Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sermon for 7 April 2013, Second Sunday of Easter C

The Rev. Paul J Cain, Jr.
Acts 5:12, 17-32
God Rather than Men
Second Sunday of Easter, 07 April 2013
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
About the Cover: Just as the grave was no barrier to our Lord’s resurrection, so the bars of a prison cell were no barrier to the messengers of His victory. The high priest and company locked up the apostles in a vain attempt to stop the spread of the Good News. The Lord’s angel opened the doors and sent them out to continue announcing “to the people all the words of this Life” (Acts 5:20).
On this Second Sunday of Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus from death is fresh in our minds. We continue to rejoice and sing and give thanks to God for His unconditional love through the supreme sacrifice of His Son for our sins. The sermon text shows us that the Easter season is about setting priorities, holding on to that which is of first importance, according to last week’s Epistle, 1 Corinthians 15.
Acts 5:29 says it this way: "We must obey God rather than men.” Peter and the other apostles expressed their faith even under threatening circumstances as they appeared before the Sanhedrin, the same body that condemned Jesus, the full assembly of the elders of Israel. The apostles witnessed to these high officials that Christ died so that we could live eternally with Him.
As witnesses to the truth, we also are entrusted with the Gospel message. The proclamation of that message is the work of the church and her people. Through good stewardship of the gifts the Lord gives, personally and to the church, the Gospel message is proclaimed:  “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico.
The book of Acts is wonderful reading for the Easter season. Read the whole book for yourself at home as a short story. The Lord’s work doesn’t end with His crucifixion, death, Resurrection, or even Ascension! These uneducated fishermen, etc. have undergone a remarkable change. They were hiding behind closed doors no longer. They were in and near the temple preaching Jesus and healing in His name.

But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison.
Arrested! It wasn’t the first time. After Peter and John healed a lame beggar in chapter 3, they faced the Sanhedrin for the first time in chapter 4. Peter preached Christ to them: “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Jesus’ Resurrection made all the difference! No longer did they fear the Jewish leaders. They were unafraid of arrest. They were warned not to preach in Jesus’ name. They answered, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge.” Later our text from chapter 5 continues this very conversation. They continued preaching. That led to the second arrest you already heard about.

But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But. You knew the “but” was coming! But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, "Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life." And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.
Nothing can hinder the proclamation of the word of God, not human law, persecution, or threatened execution. Persecution to the point of death still exists today.

Aberra Wata worked with Christian youth in the southern part of Ethiopia during the time of Communist rule (1974-1991). He reported the following story [a] to fellow missionary (John Cumbers):
Word came from the commandant that the Party leaders had studied my report about the work among the Christian young people. The authorities decided I had to be executed because of my "treasonous" words.
"The only way you can overturn this sentence," said the commandant, "is for you to deny that you are one of the believers."
What could I say? I told the commandant, "If they execute me, I will be immediately with the Lord."
The commandant replied, "That's what I expected you to say."
As I awaited execution in prison, my Savior gave me songs to sing I had never heard before. He turned me into a composer. [My fellow prisoners and I] reveled in the joys of praise to our God. The guards kept trying to silence us, but with the threat of execution hanging over us, why should we keep quiet? Seven men [believed] Christ in that prison, and we all sang together.
One particular guard took delight in mocking us, yelling at us, and insulting us. He would put filthy words to the tunes we sang. One night he patted his revolver and promised, "Tomorrow morning at this time you won't be in the land of the living."
Just after midnight that evening a tremendous storm burst on the town and the prison. Huge hailstones fell, wrecking several roofs, including the one where the insulting guard was sleeping. He became terrified, pulled out his revolver, and shot at random into the darkness, using up all the bullets he had promised would finish us off the next day.
One by one the roofs were taken off the commandant's house and the offices of the chief judge, the administrator, and his deputy. The prisoners in cells three, four, and five got a soaking from the rain too. We were in cell one and were kept dry. There were a lot of wet and unhappy people in Yavello that night.
At nine o'clock the next morning, while expecting the cruel guard to fulfill his promise to shoot us, we observed a remarkable sight. That same guard was pushed into our cell, without his uniform, by the commandant, who was whipping him with his belt. Other people in the background were yelling, "We told this man to leave the believers alone, but he refused, and so God has sent this terrible punishment on the town and prison. He deserves to be given some of his own medicine."
After some time the guard was released and given back his uniform. He told us, "I know that the Lord was with you. I know the way I should have treated you, but Satan persuaded me otherwise. Please forgive me." We did, and several more men [believed] in Christ in the prison.

