The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Advent Services - 7 PM Central Time in December.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mid-Week Vespers Service, 7 PM Central Time


Mid-Week Advent Vespers Service

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


Bethany Lutheran Worship, 7 PM Phoenix Time 

The Hymn # 552                   Abide with Me            
The Order of Vespers                                              p. 41
The Psalmody                       Psalm 92                    p. 143
The Lection                           Isaiah 53
The Sermon Hymn #645             Behold a Branch             

The Sermon – Seven Hundred Years Before - The Suffering Servant

The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                            p. 45
 The Hymn # 558                      All Praise to Thee  

              

Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Seven Hundred Years Before - The Suffering Servant
We have a concentration of Messianic prophesies in Isaiah, and this chapter is the most important by itself. Most of it is quoted in the New Testament, and the content is central to the Gospel.
One thing to consider is how long the Jewish people, and those attracted to Judaism, were prepared for the coming of the Messiah. One theme is the Creation, as shown in a previous service. One cannot separate the Creation from the Atonement. What man spoiled in sinfulness was redeemed in the death of Christ.
Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
Most readings begin with the ending of Isaiah 52.  This is one of the Suffering Servant passages, and the most important. Children always know this is about Jesus, but that was not so obvious then.
We often see without seeing and hear without understanding. I experience that in stores, where I stare at what I am looking for but do not see it. I am relieved to say that many others do too. And they say - "But I looked there and never saw it."
So the Jewish people read and heard this passage without realizing how it would be fulfilled. Many looked for a King David warrior, not a suffering servant.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
Sprinkling certain calls up the sacrifices carried out in the Temple. But "sprinkle many nations" is strange to read until we know the entire story of the Messiah, from pre-existence to birth to death and resurrection. Verse 15 makes so much sense in everyone longing for a Savior and yet not knowing exactly how they would take place.
15 So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
This was discussed among several pastors because this verse is central to Paul teaching the Means of Grace - faith comes by hearing.
Both elements are present in this verse - believing and the revelation or report.
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
The report is the sermon about the Suffering Servant. As I told the pastor on Facebook, this is best translated as a phrase, because it is not strictly speaking faith from hearing but faith from hearing the report - the sermon about the Suffering Servant.
Nowhere does the Bible even imply that faith comes from having popcorn and cola at the so-called worship service. I can only imagine how important the supplies are for those circus gatherings? Do we have enough popcorn? Soda cups? Soda fountain? Salt? Bags? That seems to diffuse the focus from the cross and make it a food event.
So this chapter predicts that day when people will hear the verses again and understand with faith when the Gospel is preached to them. It is quite a marvel to consider how it was a mystery that had to be reveal in time and yet it was spelled out for centuries before.
The Ethiopian Eunuch was reading this passage when he was converted by the Gospel 

Acts 8:26-40King James Version (KJV)

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
And this was part of the confirmation of everything for the Emmaus disciples - 
Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
53 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Here is clearly the Passion of the Christ clearly expounded, 700 years earlier, so that when it happened, all of the Old Testament became a solid foundation for preaching the Christian Gospel, first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.
That is why Advent is a season of repentance, to remind all believers that God became flesh to suffering for our sins, die, and rise from the dead.
We can see how it began with His lowly birth and the revelation of this great wonder to the shepherds and to Wise Men from the East. The great and mighty did not know what was happening for all the world when it happened, but the Gospel was brought to them, time after time, and the majesty and power of the Roman Empire was kicked into the dustbin as the Christian Faith arose in the servant and slave class to convert many - not all - up to the Emperor himself.