Sermon for Lent 2 – 3.13.22

+ 2nd Sunday in Lent – March 13th, 2022 +

Series C: Jeremiah 26:8-15; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“City of Peace”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Cities, like people, often have a reputation that precedes them. Sometimes it’s good. In my home state, Detroit, MI, is known as Hockeytown. Sometimes, however, a town’s reputation is not so good. You hear the name Las Vegas, and I bet the moniker, “Sin City” comes to mind.


So you’d think that a city whose name is built around the Hebrew word Shalom, peace, wholeness would be a city where peace ruled the streets. Not so in Jerusalem, the city of peace.

In Jesus’ day, Jerusalem’s reputation was anything but peaceful especially if you happened to be a prophet. Just ask Jeremiah how he was treated in Jerusalem. “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.”

Jerusalem’s reputation preceded her. And it was a not a good one. She had a long history of killing the prophets sent to her. For Jesus, Jerusalem is the place of his suffering and death. The place of his rejection, lamentation, and crucifixion. The place of Jesus’ divinely appointed destiny.


Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 


In spite of the agony and suffering that is to come. Even if that way means Jesus’ rejection, lamentation, and crucifixion…This is the way. Jesus must go to Jerusalem.


Like the prophets before him, all of whom prepared the people for Jesus’ coming, who preached repentance and forgiveness, who declared God’s judgment, warning, and promises, Jesus goes to Jerusalem. And he goes to die.


Like the prophets before him, Jesus goes to Jerusalem to speak to His people. Jesus is a true prophet, the true prophet. And a prophet’s job is to herald God’s Word. Jesus, of course, is that, and more. Not only is he the true prophet who speaks God’s Word perfectly, he is the prophet to whom all the OT prophets’ words point. The Scripture is fulfilled in Jesus. Jesus is the true prophet. And Jesus is the true God of the prophets. The One who sent the prophets to His people, now goes to his people to face rejection, lamentation, and crucifixion.


Like the prophets before him, Jesus is faithful in his duty. As the Son of God he is faithful to the Father. He journeys to Jerusalem knowing exactly what awaits him there. Jesus goes there for you. To release you from the brokenness of sin. To heal you in his new creation. To forgive you. To come into his kingdom through the cross and grave, and bring you along with him.


And like the prophets before him, Jesus laments. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not.


In Jesus’ lament, we hear God’s heart-rending, passionate love for His people. For God desires not the death of the wicked, but that they would turn and live.


In Jesus’ lament, we also hear our own lamentations. We see our own Lenten journey in Jesus’ to the cross. And that way, that journey is often one of bearing a cross, of suffering. To be a follower of Christ, to live in Christ means we will suffer too. We will suffer rejection – sometimes from family, friends, or neighbors – because of what you believe and how you live as a baptized child of God. We will suffer the cross – that may be a literal or figurative cross. Remember Jesus’ words…in this world we will have trouble.


And in Jesus’ lament, we also lament. We lament and cry out to God for mercy in the midst of war and bloodshed. We lament and cry out to God that life in this world, in this country, and in our homes, in our daily lives is not as it should be. Our sinful reputation precedes us as well. We lament for ourselves and others who are afflicted with doubt, despair, depression, or any other disease. We lament the suffering we see others experience; we lament our own suffering; we lament the suffering and pain we have caused others. We lament, perhaps most of all, our own sin where we have joined in rejecting and crucifying Jesus.


Given all of this. Given all the sin and rejection that Jesus is bearing. Given Jerusalem’s reputation as the city where the prophets go to die. Why would Jesus ever want to step foot within those walls? Why not just turn and walk away, avoid that city altogether? I know I would. But not Jesus.


For the love of Jerusalem. For the love of his people. For the love of you. Jesus goes to Jerusalem. Yes, Jesus will be rejected and crucified. But this is precisely why he goes to Jerusalem. This place, this city that killed the prophets, this is the place God chose for his highest, most gracious purpose. To be the place where God and man would be reconciled. To the cross, where true peace was made by the blood of Jesus and his sacrificial death on the cross. Where all our laments are laid, at the feet of Jesus crucified. Where Jesus declares all the words of the prophets fulfilled in a word: it is finished.


There in Jerusalem, outside the city walls, on the cross, Jesus took all our laments, our sorrows, our diseases, sin, and death itself and he made them all his own. That his joy, life, peace would be your own in him. in Jesus’ rejection, you are rescued. In Jesus’ crucifixion, you are redeemed. In Jesus’ death, you have life.


And in Jerusalem, Jesus’ rejection, lamentation, and crucifixion give way to his resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection brings you into the new, heavenly Jerusalem.


Where, as Paul reminds us, your citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.


That is why Jesus journeys to the city that kills the prophets, to turn Jerusalem’s bad reputation into your redemption; to rescue you in his death and resurrection and bring you safely to the heavenly Jerusalem, where Jesus the Lamb is your light and life.


In Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, Jerusalem finally lives up to its true name and reputation. In Jesus crucified and risen, Jerusalem becomes the city of peace. The place where God makes peace with you and for you in Jesus.


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

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The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

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Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

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2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977