Sermon: “The Victorious Lamb of God”
LSB Series A; Proper 26
All Saints Sunday; November 1, 2020
First Reading: Revelation 7:9-17
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
“Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!”
Happy Easter! Yes, you heard me correctly…Happy Easter! Every Sunday is a little Easter as it looks back to the day of the Resurrection and forward to the day of the final resurrection of the dead. Even more so on this day, All Saints Day.
All Saints’ Sunday is a day we remember those in our congregation who have died in the faith this past year. In fact, we remember all the saints in heaven who have gone before us. And while doing so, we look forward to the day of the final resurrection in the confidence of Christ’s resurrection on Easter.
Yes, the tomb is empty. The stone has been rolled away. He is not here, He has risen, just as He said. The Lamb of God is on His throne, right where He belongs. And He has clothed us all in robes of righteousness, washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.
Baptized into the name of the Triune God, our fate has been reversed and our vision has been corrected. Like an effective pair of glasses, we now look at life through lenses of God’s grace on His people. No more do we consume ourselves with setting our sights on the things of this world, now we look beyond this world to rejoice in the glory that awaits us as beloved children of the Heavenly Father.
With so much of the focus on this upcoming election, with fears abounding about what is coming of our country, now more than ever do we need to fix our eyes where true joy is found. Now more than ever do we need to fix our eyes upon Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Now more than ever do we need to fix our eyes upon the Lamb of God who sits on His heavenly throne. Jesus has shed His own precious blood on the cross. He has swallowed up death in victory. Jesus is our victorious King.
As hard as it may be to believe, it does not matter who comes out in victory in this forthcoming election. No matter what happens, no matter the outcomes, no matter the results…electoral college, popular vote, or otherwise…it does not change the fact that Jesus reigns as Lord of heaven and earth.
President Trump can’t save us. Joe Biden can’t save us. To look to either one of these men to serve as any form of a savior is idolatry. To put our trust in either of them is to misplace our trust.
The First Commandment calls upon us to fear, love, and trust in God above all things. The Catechism teaches us that “To have a god means to trust in and rely on something or someone wholeheartedly to help us in times of need and to give us all good things.”
Though government and those who govern are gifts from God, it would be in error to look to such entities or persons to save us in time of need. As Christians, no matter who is in office, no matter how troublesome the tribulation, we look to the One who has all authority in heaven and on earth, the victorious Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
That is the focus of the saints in the new heaven and earth. An entire multitude…that no one could count. All nations, tribes, peoples, and languages represented. Chinese, Japanese, African, Middle Eastern, European, American, and on and on the list goes. All with eyes fixed on Jesus. All with palm branches in their hands, waving them in glorious victory. Just picture this sea of people. No matter which direction you look, you can’t see the end of all the saints around you. There are so many. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Adam and Eve, Ruth, Esther, Joseph and Mary, Peter, James, and John and the other apostles, the apostle Paul, countless other ancestors who have gone before us in the faith. They are all there. And where do they look? They look at Jesus, the victorious Lamb of God.
Now just imagine that crowd all shouting as one. Louder than any fight song at a sporting event, rally cry at a political gathering, or victory shout in battle…all with one, unified voice together saying: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb.
Angels and elders and living creatures all bowing before Him, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Amen. Yes, yes it shall be done. Yes, yes, it has been done. Jesus has died. Jesus has risen. Death and the devil are done for. The trials and tribulations of this world are gone. Sin has been washed away in the blood of the Lamb. There is no need to fear, the victorious Lamb of God is here.
He is here today with you. You, who live in the great tribulation. Jesus comes to you today to give you exactly what you need so that you may join with all the saints who have gone before us…so that you may come out of the great tribulation.
Jesus protects you by washing you in His blood. He clothes you with Himself. You are literally enveloped in Christ Himself. And now, here today, you are given a foretaste of the feast to come as you join in the holy assembly with the saints and angels on the Last Day. Their chant is your chant. Their song is your song. United in a new heaven and earth, we will join together to give praise where praise is due, the crucified, resurrected and ascended victorious Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
No matter how bleak things may seem in this world, don’t take your eyes off of Him. He is your Savior. Don’t let the distractions and darkness of this world keep you from focusing on He who is the Light of the world, the One darkness can never overcome. He is your King. Crucified, buried, and raised, He does not fail you. Just lift your eyes up to the hill, the hill of Calvary, and see the victory He has won for you, that He has given to you.
He is our help in time of need, any need at all as you serve Him and Him alone. Not even hunger and thirst can bring us down. He brings us here today to feed us with His body and His blood. He courses through our veins with His forgiveness, with His life, with His salvation. We approach this world in the utmost confidence that not even death itself can defeat us, for we have Christ Himself within us.
So, no matter how much this world turns up the heat. No matter the pressure that awaits us, the persecution that is before us, we do not shy away from the battle. Though the battle is fierce, the warfare long, the Lamb of God proclaims that victory has already been won.
Two thousand years ago on a cross outside of Jerusalem, the Lamb was sacrificed for the sins of the world. His name is Jesus. His blood poured out from His wounds that healed us. Buried in a tomb, all hope looked to be lost.
Many of us are no doubt are feeling that way today as we look to the future of our nation. We see the unrest, we feel the divide, we quiver with anxiety with all of the unknowns that remain unanswered. We fear defeat.
But, Jesus is no loser. All He does is win, win no matter what. As the Gospel lesson told us, “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.” That means it is a great day today, because we know the end of the story.
Jesus tells us “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, He has overcome the world.”
Trials and tribulations may come, doom and darkness may abound, but two thousand years ago, the devil was given a knockout punch and he is down for the count…forever.
So, don’t fear the terrors of the night or the arrows that fly by day, as the hymn goes, the Lamb is on His throne. He is your Shepherd and He will guide you to springs of living water.
That living water is right here, at the font, where you were baptized, where you were signed and sealed by none other than Jesus who wrote His name on you with His own precious blood. Baptized into Christ, you are a child of paradise.
Yes, paradise awaits you. Just wait, the trumpet will sound (as we heard today), the dead in Christ will be raised, and we will always be with our Lord. We will bow before Him, and He will kneel down, and with His pierced hands, He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.
Death will be no more, pain and sorrow will fade away, suffering will be erased. There will be no need to fear…in fact there never is, when Jesus, the Victorious Lamb of God is here.
Death couldn’t hold Him, and the grave couldn’t keep Him. “Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia!” Amen.
The peace of God which surpasses all human understanding guard and keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.