When we left the apostles, they had been released from prison by an angel of the Lord so that they may teach again at the temple.
Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council and all the senate of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, "We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside." Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. And someone came and told them, "Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people." Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
“The people.” “The chief priests.” Have you noticed a difference here? Both are Jews. Both had very different reactions to Jesus. The people greeted the Lord on Palm Sunday. They were thrilled at the cleansing of the temple-lower prices for them. The chief priests, the leadership of the Jews, sought to get rid of Jesus, but didn’t want to do it during the Passover celebration because of His popularity. Because of Judas and the dark of night, they had motive, means, and opportunity.
The illegal night trial and early morning “official” judgment allowed them to bring Jesus before Pilate at 6 a.m. The people that called to Jesus, “Hosanna. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel” wouldn’t have known about the late night arrest, trial, and execution sentence. It was the leaders, not the whole people who called for Jesus’ blood to be on them and on their children. The people were unaware. When they did learn what was going on, it was too late. They could only line the street of Jesus journey to the cross and weep.
The people were receptive to the message of Jesus. Who else could be part of the 3,000 baptized on Pentecost? The leaders still feared the people. Peter and the apostles were popular. The leaders feared that the people would stone them if they took action against the apostles. Explaining this simple contrast between the leaders and the people among the Jews would do much to end the cries of “anti-Semitism” that have recently been in the news.

And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, "We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
We also must obey God rather than men. We ought to examine the First and Fourth Commandments.
You shall have no other gods. What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. A god is that to which we look for all good things. With that Lutheran definition, we can see many today with gods of sex, money, power, fame, and possessions, and some with literal false gods like the world religions of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. and American born cults, too. You shall have no other gods before my face—in my face. No mixing. No buffet-style religion with a little from this and a little from that. Don’t fold, roll, spindle, or otherwise mutilate how the Lord has revealed Himself in His word.
Honor your father and your mother. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not anger our parents and other authorities, but honor them, serve and obey them, love and cherish them. Romans 13 speaks about the divinely ordained duties of governments and citizens. We are to render unto Caesar except when we are commanded to break God’s law. When is that? It could be today. It could be tomorrow. How much has the culture and country around you changed since you were your childrens’ age? How much has it changed since you were the age of your grandchildren? Christians need to be in the Word and keep up with current events to know that! Christian citizenship carries responsibility. Ultimately, we return to Acts 5:29: We must obey God rather than men!

By faith, you confess the Resurrection of Christ. The Holy Spirit within your hearts has called, gathered, and enlightened you, and as you continue to be in the Word and receive His gifts, He keeps you in the holy Christian faith. You may not face persecution and arrest here yet, your faith and values are under attack. You have many opportunities to witness to Christ, killed by hanging on a tree, raised from the dead, and exalted to God’s right hand so that He might give you repentance and forgiveness of sins!

Alleluia! He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.

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

Sermon for 31 March 2013, The Resurrection of Our Lord, Easter Day C

Rev. Paul J Cain
Luke 24:1-12
Remembered. Told. Believed?
The Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day, March 2013
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
About the Cover: The grave is an odd place to look for God. But that’s where the body of Jesus was left, so that’s where the women went with their spices at early dawn. At His empty tomb, they met angels announcing that the Risen One could not be found among the dead. He had risen, as He said. Remembering His words, the women became the first witnesses of His resurrection. Christ is risen! Alleluia!
“They” in our text means “the women who had come with Jesus from Galilee,” according to the previous chapter of Luke.
24 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.
They remembered the words of the angel. They were faithful and told them to the eleven and all the rest. Were they believed? No, they were not. They doubted. Peter ran to the tomb as John also taught us this morning. He believed that the tomb was empty. Did he believe the resurrection yet?
Doubt in the Resurrection is as old as the Resurrection of our Lord. We may bemoan the annual attacks on Christmas or Easter, but do we do anything about them? For all of its storytelling and cinematic strengths, the new TV Bible miniseries ignores the primary sin of the city of Sodom, puts words in Jesus’ mouth He did not speak, and does not have Him say, “No one comes to the Father but by Me.” Watch with caution, thanking the Lord for an opportunity for more people to be exposed to the Bible. I pray the Lord will gather those viewers to Himself at congregations like this where they can hear the whole Word of God in context, with Law and Gospel properly distinguished, and tied to the life-giving Sacraments of Jesus. Nothing can compare to the actual Biblical text. How many times have you said, “I saw the movie, but the book was better!”
When we as Christians give an inaccurate or incomplete witness, we only have ourselves to blame. When Scripture shares God’s Truth, faith says, “Amen.” We can show love and concern for one another by gently correcting untruth. Parents and pastors do it all the time. Life flows from doctrine. As we believe, so we live. When our life of thought, words, and deeds departs from the Word, I pray we love one another enough to care to act, not out of spite, superiority, or hypocrisy, but out of a loving motivation and in a loving way.
Doubt of God’s Word has led to change outside the Church. Christians today are upset at the amazing changes in American culture, unthinkable just a generation ago. Attacks on marriage and our fundamental freedoms under the Constitution’s Bill of Rights may be backdoor ways to infringe on our free exercise of religion. “You shall have no other gods,” the Lord declares. We should give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. We should fear and love God so that we may not despise or anger our parents and other authorities, but give them honor, serve them, obey them, and hold them in love and esteem. At the same time, we recognize that “We must obey God rather than men,” when we are confronted with a choice. Government may allow what God does not. Government may also forbid what God commands. Just ask the persecuted Christians under Rome. Jesus gave us no promise that his disciples would be popular. We are not responsible for the results of our faithful witness. We are simply given to be faithful and bold.
Stanza 2 of a thousand year old Easter song (LSB 460) tells the story of the Gospel text:

