Sermon for 03.13.22 “Crisis averted”

*Sermon for 03.13.22 Text: Jeremiah 26:8-15 Theme: Crisis averted*

*In the Name of the Father…Amen.*

*The Old Testament lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.*

*Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.*

*Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*

*O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy, be gracious to all who have
gone astray from Your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and
steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of Your
Word; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with
You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.*


*60 years ago, on October 16–28, 1962, is probably not known to most people
today as well as it should be. *

*In those thirteen days, a nuclear world war was averted. *

*It is remembered as the Cuban Missile Crisis. *

*The Soviet Union was shipping nuclear missiles to Cuba, only ninety miles
from the US coastline.*

*Soviet ships had every intention of breaching a US naval blockade and
delivering their deadly cargoes. *

*An American reconnaissance plane was shot down over Cuba, and a US
invasion force was ready to strike. *

*The United States Secretary of Defense later said, “I thought it was the
last Saturday I would ever see.” *

*But through intense negotiations between John F. Kennedy and Nikita
Khrushchev—including, history records, some very harsh words—the Soviet
ships turned around. *

*No nuclear missiles landed or launched. *

*No World War III. *

*Crisis averted.*

*In our text today, God’s people are reaching a crisis point for their very
survival as a nation, and God sends the prophet Jeremiah to speak some very
harsh words. *

*The question is, will they heed those words and the crisis be averted?*

*Whether we today know this as well as we should, we also are ever on the
brink of a crisis:*

*one of nuclear proportions, *

*one that also threatens our very survival. *

*And the question is the same as for Jeremiah’s hearers in our text:*

*Will God’s Word Preached to Us Avert the Crisis of Our Eternal Disaster?*

*I. Despising the preaching of God’s Word creates an eternal crisis,
threatening desolation and damnation.*

*A. That was the point God’s people, the kingdom of Judah, had reached,
because they were rejecting the Word of God; they were rejecting Yahweh

1. Jeremiah had just spoken all that the Lord had commanded him to speak
to the people.

2. Through Jeremiah, God was accusing them of going after other gods,
including licentiousness (being wasteful), sexual sins, and evil worship.

3. They were turning their backs on Yahweh, who had redeemed them out of
Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land.

*B. Through Jeremiah, the Great I Am was pronouncing desolation for
Jerusalem and the temple. *

1. “This house,” the temple, “shall be like Shiloh.”

*a. Some 450 years before, Israel had taken the ark of the covenant, the
very presence of God, from its place in Shiloh into battle against the
Philistines and used it as a good-luck charm.*

*b. This was not pleasing to God, so he allowed the ark to be captured
by the Philistines and Shiloh to be destroyed.*

*Because of Judah’s sin and stubborn impenitence, Jeremiah proclaimed that
the temple and Jerusalem would be the same:*

*1. desolate, slain, laid to ruins, dried up, destroyed, taken

*2. This temple had become Judah’s idol! People don’t take too kindly to
their idols being threatened and taken away.*

*3. But God is not to be toyed with; his patience was running out. The
enemies of God were hearing their judgment, and they reacted with hate and

* C. It’s quite a remarkable scene, isn’t it (verses 8–11)? *

*It all happens at once:*

Jeremiah finishes preaching God’s Word;

the corrupt priests and false prophets then lay hold of him and accuse him
and threaten to kill him.

*And like a playground fight about to break out:*

all the people rush to gather around,

the officials hurry to their seats at the place where criminals are judged,

and the priests and prophets demand death for this one who prophesied
against the temple and city they made their god.

*There, before the hostile crowd, Jeremiah tells them that he speaks for
Yahweh, and he calls them to repent of their sins (verses 12–13).*

If they repent, if they turn to the Lord, God will relent of the disaster
he’s pronounced upon them.

But if they refuse . . . (verses 14–15).

*For Judah and Jeremiah, this is the moment of crisis:*

either for peaceful resolution

or for catastrophe.

* D. From the time of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin, the whole world
teeters on the edge of a crisis of nuclear proportions; we are all headed
toward eternal catastrophe in hell. *

*We have not given up our gods. We worship our carnal desires. We put our
trust in things of plastic and glass and steel. We lie and cheat for
temporal things that last such a short time. This is rebellion against God.*

*We have heard the voice of our pastor accuse us of our sins and call us to
repentance, yet we are so turned in on ourselves that we have neither the
desire nor the will to do anything but sin.*

*And as we descend into this journey of Lent and continue to live all the
days of our lives, we know we are in a crisis, we know the wages of sin is
eternal death, we know we have been brought forth in iniquity, and we know
we have sinned and done what is evil in Yahweh’s sight.*

*The crisis is before us! We are lost and condemned creatures. No
negotiations, no “trying to do better” on our part can bring a peaceful

