170226 Psalm 148:13

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 February 2017 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Psalm 148:13
Sermon Theme: Praise the Name of the LORD Who Alone is Exalted!

For the past several weeks, our sermon messages have focused on our Savior's, "Sermon on the Mount." In his sermon message, Jesus teaches his disciples, he teaches you and me, how to live our lives in response to the love and forgiveness of sins that he won. But today, the focus of our sermon messages switches. Today isn't about you or me and how we can live God-pleasing lives. Rather, today is a day that is all about our one and only Savior, Jesus Christ. Today, as we do each time we gather for worship here in God's house, we offer our Savior-God the praise and glory he alone deserves as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. On this Transfiguration Sunday, you and I hear the encouragement from God's Word in Psalm 148: "Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens."

As you look at this verse from Psalm 148 before us, notice whom it is that we praise. It is the LORD. Why do we praise him? Because we are told a little later in Psalm 148 that he has you and me "close to his heart." In the Old Testament, the loving LORD God had the nation of Israel close to his heart. They were his chosen people. The Good News we celebrated throughout this past Epiphany season is that the promised Savior came not just for one particular nation of people, but he came for all people. Jesus Christ came as the Savior for you and me.

We know from God's Word that you and I needed a Savior to come for us. As we read in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 "the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers." The Bible teaches us that you and I are conceived and born into this world as unbelievers. We are spiritually blind. What you and I deserve because of our sins is to have our Father in heaven push us away from himself; push us right into the flames of hell.

But our loving Savior-God has some wonderful Good News for you and me today. The Good News is that he has you and me "close to his heart." The LORD who promised throughout the Old Testament that he would send the world a Savior, kept that promise and sent Jesus Christ for you and me. The forgiveness of sins that Jesus won, cures you and me of the spiritual blindness that we are born with. Again, from 2 Corinthians chapter 4 we are told, "For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

The same almighty LORD who was there when the first light was created, is the same almighty LORD who came as the Light of the world; to be your Savior and mine. How can you and I be sure that Jesus is the Son of God and the promised Savior of the world? Because of the day we are celebrating today. At the transfiguration of our Lord, God the Father said of Jesus, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" For just a few moments, 3 of Jesus' disciples (Peter, James and John) saw a glimpse of the glory of Jesus as true God, for we are told in Matthew's Gospel, "his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light."

Later in his life, Peter would recall this event in his second letter that we have in our Bibles. We read it earlier when, led by God the Holy Spirit, Peter assures you and me, "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.' We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. And we have the word of the prophets made more certain (perhaps here Peter was thinking of Jesus talking with Moses and Elijah on the day of the transfiguration), and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts."

There is one another important point to note about the events of the transfiguration. The Gospel of Luke adds for us the detail that as Jesus, Moses and Elijah were talking on the mountain that day, "they spoke about his (Jesus) departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem." In great love for sinful mankind, the Lord Jesus would willingly come down from the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus would carry out his Father's plan. He would willingly go to Jerusalem, where he would suffer and die on the cross. In great victory, Jesus would rise again and then 40 days later he would ascend back into the glory of heaven. Jesus would fulfill what he promised his disciples, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

A day such as today gives you and me the opportunity to join our voices with the writer of Psalm 148 and "praise the name of the LORD who alone is exalted." Why? Because, as we look back from this day and review the message of the Epiphany season, we hear the Good News that Jesus Christ came into this world for all people; and that includes you and me. As we look ahead from this day, we will once again hear the message of Lent: the Good News for you and me that Jesus Christ was willing to go to the cross where he offered up his perfect life as the full payment price for your sins and mine. Rejoicing in the forgiveness of all of sins through our glorious Lord and Savior, you and I raise our voices together and praise the name of the LORD who alone is exalted! Amen.

 

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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Oconomowoc, WI 53066
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