Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
10653 N – 550 W
Decatur, IN 46733
A 21st Century Parish with a 1st Century Faith
Celebrating our 182nd Year
Chartered February 25, 1838
“Jesus I will Ponder Now”
A Lenten series based on six Chorales written by Sigismund v. Birken & Johan Sebastian Bach
Introduction: Hanging on a cross suspended between earth and heaven Jesus bore our sins in His body. In the midst of His cruel agony He provided for His mother’s care. John records for us the Savior’s word of dying concern. “When Jesus saw His mother, there and the disciple whom He loved, standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on this disciple took her into his home.” How beautifully Bach relates these events.
I. The death of Jesus was complete. “He of everything took heed In His hour of dying.”
A. All sin was paid for by Jesus’ vicious death.
1. There is not one sin left unaccounted.
2. The payment is marked: “paid in full!”
B. The proclamation of the cross is what frees us.
1. It is good news.
2. It is the power of God.
II. On the cross Jesus singles Mary out for attention. “Caring for His mother’s needs on His friend relying.”
A. He calls her “woman”.
1. A desire to spare her the hurt of “mother.”
2. He imparts a proper perspective – Mary will have to be saved like anyone else. She receives no dispensation!
B. He turns her over to John.
1. From that time on he became her son.
2. He provides for her taking her into his own house.
a. By way of history John will be the only disciple not to be martyred.
b. He will be exiled to the island of Patmos. – Revelation 1:9
III. By this act of love Jesus demonstrates the proper regard for family. “O man, do all things aright love God and thy neighbor.”
A. Jesus summed up the life of the Christian when He taught us;
1. “Love the Lord Thy God with all your heart, soul and all your might This is the first and greatest commandment.” - Matthew 22:37
2. “And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:38-39 There is no commandment greater than these.
B. “To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” - Mark 12:33
IV. Through Jesus’ example expressed to His mother He demonstrates a deep concern for others. Thus Bach concludes tonight’s hymn verse with these words; “Die then without pain and fright rest from care and labor.”
A. We can leave this world in death without pain or fright.
1. Christ bore our sins in His own body on the cross so that we will not have to suffer the terrors of a guilty conscience.
2. We receive Christ’s peace as He has secured for us peace with God.
B. Thus we rest from care and labor.
1. Luther possibly put is best when, in the conclusion to his morning and evening prayers he wrote: “Into Thy hands I commend myself [placing] my body and soul and all thing [into Thy care]. May Your Holy Angel [Spirit] be with me that the wicked foe may have no power over me.”
2. This moved Luther to conclude in the morning the Christian should: “then go joyfully to your work” and in the evening we rest confidently: “then go to sleep at once and in good cheer.”
3. Here is evidence of a clear conscience; not based on what we do but rather on what Christ has finished. Our salvation is complete. We can rest in peace because our Father is at peace with Jesus’ work. At the cross and empty tomb Christ’s mission was accomplished!
Conclusion: Jesus showing compassion and care for His mother and His dear disciple has shown us how we too must act. Of the seven words Jesus spoke from the cross half of His last words are concerned with others. May His words and actions so move us to will and to do His good pleasure.
Artwork by Ed Rojas © Higher Things