*Ah! But there is one way out of this crisis that threatens our

* II. The living Word made flesh intervenes in the crisis.*

*A. When you heard of Jeremiah being brought before the priests and
prophets and all the people, did this not all sound familiar?*

*1. Could you not see, and could you not hear, the Pharisees and
Sadducees, the scribes and chief priests and all the people scurrying to
their places and bringing Jesus before Pilate and demanding his death?*

*Jesus was speaking all that the Father had commanded him, and the Father
even instructed the people: *

*“This is my Son, whom I love; listen to him.”*

*God had sent many prophets—like Jeremiah and Isaiah and Micah—and they
were murdered. *

*As Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets
and stones those who are sent to it!” (Luke 13:34).*

*God sends many prophets into the vineyard to preach repentance and

*What happens? Each is beaten and killed. *

*Now he sends his Son, God in the flesh.*

* B. This is the only way the crisis of our damnation could be
averted—if God himself were to live the commandments perfectly in our
place, take the punishment of our sins into his own flesh, and shed his
blood in payment for our sin and hell. *

*It is God’s love for us that averts this crisis, “For God so loved the
world, that he gave his only Son. . . . For God did not send his Son into
the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved
through him” (John 3:16–17).*

*The Lord relents of this epic crisis by shedding his innocent blood for
you and me.*

a. On the cross, Jesus gathers his wayward children as a hen gathers her
brood under her wings.

b. On the cross, Jesus dies desolate, as the Father forsakes him in our
place and claims us as his own.

c. On the cross, Jesus gifts us with our citizenship in heaven, even as
we now await his blessed return to take us to heaven forever.

d. On the cross, Jesus declares, “It is finished!” The debt is paid;
your sins are forgiven. The crisis is averted!

*III. For us, then, the crisis is averted when we believe the preached
Word that calls us to repentance and delivers to us the living Word.*

*A. It turned out, in the verses immediately after our text, cooler
heads prevailed; Jeremiah wasn’t killed. But twenty-two years later, Judah
was dragged off into captivity in Babylon.*

*The temple was razed; *

Jerusalem was destroyed

just as Jeremiah had warned.

*2. The people had never really taken God’s Word to heart.*

*B. Paul wrote to the Philippians in our Epistle, “Therefore, my
brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in
the Lord, my beloved” (Philippians 4:1). *

*“Stand firm.” *

This means we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the founder and perfecter of
our faith.

*This means we cling to him throughout this desolate journey of life:*

whether we’re in sadness or joy,

whether we’re prosperous or poor,

whether we’re living in the joy of life

or suffering ills and persecution.

*Jesus is our joy and treasure. *

He is the one thing needful.

He is our life and our salvation!

* C. And we hear the voice of his prophets today, as pastors preach
God’s Word to us.*

1. *When we are convicted of our sins, we repent.*

*Our entire life is a life of repentance as the redeemed children of God: *

The old Adam in us is by daily contrition and repentance drowned and dies
with all sins and evil desires,

and a new man daily emerges and arises to live before God in righteousness
and purity forever.

*This is who we are as children for whom the crisis of damnation is

children of faith and repentance and love toward God and our neighbor.


*In 2017, Adidas, a German company that designs shoes, sportswear, and
accessories, sent a promotional email to the Boston Marathon participants. *

*It read, “Congrats, you survived the Boston Marathon!” *

*Adidas could have had a great crisis on their hands, not thinking of the
2013 Boston Marathon bombings. *

*Fortunately, the spokeswoman for Adidas, Maria Culp—yes, her real name—was
quick and clever enough to go on the offensive, accepting responsibility
for the faux pas and issuing a mea culpa, that is, an acknowledgment of the
error that was made: *

*“We are incredibly sorry. There was no thought given to the insensitive
email we sent Tuesday. We deeply apologize for our mistake.” *

*The apology was well received. *

*Besides chuckling at the ironic humor of her name, Maria’s audience took
her apology as heartfelt, straightforward, and, most important, immediate. *

*For Adidas, this was a public-relations (and sales!) crisis averted! *

*For us, an eternal crisis is averted when the Lord sends us his Word that
brings us to repentance (Jeremiah 26:8–15).*

*History bears out many crises that have been averted and thousands of
lives saved. *

*But there is none like the crisis of sin and death by which Jesus’ death
and resurrection, and this alone averted a crisis of such epic proportions,
a crisis for your soul and mine. *

*We often feel that crisis now, but the final resolution will come on the
Last Day when Christ will transform our lowly bodies to be like his
glorious body.*

*Crisis averted! Amen.*

Let us pray:

*Jesus, may our hearts be burning *

*With more fervent love for You;*

*May our eyes be ever turning *

*To behold Your cross anew*

*Till in glory, parted never *

*From the blessèd Savior’s side,*

*Graven in our hearts forever, *

*Dwell the cross, the Crucified.*

Text (LSB 423:3): Public domain

*The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.*

*In the Name of the Father…Amen.*