Posts Tagged ‘Passover’

Sermon 09-01-19: “Q&A: Why Were You Looking for Me?”

September 4, 2019

Sermon Text: Luke 2:41-52

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Like most pastors, by noon on Sundays I am not at my most clear-headed. Because I’m emotionally spent after I preach. I have a hard time focusing. The greeting line after the service, for example, is the worst time to talk to me about some urgent church matter or to remind me of some upcoming event that you want me to remember. I say this, not so you’ll feel sorry for me, but as a way of apologizing for or justifying or at least explaining the following incident that happened several years ago. 

You see, nearly every Sunday for fifteen years of pastoral ministry my family and I have gone out to eat at a Mexican restaurant after church. And on this particular Sunday, my family was going to get a head start, and I was going to meet them there. At least that’s what I thought. When I showed up at the restaurant, Lisa, Elisa, and Townshend greeted me and asked, “Where’s Ian?” Because it turns out that Ian was supposed to be coming to the restaurant with me… Lisa told me after church to wait for him. But, believe it or not, I don’t always pay strict attention to what my wife says, especially after church on Sunday. So Ian, who was young at the time, was ten minutes away from us—ten anxious minutes—because I left him at church.

Well, in a way this gives you at least a small inkling of what happened to Mary and Joseph in today’s scripture. It’s hard for us modern people—in this age of smartphones—to imagine losing track of our 12-year-old boy for ten minutes, much less ten hours or however much time had passed before Joseph and Mary realized that Jesus was not with them. But things were different back then.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 03-22-15: “King, Crown & Cross, Part 5: Passover Lamb”

March 31, 2015


During his Last Supper, Jesus used the Passover to help communicate the meaning of his death. Apart from Christ’s atoning death, all of us sinners deserve the deadly judgment that came upon the Egyptians—and worse, hell itself. The good news is that God sent his very self—Jesus, God the Son—to be our substitutionary sacrifice—our Passover lamb.

Sermon Text: Mark 14:22-31

[If you want to listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3.]

The following is my original sermon manuscript with footnotes.

I was at home last Thursday afternoon when my son Townshend rushed in to tell me that Georgia State was making a game of it against the heavily favored Baylor in the opening round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. How is that possible? A 14-seed versus a three-seed? As you probably heard, Georgia State won the game. They were down by two with seconds left, when R.J. Hunter sank a very long three-pointer to put GSU over the top. A big upset! And the upsets continue. Yesterday, I saw the eight-seed N.C. State defeat number-one seed Villanova.


And this is why we love March Madness—because unexpected, even shocking victories can take place.

In today’s scripture, on this night of Jesus’ arrest by the temple guard, hours before he’s handed over to the Romans for his trial, his beating, his scourging, his mocking, followed by his crucifixion, Jesus is working on the biggest upset victory in history—a victory no one would have predicted. Everyone, including his closest friends and disciples, were caught off guard—first by Good Friday and then, especially, by Easter Sunday.

And in today’s scripture they were caught off guard—shocked, even—by Jesus’ words during this Passover meal, when he held up the bread and said, “This is my body.” And when he held up the wine and said, “This is my blood.” Read the rest of this entry »