[“Speak, Mary, declaring/ What you saw when wayfaring.” And what did she see? What did Mary declare? “The tomb of Christ, who is living, The glory of Jesus’ resurrection; Bright angels attesting, The shroud and napkin resting. My Lord, my hope, is arisen; To Galilee He goes before you.”]
That is our message of Easter joy. Our enduring Easter hope is the Resurrection of Jesus applied to every one of us: In this Christian Church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise up me and all the dead and will give eternal life to me and to all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true. Amen.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Sermon for 31 March 2013, The Resurrection of Our Lord, Easter Dawn C

Rev. Paul J Cain
John 20:1-18
Running to the Tomb
The Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Dawn, March 2013
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

[1 Christians, to the Paschal Victim/ Offer your thankful praises! The Lamb the sheep has ransomed: Christ, who only is sinless, Reconciling sinners to the Father. Death and life have contended/ In that combat stupendous: The Prince of life, who died, Reigns immortal.]
What strange battle it is for the Christ of God to defeat death by dying, reconciling sinners to the Father, ransoming us sinful, straying sheep. Easter means that. The death of Christ gives life. The Resurrection means that the dead Son of God now reigns immortal. As I have taught this ancient song, (called a sequence) to both choirs of adults and to children, I have been struck by the lack of a verb in the first line, “Christians, to the Paschal Victim…” Because of the differences between Latin and English, translations do not always fully communicate the nuances of the original.
Should Christians pray to the Passover Victim? Yes. Should Christians sing to the crucified Christ? Yes. Should we run to bear witness about the crucified and risen Lord? Yes! Should we, as Christians, offer thankful praises to Christ Jesus, the Paschal Victim? Indeed. And that is the clearest meaning of the Latin text in English. Should we come running to Jesus to receive the gifts His Resurrection brings us? Certainly. And so will the disciples once they hear the news from Mary Magdalene, although they were running out of disbelief instead of faith.
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
They did not yet understand. They had been told the truth, that Jesus rose from the dead, but they did not yet have faith. Mary knew of the empty tomb and ran to tell the disciples. They ran back to the empty tomb. The disciples saw and believed only that the tomb was empty. And they went home. Mary didn’t.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
Mary was weeping out of grief, confusion, and does not yet know all that was in store for her. After Jesus’ appearance to her, she announces the Resurrection to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and not merely the truth of an empty tomb.
Easter Sunday is more than a day to dress up in our Sunday finest, have a special meal, and celebrate an empty tomb. We rejoice in a risen Lord. We rejoice in a Risen Lord who will raise us from the dead on the Last Day. We celebrate a life-giving Lord that delivers new lives, new hope, forgiveness of sins, a fresh start, lives with meaning because of Jesus’ sacrificial death and victorious resurrection.
About the Cover: The Lord is Risen indeed. He is Jesus, our Savior and King! He walked the earth [and knows] what it’s like to be human. He suffered the pain of death on a cross to set us free. He rose from death to bring us everlasting life. He gave us the Holy Spirit so we would never walk alone.
Each Sunday is another opportunity to receive Christ’s Easter gifts. We Christians worship on Sunday not because it is a day of obligation, like a New Testament version of the Jewish Sabbath, but because it is the first day of the week, the day of the Resurrection of Our Lord. Sunday is also the day the Lord began Creation. And we remember the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on a Sunday, the first Christian Pentecost. The Lord has good gifts for you in Christ Jesus at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Alleluia! Amen.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Sermon for 29 March 2013, Good Friday

