For You

“All For You”
Text: Mark 14:1 – 15:47 (Philippians 2:5-11)

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Lamb goes uncomplaining forth (LSB #438). Why? For you.

For you, Jesus is anointed for His burial.
For you, Jesus is sold into betrayal, and allows Himself to be betrayed.
For you, Jesus celebrates the Passover with His disciples, and gives His body to eat and His blood to drink.
For you.

For you, Jesus suffers and prays.
For you, Jesus drinks the awful cup of God’s wrath and condemnation against sin.
For you, Jesus does His Father’s will.
For you.

For you, Jesus is arrested, and will not fight back.
For you, Jesus endures a mock trial, standing before those who have already decided His fate, but are just trying to make it look plausible.
For you, Jesus does not defend Himself, but takes the slurs of men against Him.
For you.

For you, Jesus is spit on, punched, and mocked.
For you, Jesus is bound and led to the Roman governor.
For you, Jesus is traded for a murderer.
For you, Jesus is a pawn in a game for power.
For you.

For you, Jesus is scourged – whipped until His flesh is open and raw.
For you, Jesus is clothed is purple and wears a crown of thorns.
For you, Jesus carries the cross on which He will die.
For you.

For you, Jesus takes nothing to deaden the pain.
For you, the nails are punched through His hands and feet, crushing bone and sending waves of pain through tortured limbs.
For you, Jesus is humiliated and reviled.
For you.

For you, Jesus is forsaken – by men who mock Him, but disciples who fear for their own lives, by His Father because He bears the sin of the world.
For you, Jesus will not save Himself.
For you, Jesus endures the darkness of sin.
For you, Jesus bows His head and dies.
For you, Jesus’ body is laid in a tomb.
For you.

For you, because you are a sinner.
For you, because you have made God’s beautiful world a sewer of sin.
For you, because you have used your hands to hurt instead of help.
For you, because you love your things more than your God.
For you, because your mouths tear down instead of build up.
For you, because your minds devise and scheme evil instead of good.
For you.

For you, because upon you is inflicted the sins of others.
For you, because you are hurt and in pain.
For you, because you are mocked and reviled.
For you, because your hearts are broken, your love thrown back in your face, your good deeds trampled and gone unnoticed and unappreciated.
For you, because you weep painful tears.
For you, because you mourn the death of loved ones, even as death draws ever closer to you.
For you, because you are afraid.
For you.

For you, because the devil desires to have you; to sift you, corrupt you, and bring you with him to his never-ending death.

But he cannot have you.
Hell cannot have you.
Sin cannot have you.
Death and the grave cannot have you.
Because for you, a Lamb goes uncomplaining forth.

He came forth from Heaven in His incarnation, to be born for you.
He came forth to the waters of the Jordan to be baptized for you.
He came forth into the wilderness to be tempted for you.
He came forth eating and drinking with sinners like you, not ashamed.
He came forth healing, forgiving, and raising the dead, for you.
He came forth to ascend the cross for you; to die for you; to be buried for you; and to rise for you.
That the curtain of the Temple be torn in two from top to bottom.
The curtain that separated sinful man from a holy God.
The curtain of sin, that could be penetrated only with blood.
The blood of a lamb.
The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

And still today, the Lamb comes uncomplaining forth.
For you.
Here, at this time, in this place, tearing the curtain of sin which veils our hearts with His forgiveness and life.
Coming with His Baptism, that you may be washed and reborn and healed.
Coming with His Absolution, that you may be forgiven and raised and holy.
Coming with His Supper, that you may be fed and strengthened and glorified.
Coming for you, that you may live.

For you, that hell be vanquished.
For you, that the grave be opened.
For you, that the devil be undone.
For you, that your sin be removed from you as far as the East is from the West.
For you, that your minds and hearts be made new, and you live a new life.
Sinner: no more; now: child of God.

All this Jesus does, for you.
And so you are never alone, never without love, never beyond hope.
You will never be forsaken, never condemned, never cast out.
For you live in Jesus and He in you.
What is His is yours, nothing withheld.
Now by promise and faith. But one day by sight, when all things are fulfilled.
When the Lamb goes forth once again, one final time, to gather all who are His own, and establish His kingdom forever.
And we will stand in joy beside Him. (LSB #438 v.4)

Until then, “have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”
He lives for you, that you may live for others.

