SERMON TEXT BELOW
Advent 1 2022
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hamilton, Ohio
Vicar Kaleb Yaeger
November 27, 2022
Is. 2:1-5, Rom. 13:11-14, Matt. 21:1-11
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They hail Him as a victor; as a king who has marched out to war and returned in triumph. They hail Him as a general who has destroyed His foes and brings with Him the spoils of war. They spread cloaks and palm branches before Him, covering the street so that even His mount would not dirty its foot on the city streets. They welcome Him with gladness and joy, crying
Meaning “Save us!” They cry to Him for their salvation. They recognize Him as their Messiah, the One who has come to fulfill that which was spoken by the prophets. They call to Him because He has been victorious, and now He will rule over the people in peace.
Hosanna! They say.
Hosanna to the son of David
For this man, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee, this Jesus is truly a son of David. He rides into Jerusalem on a colt, on the foal of a donkey, just as Solomon did when David crowned him king. Jesus enters Jerusalem as a king. As a victorious king. As the Prince of Peace who has come to ascend His throne.
Son of David, they call Him. And they welcome Him with one of David’s Psalms. They welcome Him with a Psalm that spoke of God’s steadfast love. David writes that enemies surrounded him, but the LORD fought on his behalf. David praises the LORD, thanking Him for His great deliverance.
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
But the part of the Psalm that the people are quoting says
Hosanna, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
With these words, the people of Jerusalem welcome Jesus into the gates of their city. Another part of the Psalm says:
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
This Psalm is ringing in the ears of the crowd as they welcome Jesus into the gates of Jerusalem. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. Indeed, the only man who was righteous has just entered through it. Blessed is He! Blessed is He that comes in the name of the LORD!
The crowds hail Jesus as a conquering king. They hail Him as a victor. They hail Him as a general who has won on the battlefield and returns now, bringing with him the spoils of war
But they’re wrong.
Jesus hasn’t won yet. Jesus is riding out to war. He is not returning with the spoils. He is riding to a battlefield that has yet to be soaked with blood. He rides to battle, not on a warhorse, but on a donkey. On a colt, the foal of a beast of burden. Just as the prophets foretold.
Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the LORD.
Blessed is He who comes to do the LORD’s work. Blessed is He, They cry to the king who is riding out to war. Blessed is He, they cry to the Son of David who was the Son of God. Blessed is He, they said, as they hailed the man whom they would crucify. For this is the work of the LORD.
The Psalm the people were quoting says Blessed is He that comes in the name of the LORD! it continues.
We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!
Bind the sacrifice of the feast to the horns of the altar! This feast is passover. The very same feast the people of Jerusalem were about to celebrate. Bind the sacrifice! Bind the lamb! Bind Him to the horns of the altar! For Blessed is He who is about to do the work of God! Blessed is He! Blessed is the victor!
Blessed is the victim. Blessed is the sacrifice. Blessed is He! The One who is riding to war. Blessed is the One who is about to soak the battlefield, not with the blood of His enemies, but with His own. Blessed is He who will make war at the place of the Skull. Blessed is He who is bound and sacrificed. Blessed is He. Blessed is His work. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the LORD to die on a cross.
Hosanna to the Son of David. Hosanna to the Son of God. Hosanna! LORD, save us! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! Save us now, O LORD! Save us now!
It was these very cries that Jesus would answer just a few days later. He would do the work of the LORD. The Son of Man would be lifted up. The people would mock Him, telling Him to save Himself, but He would not listen. For He heard their cries of Hosanna when He rode into Jerusalem and this Son of David had mercy on them. He had mercy on Jerusalem. He has mercy on you. The work of the LORD is finished. Jesus died. Victor and victim. Son of David, Lamb of God. Priest and sacrifice. For you.
Jesus rode out to battle that Good Friday and He won. He sacrificed Himself to save the world. Death swallowed Him up so that the world might live. But on that day, when death swallowed a body, it choked on God. It couldn’t swallow the Author of Life. It couldn’t hold Him down, so Jesus was hurled from the tomb three days later, victorious and alive.
So now, we hail Him as a victor. As a king who has marched out to war and returned in triumph. We hail Him as a general who has destroyed His foes; bringing with Him the spoils of war. So we sing
Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He! Blessed is He! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!
Together, we cry Hosanna to the LORD! Lord, save us! Save us now! Save us from the terrors of our enemies that surround us. Save us from pain and sorrow! Save us from sin, death and the power of the devil! Hosanna, LORD, save us now!
Jesus already answered that cry on the cross. But He also answers it before your very eyes. Behold, O children of God, your King is coming to you. Humble, in the simple bread and wine which is His body and blood. These are His spoils of war. These are His battle scars. His body, bound as a sacrifice on the cross. His blood, poured out there for you for the forgiveness of sins.
We cry Hosanna! Lord, save us! And the very Son of Man who was lifted up and sacrificed once for all, draws near and answers. He comes in humility. The victorious victim’s body and blood will be given to you to eat and to drink.
Blessed is He. Blessed is He. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the LORD!
We sing these words as Christ draws near in answer to our Hosanna. We sing them to the victorious victim. We sing them to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, for He has mercy on us. He has washed us in His own blood, the blood of the Lamb and made us white as snow. We cry hosanna, faithful that He will answer.
Jesus answers your cries of Hosanna here on the altar. But He will draw near to His church once again. This time, He will return to reign in glory. On that day, wars, pestilence, sickness and famine will not ravage the earth any longer. On that day, sin, death and the power of the devil will forever be locked away. On that day, we will say once again with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven,
Blessed is He! Blessed is He! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the LORD!
Come soon, Lord Jesus.