The Rev. Paul J Cain, Jr.
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
A Great High Priest FOR YOU
Good Friday, 29 March 2013
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Quoted and adapted from LSB Altar Book: Good Friday is not observed as a funeral for Christ. It is a day for repentance over sin and restrained joy and praise for the redemption Christ accomplished for us on the cross. In keeping with this character, music is kept to a minimum, though not silenced. Tonight’s service contains a number of ancient elements, particularly the full reading of the Passion according to St. John, the Bidding Prayer, the cross procession and the reproaches, and the Responsory. It is a continuation of the service begun last night, and will conclude Sunday morning.
Jesus’ threefold office was that of prophet, priest, and king. We are quite familiar with His teaching, Jesus as prophet. On a crucifix we can see Him enthroned as Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. The witness to the Hebrews speaks of Jesus as our great High Priest—Your great High Priest. A great High Priest for you—the royal priesthood of all the baptized.
Annas and Caiaphas—these names we know. These men were High Priests of the Jews. Several of Annas’ sons became High Priest. Caiaphas married a daughter of Annas. These men conspired with Judas. Along with the Sanhedrin, they condemned Jesus and led Him to Pilate. These leaders went after the disciples. They martyred Stephen and James the brother of John.
Jesus is a very different High Priest. He has passed through the heavens! He came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary and was made man. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. He is what He claimed to be, the Son of God, the very thing for which the Chief Priests, elders, and teachers of the law condemned Him. It’s not blasphemy if it is a true confession!
Therefore, let us hold fast to our confession. Let us continue to confess one Lord Jesus Christ, crucified for us under Pontius Pilate. Let our confession of faith remain clear and strong in our hearts, minds, and on our lips. No wonder Dr. Luther recommended confessing the Apostles’ Creed at least twice a day, in the morning when you get up, and in the evening when you go to bed. Not only does the day start out properly, but comforted by Christ, we can go to sleep at once in good cheer and in peace.
Why do we have such confidence? We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Jesus was incarnate. He was made man. He suffered. He knows what it is like to live and work among sinful human beings. He knows what it is like to grow up in a sinful world, encounter stress, trouble, temptation, disease, tragedy, and death.
Jesus is the only one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Christ was sinless, the spotless, unblemished, whiter-than-snow-wool Lamb of God. In Old Testament times, an animal with any kind of imperfection would be an unacceptable offering. So too, with the once-for-all sacrifice for sin, Jesus. Only a male, sinless lamb would be an acceptable sacrifice of atonement, propitiation for our sins!
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Pray in full faith, confident that your Father in heaven hears you. Pray persistently, knowing that He loves you and cares for you. Pray in harmony with His revealed will in His Word. Pray that His will would be done, and that your will would be brought into conformity with His. Pray confidently in the name of Jesus, your mediator and High Priest.

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Jesus prayed regularly in the gospel accounts, going off to a solitary place. He prayed in Gethsemane, knowing that it would only be a matter of time before Judas came with the soldiers. Jesus prayed upon the cross, “Father, forgive them…” And the Father heard Him and forgives us.
Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. I’m not here to tell you that suffering is fun. I can’t pretend that suffering is pleasant. It’s called suffering after all! It hurts!
It hurts to see someone else suffering, but Jesus’ suffering has purpose! It is far from meaningless pain. Jesus’ Passion—His suffering, crucifixion, and death, had the purpose of atoning for your sin. It is not simply unjust punishment given to an innocent Jewish Rabbi. The Father sent Him. The Son willingly went to the cross. There forgiveness was won. Here, today, the Spirit delivers the benefit to you and all who believe.
Yet, you suffer, too. Know that you are not alone. In our times of trial, it is easy to fall prey to the temptation to despair. Hymns provide hope and comfort in such a time. “Be Still, My Soul” may not be a typical Lenten or Good Friday hymn, but consider the text: “Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to your God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly Friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.” (LSB 752:1) We can imagine praying beside our Lord in the Garden, preparing for the cross to come. He is with us!
Christ is with you every step of your journey, when you pick up your cross to follow Him. We cannot choose our crosses, how we suffer for the faith in this world. As another hymn (LW version of LSB 756) says, “You designed the cross you gave me; Thus You know All my woe And how best to save me.” Faith sees through the gloom to the Lord’s defending hand and the noble graces our Lord shares with His heirs in the heavenly places.
And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him…Christ was perfectly sinless. Having accomplished all that His Father had given Him to do, He ascended into heaven and will come again with glory to judge both the living and the dead. His kingdom will have no end.
And (LSB 555) so we sing: “Salvation unto us has come By God’s free grace and favor;…Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone, Who did for all the world atone…” Christ is the source of eternal salvation—by grace alone, through faith alone, in Him alone, as recorded in the Old and New Testaments alone.
And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek. Jesus was descended from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and David. Being from the tribe of Judah, He was not  also from the tribe of Levi—the priestly tribe. So God designated Him a priest of a higher order, that of Melchizedek, the priest to whom Abraham gave a tithe.
Jesus is our priest forever. You have no need for any other high priest, or any other so-called Aaronic or Melchizedek priest! Jesus did not have to offer sacrifices for His own sin, since He was sinless. He enters the most holy place in heaven and intercedes for you directly with the Father. His Good Friday sacrifice was good enough once for all to forgive all your sins. Jesus is your great High Priest. “Offered was He for greatest and for least, Himself the victim and Himself the priest” (LSB 637). Amen.
In the Name of Jesus. Amen.