Saturday, June 4, 2011

Easter 7

Prayer of the Day

Almighty and eternal God, Your Son our Savior is with You in eternal glory. Give us faith to see that, true to His promise, He is among us still, and will be with us…to the end of time.”

Sometimes, people pat themselves on the back because no one else will do it. They want at least someone to acknowledge that they have done something praiseworthy.

If no praise will come they might act out just to get attention. So often we see this happen in the classroom at school. From observation and from experience we might soon discover that the "class clown" acts up because at least he is getting some sort of recognition, acknowledgment, or attention.

Do we have to act up or speak out to get God's attention? Not so. God has honored us, not because we have done something worthy, but because He has done something noteworthy for us. He has glory in the accomplishment of our salvation and we, by grace, are granted the privilege to share in His glory.

In Christ's redemptive work there is no question that "THE GLORY HOUR HAS AT LAST ARRIVED!"

[1] The glory hour has arrived for a Father whose plan is always perfect.

A. As a part of this plan God the Father gave Jesus the power to save us. Listen to verse 2 of our text for this morning: For You granted (the Son) authority over all people, that He might give eternal life to all those You have given Him.

That was the Father's perfect plan from the very beginning of time to save the world through His Son Jesus. He gave His Son both the power and the authority to grant life eternal to those who are called to believe and trust in Him.

B. Our salvation was never left up to mere speculation. The Father was in directed our salvation every step of the way. He guided the process from the beginning to the time it was brought to completion. Listen to how Jesus explains this in verses 4-5 of our text for today: I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work you gave Me to do. And now, glorify me in Your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

C. What wonderful news this plan of salvation happens to be. The Father not only directed the process from beginning to end He also directed His Son to the right people, in the right way with exactly the right words to say. This is what we call "divine" or "special" revelation. The voice of Jesus when He spoke while being in the world, and now as it comes to us from the pages of the Bible speaks God's message to us.

Recall the words of verse 6 in our text today: I have revealed You to those whom You gave me out of this world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me and they have obeyed Your word.

"When Meryal Lynch speaks… people listen" How much more have we come to know and understand that when Jesus speaks His people listen. This is wonderful news for us to hear this day. As we live in a world that is quickly believing that there can no longer be any room for absolute or divine truth Jesus Christ, who is the "way the TRUTH and the life" has given us His every word of truth.

He delivered His word of truth when He said from the cross "It is finished!"

He further confirmed that Word in us when He called us by the Gospel in our baptism and today through the power of that same Word He says to you and me "I am with you always even until the end of the age" (Matthew 28:28)

Transition: The Father set His plan of saving this world into motion when His own Son Jesus Christ broke into time and space to live with and among us. As Jesus walked the face of this earth He was moving in a fixed direction to the cross. By these words spoken by our risen Savior He says to the Father that His mission has been accomplished.

[2] The Glory Hour has arrived for Jesus whose mission was accomplished.

A. To accomplish His mission Jesus gave up something. He surrendered His rightful glory in order to carry out His work. Listen as He explains all of this in verse 5 of our text for today: And now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.
John in his gospel describes Jesus' leaving the glories of heaven this way "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...and we have beheld His ...full of grace and truth" [John 1 selected verses]

B. In accomplishing this mission which the Father gave to Jesus He did exactly what the Father told Him He was supposed to do.

1. The meaning of eternal life was made plain in this plan. For Him to suffer and die meant that there would be a great exchange taking place.
The Father exchanged our sin for His own Son's righteousness that we might receive all of the righteousness of God which was found in Him.

2. What does this mean for you and me? What all this means is that the people to whom Jesus was directed learned of Him and believed. We have learned of Jesus and we too believe. These words of the Savior are directed and intended for each of us. The glory hour has arrived. We have beheld the glory of Jesus and by faith, worked into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit, we too believe.

Transition: In sending His Son the Father had you in mind. He sent Jesus to accomplish His mission for you, that you might receive salvation and live. As a result this salvation is for each and every believing child of God.

[3] The Glory Hour has arrived for it is intended for those whose faith in Christ is central.

A. As a believer you are the recipient of a saving knowledge that only God could give. You know and believe in Jesus Christ because Christ, working through His Holy Spirit has brought you to a saving knowledge, faith and trust in Him.

B. As a believer you have a Savior who is also praying for your endurance in faith. Jesus says in essence in verse 11 "Father I am praying for those who will believe that they might remain strong and pure and committed no matter what circumstance might come their way." Jesus knew that there would be challenges in living the faith and remaining faithful.

That is why He went to the Father in prayer for you and continues to intercede that you might remain faithful unto death and thus receive the crown of everlasting life.

C. As a believer you now have the honor of reflecting the "oneness" which comes from knowing Christ by faith. As the Father and the Son are one so likewise in having a relationship with the Savior you are one with Christ. As the hymn writer so wonderfully reminds us "As the branch is to the vine, I am His and He is mine" [TLH #342 stanza 1]. There is a oneness, a uniqueness, a togetherness that each Christian has with the Savior and it is all made possible because the Savior prayer for you that you might remain in Him.

When Jesus was on the verge of accomplishing everything He came to do, He knew the time for glory had arrived. His Father deserved glory, He received glory. But wonder of wonders and miracle of miracles you and I as believers, as being a part of being His people we too benefit from the glory of His salvation. In Christ the "glory hour" has arrived, and He has honored us by inviting us through faith to share in it. Therefore come and receive these good things for in Christ we share in His glory.

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