160110 Psalm 2:1-6

Last Updated on Monday, 11 January 2016 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Psalm 2:1 – 6

Theme: What Does the Baptism of Jesus Mean for Me?

"Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. 'Let us break their chains,' they say, 'and throw off their fetters.' The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 'I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.'"

I once had a conversation with someone about why they stopped coming to worship. This person's first answer was, "When I went to Church, I didn't hear things that applied to me and my life. All the preachers did was talk about Jesus, and what he has done for us. I want to hear more of what I can do, how I can live my life for Jesus." In a way, this individual does have a point. Preachers and teachers of God's Word do need to use the time and the energy it takes to apply God's Word to the day-to-day lives of people. But, there are far too many Churches today that are ignoring what the Bible tells us about Jesus and focusing only on what we should be doing for Jesus. We have to be careful that we don't fall into the trap of "putting the cart before the horse." Before we are able to talk about living our lives for our Savior, we need to read and study what Jesus our Savior has done for us.

This is one of the reasons why the calendar of the Christian Church is set up the way it is. During the first half of the year we spend our time in worship focused on what Jesus Christ has done for you and me and all people. Then, in the second half of the Church year, we talk more about our response to the love we have been shown through Jesus Christ our Lord. So today, as we gather together for our worship this morning, our service focuses our thoughts and our attention on the Baptism of Jesus. Certainly we can use a service such as this to remind ourselves of the importance of our own Baptism. But let us not ignore the event of our Savior's Baptism, which we read about in our Gospel Lesson for this morning. Why is it important? Today, we will use verses taken from Psalm 2 to answer the question: WHAT DOES THE BAPTISM OF JESUS MEAN FOR ME?

The first thing we read from Psalm 2 is how foolish people are who think they can stand up against God. It is a battle that they will not win. Listen again to the opening verses of Psalm 2, "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One." In their desire to get rid of Jesus, at the time our Savior walked here on this earth, there were many people who opposed him.

So also today, 2000 years later, there are still those who "gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One." Rather than pointing our fingers at others, you and I confess our own sin of rebelling against our Chosen Savior. There are far too many times when you and I decide that we are going to become the "master" of our own lives. You and I give in to the temptation of setting our own standards of what is right and what is wrong. You and I are too quick to see the Triune God's will for our lives simply as burdens we must carry, and join with those who say, "Let us break their chains and throw off their fetters." Our rebellion against the Anointed One continues as you and I claim not to need a Savior as much as our neighbor because "After all, I'm not as bad as they are!"

In his Word, our holy and just God says that because of our rebellion and sin against him, he has every right to throw you and me into hell to spend an eternity suffering a well-earned punishment that will never end. This is the only result possible if you and I were left on our own. But, as we read in our Second Lesson for this morning, "When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."

In his great kindness and love, God the Father anointed (that is, he chose) his Son, Jesus Christ, to be our one and only Savior from sin. What does the Baptism of Jesus mean for you and me? It means that you and I are able to be sure of the forgiveness of all of our sins and our place in heaven "not because of righteous things we had done", as Titus was led to write. Rather, it is only because of his mercy that our gracious God saves you and me. In great kindness and love for all mankind, our Anointed Savior came to this earth as your great Substitute and mine. Jesus lived a perfect life in your place and mine. He willing suffered hell for you and for me. He was punished so that you and I enjoy peace. Through Jesus Christ, you and I are "justified", that is declared "Not Guilty" of our sins. Jesus, our Anointed One, lived, died and rose again so that you and I are able to look forward to living forever with him in heaven.

From God's Word before us today in Psalm 2 we read, "The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 'I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.'" While these are terrifying words for sinful mankind to hear, there is great comfort and peace for us, who by God's grace, know Jesus Christ as our one and only Savior from sin. The Good News is that Jesus Christ is our King! What does the Baptism of Jesus mean for you and me? As the anointed, chosen King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ is the only Savior for mankind. As your Almighty King and mine, Jesus is ruling over all things at all times. It is a little later in Psalm 2 that we read of God the Father speaking to his Son Jesus and says, "I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them...Blessed are all who take refuge in him."

What does the Baptism of Jesus mean for me? It answers several questions that come to mind: 1) "How can I be sure that I am forgiven?" There is One who came as my substitute. Jesus Christ was anointed, chosen by God the Father, to win for me the forgiveness of all of my sins by his perfect life and his innocent suffering and death. 2) "How can I be sure of my place in heaven?" The victory over the grave of my chosen Savior is my victory to enjoy as well. 3) "Where can I turn for true, lasting peace and comfort?" My anointed Savior is the almighty King of kings who is watching over me each and every day, and makes me the promise that he is ruling over all things for my eternal good. What does the Baptism of Jesus mean for me? It means that he, and he alone, is chosen to be my Savior and my King. To him be all glory and praise now and forever! 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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