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“The Miracles of Lent: Good Friday”
Romans 5:6-8


Pastor Kevin Vogts
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Dakota Dunes, South Dakota
Good Friday—April 6, 2012

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen. 

During this Lenten season we have been considering “The Miracles of Lent”: the three hours of darkness that enshrouded the earth as Christ hung upon the cross; the temple curtain torn in two from top to bottom at the moment he died; the earthquake that shook the holy land following his death. This evening for our final message in this sermon series we are considering the miracle of Good Friday.

The dictionary defines a miracle as “a remarkable event that contradicts known laws and accepted principles.”   St. Paul explains the miracle of Good Friday in Romans: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Christ’s death for us on the cross is the greatest of all miracles because it completely contradicts known laws and accepted principles:  “There’s no free lunch”; “You get what you pay for”; “You can’t get something for nothing.” 

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Christ’s death for us on the cross completely contradicts known laws and accepted principles.  Perhaps it would make sense for him to give up his life on behalf of those who from our perspective have earned it or deserved it.  But, Paul also tells us in Romans what all of us would receive if God gave us what we actually deserve: “For the wages of sin is death.”  That is what we all have earned on account of our sins, eternal death and damnation in hell. 

“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.”  Christ’s death for us on the cross completely contradicts known laws and accepted principles because he gave up his life not for those who have earned or deserved it.  “But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

That is the greatest miracle not only of Lent but of all history: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  St. Peter says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross.”  The miracle of Good Friday is that God’s own Son himself suffered for us the punishment of death and damnation that we deserved.  As Peter also says, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

Christ’s death for us on the cross is the greatest of all miracles because it completely contradicts known laws and accepted principles: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

According to known laws and accepted principles, you should get from God only what you deserve.  But, God’s own Son took upon himself what he did not deserve, the punishment for our sins.  And, by his suffering and death on the cross, he earned for you as a free gift what you do not deserve: your sins are all forgiven, and you will have eternal life with God in heaven. This miracle of Good Friday is beautifully expressed in Hebrews: “He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. . .  we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Amen.

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