Epiphany: “You Are Not Alone”
January 12, 2020 – Romans 6
Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Have you ever had a car break down in the middle of winter? If you have, is it better to have it breakdown on the side of the highway or on some abandoned road in the bush? Is it better to be alone with a broken car or to have people going past you who can help or at least somebody else with you?
Ever climbed up onto your roof with a ladder to, say take down the Christmas lights, and had the ladder fall down on you leaving you stranded? In this situation, is it better to be alone yelling out for help or to have somebody with you?
Have you ever started heating up a pot of soup for lunch, been so busy you forget you turned it on, and then started taking a shower? When the burning smell finally wafts over to you, is it better to be alone or to have somebody with you?
When someone you love has just died… is it better to be painfully alone, or have a shoulder to cry on?
When someone keeps quietly abusing you, (physically or mentally), even after you have confronted them about it and asked them to stop, is it better to be alone or have somebody to be with you to stand up for you?
Do you have any kind of trouble right now?
Are you living in constant physical pain?
Is your family falling apart?
Have you lost a friend?
Have you been hurt recently by what someone has said or done?
Are you worried you’re not doing enough? Do you KNOW you’re not doing enough at work, home, church, or school?
Are you worried you are going to Hell because of what you are doing or are not able to do?
How alone are you with these struggles?
Story of a Boy
A boy, Dave, was once on a vacation with his family. The boy and his brothers were jumping off of a dock into a lake. At one point, his youngest brother jumped in.. but didn’t come back up. He was stuck in the water unable to surface because he had gone under the dock. Dave did not know his brother was stuck under the dock, all he knew was that his brother was under water and in danger of drowning.
This moment as he stood there on the dock was a moment he would remember for the rest of his life. He felt sheer terror at the prospect of his baby brother dying and at that same moment felt the power of love which compelled him to jump. After he jumped in the water he soon found his little brother’s leg kicking alone in the dark and pulled him back up to the surface.
Jesus’ Baptism by John in the Jordan river was a little different than our own baptisms’ into God’s Name. John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance and not a means of God’s forgiveness. Those baptized by John were later baptized by Paul into the Triune name of God as Jesus commanded.
Jesus did not need to be baptized. He had nothing to repent of. He was perfect. So why did He come to be baptized? What was going on there?
Just like the boy Dave on the Dock, moved by sheer terror and love about the condition of his younger brother, Jesus jumped into the waters of our sin. Jesus jumped into the troubles that we are drowning in to be with us in them and to rescue us out of them.
Jesus baptism was Him, in terror over your impending demise and immeasurable love for you, jumping into your pain, your troubles, your loneliness.
He bound Himself to sinners in His baptism and in our own baptism promises us to never leave us or forsake us. To be with us in our troubles of this world – and to save us from them.
Jesus is like the man who stops when we are stranded and alone on the side of the road and gives us a lift. He is like the neighbor who comes and sets our ladder back up for us. He is like the spouse who runs to turn off the stove and move the pot while we are in the shower.
Jesus is our shoulder to cry on, our defender, he makes what we do enough, He alone, not us, rescues us from the Hell we deserve.
He alone is bringing in a new thing. A life with no physical pain, family that are rock solid, friends that are forever faithful, perfect love that always helps in what is said and done.
Who is He?
Who is this Jesus? He is God Himself.
Jesus is the only god who actually came to earth and did something for us. He is also the only God who has promised to come again and bring life to the dead. The great epiphany is the revealing that this man Jesus, who was born in a manger, IS the God who has come to be with us now and will rescue us from evil.
When you confront the evil in this world – the evil inside you and out there – you are not alone.
Jesus is with you in the Christian’s around you who stop to help you and give their shoulder to cry on, in the Bible where He speaks to you, in the Holy Spirit Who works in you, and in the Supper where He feeds you with His actual body and blood where you encounter His holiness and forgiveness.
You Are Not Alone. God is with you.
Thanks be to God.