Is it I?
Matthew 26:22 2nd Midweek Lent Vespers - March 12, 2014

“And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto Him, Lord, is it I?”

Dear children of God, once again tonight we focus on the one man who bore the sins of many. The one who died for all. Later the High Priest would unknowingly preach this comfort of the Gospel, saying, “It is expedient, necessary, for one man to die for the people.”

Children of God, that’s your comfort, your assurance, that you never have to question whether or not salvation is meant for you. Even if you were the only person in the entire world, God would have still sent His Son for you, to die for you in order to take your sins away, and to rise again the third day, that you too might rise.

Today, Jesus lives to give you that assurance in the forgiveness of your sin, and He continues to seal it to you in the Holy Supper. Take eat, take drink, this is My body, this is My blood, given and shed for you for the remission of all your sins.

What’s so unfortunate is that much of the world couldn’t care less about sin, or the forgiveness of it. One of today’s biggest problems, by far, is the lack of seriousness toward sin. Much of it is defined away. Sin is no longer called sin – it’s referred to as different lifestyle choices.

Yet, even when we know in our heart of hearts, that we have gone wrong, how easy it is to brush it aside, and say, “Yes, but I’ll deal with that later.” Or, “Come on, it’s not that big of a deal, what I did, is it? So I told a little white lie here or there, or didn’t give it my all at work, or at home. Not that big of a deal, is it?”

Yet, can’t we hear ourselves in the words of the disciples, “Lord, is it I?”

Well it was Judas who betrayed. It was Peter who denied. It was the false witnesses who lied. It was the High Priest who condemned. It was the crowd that shouted, “Crucify Him.” It was the soldiers who spit and whipped. It was Pilate who crucified.

Can we honestly say, that had we been there, that we wouldn’t have gone along with the crowd, that shouted? Or, that if we were part of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jews, we wouldn’t have gone along with the guilty verdict? Or that if we were one of the disciples, we wouldn’t have also forsook Jesus and fled, like they all did?

And just imagine, what if just one of those people, stood up, and said, “No. This is wrong. Jesus is innocent, and I’m not giving up until He is declared to be.” But not a single soul did.

And here we are, today. How natural it is to say, “They did it. Not me.” Yet, in our conscience, that question still lingers, “Lord, is it I?”

Scripture gives a very clear answer to that question, and may God by His grace and Spirit, enable us to receive it: “The Lord hath laid on Him, the iniquity of us all.”

We’ve been given the opportunity to think long and hard about it. Lord, it is me.

The world thinks sin is no big deal. Yet, Jesus went to the cross for every last one. And before He even got to the cross, Scripture says, “He kneeled down, and fell on the ground, on His face, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.” Maybe the next time we contemplate going forward with any sin, we could also contemplate what Jesus went through for us all.

The cost to take away our sin, was high, very high – no less than the life of God’s only-begotten Son.

Yet this is also our greatest comfort. There’s no question about your forgiveness and salvation. There isn’t a single soul for which Jesus did not die and rise again. That must mean He did it for you and me.

It is in our very nature to doubt God’s Word, and that’s why Jesus gives us a special meal to continue to assure us He has done it all, and that salvation does belong to us. He gives us His very own body and blood, as He says, given and shed for you for the remission of sins.

Whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.

He went to the cross, He suffered, He died, not so that we could say, “Oh well” regarding our sin, but so that He could take it all away, and so that we might die to sin, turn from it, by remaining in His Word, by recalling our Baptism, by partaking of the Lords’ Supper, and by calling on His name when we do face temptation. He promises He will deliver us. He always has, and He always will.

Sin is never to be taken lightly. Jesus went to the cross for it, but now He lives to never die again. He lives to intercede for us, Scripture says His is our advocate. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

May we continue to be comforted and strengthened then by His Word, and Sacraments. In Jesus name, the one sacrifice for all sin. Amen.