SUNDAY SERMON: One with Christ, who was sacrificed for our sins
- The carpenter from Nazareth, who seemed so powerless when he was crucified, is not powerless.
- He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
- He was not caught by accident in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As a Christian, you have probably quoted sacred Scripture many times. Do you remember any particular moment in Christ’s life when he quoted sacred Scripture? Some people think of the day when Satan asked Jesus to worship him instead of worshipping God, in return for power over all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus recalled the first of the Ten Commandments in the Book of Deuteronomy: “You must worship the Lord your God and serve him alone.”
Jesus quoted scriptures from the Old Testament on many other occasions. Perhaps his most important quote was the one he used when the High Priest Caiaphas asked if he really claimed to be the “son of the Blessed One”. Of all the ways one could answer ‘yes’ in his mother tongue, Jesus chose the strongest and replied: “You yourself say that I am.”
As strong as those words were, Jesus wanted to be more emphatic. He wanted all the leaders of Israel to know that there should be no doubt whatsoever that he was equal to God and that he deserved to be worshipped as God himself is worshipped. So he quoted sacred Scripture and said: “I tell you solemnly that, from this time onward, you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
By speaking about “the power”, Jesus recalled one of the Old Testament names for God: El Shaddai — All-Powerful Creator. By insisting that he would be “seated at his right hand”, Jesus was making himself equal to El Shaddai. By calling himself ‘Son of Man’, Jesus was telling those men that they would see him, as a man, seated next to God. In effect, he was telling Caiaphas that they would one day see him, the carpenter from Nazareth, ruling over the whole of creation.
There was another crucial moment when Jesus quoted the Bible. It must have frightened his disciples. I am referring to the words Our Lord cried out while hanging on the cross. I suppose he could have chosen a text more comforting to his disciples. For instance, he could have said, “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want!” He could have said, “Lord, you have been our refuge in age after age.” Instead, Jesus said: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
To prepare for Good Friday, let’s make an act of faith. The carpenter from Nazareth, who seemed so powerless when he was crucified, is not powerless. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He was not caught by accident in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was offering Himself as sacrifice for our sins.