Let us now enter into this Holy Week, and consider these things.
Let us now come to this altar, and receive the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Let us now rejoice and confess: Hosanna! Lord, save us.
For He has.

In the Name of the Father, and of the ( ) Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    I am a gay man and a christian. I spent most of my life believing that I had to find some way to stop being homosexual for the "for you " to mean "for ME".

    I am here to tell you that any gay christian reading this, that pre-puberty 9 year old listening to the sermon with his secret, would read this to mean…

    This COULD be for you, but first you need to stop being gay. If you REALLY had the right faith or enough of it, God would fix you. so it is your fault that you are the way you are. You simply need to decide to stop.

    If you persist in what you are (he probably doesn´t yet have a label for that thing that he is that he knows is different…) then you will go to hell. No one, not even Jesus will be able , or willing, to save you.

    The fact that you have not changed means that you have not truly repented, you are not sorry enough, you have not read your bible enough. you are simply not sincere in your desire to change.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    I am a gay man and a christian. I spent most of my life believing that I had to find some way to stop being homosexual for the "for you " to mean "for ME".

    I am here to tell you that any gay christian reading this, that pre-puberty 9 year old listening to the sermon with his secret, would read this to mean…

    This COULD be for you, but first you need to stop being gay. If you REALLY had the right faith or enough of it, God would fix you. so it is your fault that you are the way you are. You simply need to decide to stop.

    If you persist in what you are (he probably doesn´t yet have a label for that thing that he is that he knows is different…) then you will go to hell. No one, not even Jesus will be able , or willing, to save you.

    The fact that you have not changed means that you have not truly repented, you are not sorry enough, you have not read your bible enough. you are simply not sincere in your desire to change.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    Today I trust those words regardless of what my feelings, other people, my thoughts or anything else is trying to tell me. I will not demand from God that he changes me in order to believe that those words are true for ME.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    Today I trust those words regardless of what my feelings, other people, my thoughts or anything else is trying to tell me. I will not demand from God that he changes me in order to believe that those words are true for ME.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    Imagine a prepuberty 8 or 9 year old having exactly this burden. and being TERRIFIED someone would find out. or sharing this with a pastor , who will say, relax you will outgrow it, or you are mistaken that is not REALLY what you are, or get counseling and try to change (all of which would REinforce the idea that change is utterly necessary to be at peace with God).

    My pastor told me that God loved me especially in the middle of when I was bad, because that is exactly when I needed his love the most. He did not know my secret, and if he did, his response would have been probably not great.

    at the same time those simple words of pure gospel let me come back to mother church.

    To see what pediatric sexual difference looks like see the film "Ma vie en rose" ("my life in pink"). Consider two things: where is the sin exactly, and what would you have done differently than the parents of this 7 year old did?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    Imagine a prepuberty 8 or 9 year old having exactly this burden. and being TERRIFIED someone would find out. or sharing this with a pastor , who will say, relax you will outgrow it, or you are mistaken that is not REALLY what you are, or get counseling and try to change (all of which would REinforce the idea that change is utterly necessary to be at peace with God).

    My pastor told me that God loved me especially in the middle of when I was bad, because that is exactly when I needed his love the most. He did not know my secret, and if he did, his response would have been probably not great.

    at the same time those simple words of pure gospel let me come back to mother church.

    To see what pediatric sexual difference looks like see the film "Ma vie en rose" ("my life in pink"). Consider two things: where is the sin exactly, and what would you have done differently than the parents of this 7 year old did?

  • Dave Sarafolean

    Amen! A wonderful example of Christ-centered preaching.

  • Dave Sarafolean

    Amen! A wonderful example of Christ-centered preaching.

  • Joe

    Frank – I am not sure what lines you are reading between but nothing in that sermons puts salvation back onto you or asks you to do anything in return.

    Perhaps something else is eating at you …

    God Bless you

  • Joe

    Frank – I am not sure what lines you are reading between but nothing in that sermons puts salvation back onto you or asks you to do anything in return.

    Perhaps something else is eating at you …

    God Bless you

  • http://theupwardcall.blogspot.com Kim S.

    Beautiful sermon. So very Christ-centred.

  • http://theupwardcall.blogspot.com Kim S.

