Christ in suffering and death upon the cross.
And I’m going to let you in on a secret, dearly baptized. We say with those Greeks long ago “Sir, we wish to see Jesus,” because Jesus Christ saw you before the foundation of the world. St. Paul put it this way:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Ephesians 1:3–4 ESV)
So it is that God saw you in Creation. He saw you in Noah and the Flood. He saw you in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that is, He saw you in Israel. He saw you when He saved Israel from Egypt. He saw you in the waters of the Red Sea, as you crossed with Israel on dry ground. He saw you, rebellious and searching, and He called you home to Him, to draw you back from Exile.
But most importantly, our Lord, Jesus Christ, saw you as He hung upon the cross. You were on His mind and in His heart as He bore your sins to the grave. So You were You were in His eyes when He hung upon the cross. You were in His eyes with a love that even death itself could not conquer.
So the Christian Church in her preaching points you “to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)
“Sir, we wish to see Jesus,” As you begin your journey home, be refreshed in the waters of life. Receive the Word of hope which only He can give. Be renewed and strengthened in His Holy Supper all the days of your life, so that you may look upon Him who they pierced, and stand before His throne at the Last Day, holy and blameless and with great joy. “In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory.” (Isaiah 45:25 ESV)