Lectionary Year B
April 13, 2003

John 12:12-16
Contemporary Address

Step VI - Contemporary Address

A. Goals
(JFC) This sermon might try to address peoples' questions, re: Jesus' need to die.

B. Describing the Audience
(JFC) Any congregation wanting and/or needing a fuller portrayal of Jesus' death's necessity might benefit from this text's exposition.
C. Address

(JFC) A sermon, entitled for this working draft, "Why Jesus Came to Die"

This week we recall Jesus' passion, trial, suffering and death. It's a tough week for us as it was for Him long ago - for us, recall. He struggled through that week for us.

I. Jesus Came To Jerusalem
A. A dangerous place to go with a price on your head as His disciples had warned Him. How 'bout comparing the dangers of our and the others' troops going to war in Iraq? Is Christ there? Yes, so help me, He is, yet, recall He calls us to make peace not war.

B. Yet, that's where the people were, the hoi polloi, the ordinary, run-of-the-mill folks like you and me. Even the recruits, the volunteers, the drafted? Yes, with them, also.

I. Jesus Came Riding on a Donkey
A. The Jews had expected a royally supreme, even nationalistic, monarch. He had to paint all the lines in the correct portrait. He is Savior of all people, especially in John's Gospel, the lame and the outcast (see Zephaniah 3:19 and John 11 and 12).

B. Again, normal, average, commonplace, like we are and can be pleased to be so. We are more like God makes and enables us to be when we make peace and not war.

III. Jesus Came to Dispel Fear
A. Fear can be debilitating. He comes to enable us rather than to debilitate us. His self-giving love enables, inspires, informs us how to love rather than to fear or to fight.

B. "Love casts out fear", remember. Christ came to make peace rather than to make war. He did it peacefully and composedly and without hostility. He did it by Self-giving.

If He hadn't done it, for us, we might have to do it for ourselves, and all the way through life, this earthly life and eternal life as well. Whoa, Jesus, thanks, awfully.

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