    Beautiful sermon. So very Christ-centred.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/CharlesLehmann CharlesLehmann

    Dr. Veith,

    You and Jacqui are blessed to have such a fantastic pastor. I, on the other hand, am stuck with myself.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/CharlesLehmann CharlesLehmann

    Dr. Veith,

    You and Jacqui are blessed to have such a fantastic pastor. I, on the other hand, am stuck with myself.

  • Manxman

    Frank, I think I can at least partly understand and sympathize with your struggle to come to terms with who you perceive yourself to be sexually at the core of your being and a world/Church which often refuses, for various reasons – some valid, to accept that form of sexuality and thereby tends to reject you as a person and a Christian. That can be a huge burden for a Christian adult, and as you've pointed out, and even bigger, more painful one for a child who lacks the maturity or understanding or defenses to cope with the situation.

    It's an extreme form of the struggle we all face to bring the twistedness caused by sin in who we are in line with Biblical exhortations to live a life worthy of the blood that redeemed us. The sermon above IS for you, but I can see where trying to integrate your homosexuality with Biblical Christianity would be a hard road to travel.

  • Manxman

    Frank, I think I can at least partly understand and sympathize with your struggle to come to terms with who you perceive yourself to be sexually at the core of your being and a world/Church which often refuses, for various reasons – some valid, to accept that form of sexuality and thereby tends to reject you as a person and a Christian. That can be a huge burden for a Christian adult, and as you've pointed out, and even bigger, more painful one for a child who lacks the maturity or understanding or defenses to cope with the situation.

    It's an extreme form of the struggle we all face to bring the twistedness caused by sin in who we are in line with Biblical exhortations to live a life worthy of the blood that redeemed us. The sermon above IS for you, but I can see where trying to integrate your homosexuality with Biblical Christianity would be a hard road to travel.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephanie111 Stephanie111

    I have one nitpick (occupational hazard) with this line: "For you, the nails are punched through His hands and feet, crushing bone and sending waves of pain through tortured limbs."

    I was under the impression that none of Jesus' bones were broken. Not just that the soldiers didn't break his legs, but none at all were broken. Am I wrong?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephanie111 Stephanie111

    I have one nitpick (occupational hazard) with this line: "For you, the nails are punched through His hands and feet, crushing bone and sending waves of pain through tortured limbs."

    I was under the impression that none of Jesus' bones were broken. Not just that the soldiers didn't break his legs, but none at all were broken. Am I wrong?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/wcwirla wcwirla

    It's always nice to admire another man's craft as a fellow homiletician.

    This rhetorical style is reminiscent of the prose-poetry of the early church fathers. Nice use of staccato repetition, vivid imagery, and bricolage (a favorite of mine). The lengthy reading from Passion Sunday calls for an approach like this, in my opinion. The repeated "for you" reminds us of the Catechism – "The words for you require all hearts to believe." Overall, there is good Law/Gospel balance and nice sacramental connections.

    I don't see anything that singles out any type of sin or group of sinners, nor do I see any conditioning of the "for you" on the hearer bearing the fruit of repentance. In fact, the preacher rigorously avoids the specificity of the Ten Commandments entirely, choosing instead to deal with sin and its consequences.

    Preaching is characterized by "you" language, both in the Law and the Gospel. This sermon certainly accomplishes this.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/wcwirla wcwirla

    It's always nice to admire another man's craft as a fellow homiletician.

    This rhetorical style is reminiscent of the prose-poetry of the early church fathers. Nice use of staccato repetition, vivid imagery, and bricolage (a favorite of mine). The lengthy reading from Passion Sunday calls for an approach like this, in my opinion. The repeated "for you" reminds us of the Catechism – "The words for you require all hearts to believe." Overall, there is good Law/Gospel balance and nice sacramental connections.

    I don't see anything that singles out any type of sin or group of sinners, nor do I see any conditioning of the "for you" on the hearer bearing the fruit of repentance. In fact, the preacher rigorously avoids the specificity of the Ten Commandments entirely, choosing instead to deal with sin and its consequences.

    Preaching is characterized by "you" language, both in the Law and the Gospel. This sermon certainly accomplishes this.

  • Dan Kempin

    It's nice, also, to admire another man's vocabulary. Your own use of "bricolage" had me reaching for my dictionary.

    And I had thought it was a French cheese. . .

  • Dan Kempin

    It's nice, also, to admire another man's vocabulary. Your own use of "bricolage" had me reaching for my dictionary.

    And I had thought it was a French cheese. . .

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    Joe, the sermon a a christ centered truly Lutheran sermon. there is nothing at all wrong with it.

    I get great comfort from such sermons.

    what I am telling you however as to how a young man or woman who is gay and is listening to this sermon is still true Joe.

    What eats at me is knowing that there are prepubescent teens who hear a sermon that is pure gospel , yet are unable to hear that it is for them, because of what they also hear about homosexuality from the church. I am doing everything I can in my small way, to help to equip the church to consider these souls and be equipped to understand them and reach out to them with that gospel in a way that they can hear that it is for them.

    I hope that is clear now for you Joe. thanks!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    Joe, the sermon a a christ centered truly Lutheran sermon. there is nothing at all wrong with it.

    I get great comfort from such sermons.

    what I am telling you however as to how a young man or woman who is gay and is listening to this sermon is still true Joe.

    What eats at me is knowing that there are prepubescent teens who hear a sermon that is pure gospel , yet are unable to hear that it is for them, because of what they also hear about homosexuality from the church. I am doing everything I can in my small way, to help to equip the church to consider these souls and be equipped to understand them and reach out to them with that gospel in a way that they can hear that it is for them.

    I hope that is clear now for you Joe. thanks!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    Manxman . thanks for the kind words. I am so very fine with Jesus. this kind of sermon is a great comfort to me actually. but my point is that many are not able to hear this sermon the way you and I are hearing it.

    that is really my only point.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    Manxman . thanks for the kind words. I am so very fine with Jesus. this kind of sermon is a great comfort to me actually. but my point is that many are not able to hear this sermon the way you and I are hearing it.

    that is really my only point.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    hey wc. I agree that the pastor is not singling out any kind of sin. in fact he is singling out each and every one of us and urging each one of us to believe that it is "for you". it is an excellent example of a Lutheran sermon!

    nevertheless, believe me when I tell you that probably all prepubescent gay and lesbian boys and girls would hear this sermon as pure law. believe it or not. It IS incredible. but true. It could not POSSIBLY include them could it, they believe the bible says that unless they can somehow change, the gospel is not intended for them.

    if you know a young boy or girl who is singlemindedly religious, there is a good chance that that young boy or girl might have a deep secret and believe that if they just try hard enough, maybe God will change them.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    hey wc. I agree that the pastor is not singling out any kind of sin. in fact he is singling out each and every one of us and urging each one of us to believe that it is "for you". it is an excellent example of a Lutheran sermon!

    nevertheless, believe me when I tell you that probably all prepubescent gay and lesbian boys and girls would hear this sermon as pure law. believe it or not. It IS incredible. but true. It could not POSSIBLY include them could it, they believe the bible says that unless they can somehow change, the gospel is not intended for them.

    if you know a young boy or girl who is singlemindedly religious, there is a good chance that that young boy or girl might have a deep secret and believe that if they just try hard enough, maybe God will change them.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Well yeah…that was way back then.

    But now what about me and my efforts?

    Upward and onward!

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Well yeah…that was way back then.

    But now what about me and my efforts?

    Upward and onward!

  • Cincinnatus

    One-track mind?

    /not to be rude
    //just needed to be said
    ///is there a Kinsey in the Church?

  • Cincinnatus

    One-track mind?

    /not to be rude
    //just needed to be said
    ///is there a Kinsey in the Church?

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/cindyramos5 Cindy R.

    Thanks for sharing this, Dr. Veith. Your pastor is a fine preacher.

    I decided to listen to this sermon instead of reading it, not wanting to let my eyes and mind glance too quickly over the repeated but crucial "For you." It was a most reassuring way to spend eleven minutes. "Let us now rejoice and confess: 'Hosanna! Lord, save us.' For He has."

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/cindyramos5 Cindy R.

    Thanks for sharing this, Dr. Veith. Your pastor is a fine preacher.

    I decided to listen to this sermon instead of reading it, not wanting to let my eyes and mind glance too quickly over the repeated but crucial "For you." It was a most reassuring way to spend eleven minutes. "Let us now rejoice and confess: 'Hosanna! Lord, save us.' For He has."

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    when I see a group who cannot hear even this sermon as gospel, a sanctified mind would make one want to struggle to find a way to reach that group. rather than reach for sarcasm.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/fws fws

    when I see a group who cannot hear even this sermon as gospel, a sanctified mind would make one want to struggle to find a way to reach that group. rather than reach for sarcasm.


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