A Sermon by
Dr. Walter A. Maier

 "The chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witnesses against Jesus, to put Him to death; but found none. . . . At last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three days. . . . But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest answered and said unto Him, I adjure Thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said. . . . Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy. . . . What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then they did spit in His face, and buffeted Him; and others smote Him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, Thou Christ, Who is he that smote Thee?" Saint Matthew 26:59-68

Jesus, merciful Savior of our souls:  The days of Thy pain and persecution are past. Thine is now the eternal exaltation to glory and victory. Not Thou, O Son of God, but we are on trial for our unbelief and our rebellion against Thy grace. Help us, therefore, to approach Thee with all our sins and sorrows, to lay our transgressions at the foot of Thy cross, and to leave them there forever! Though Thine own countrymen cruelly rejected Thee as guilty of death, may thy Holy Spirit so fill our hearts with sorrow for our guilt and with love for Thee that in the face of widespread unbelief we humbly confess Thee our sin- removing Redeemer, our death destroying Deliverer! Use this broadcast to awaken many from the sleep of death and to stir their souls to find in Thee the Love that will not let them go, the strong Comfort for every sorrow, the Light to guide them on each darkened path, the Strength required to resist temptation, the Life with Thee in heaven that never ends! Make us walk more closely with Thee, especially as in Thy name we help our hungry, sorrow- burdened fellow men! As this world hastens to its end, preserve and prosper Thy Church! Give many in the United States the assurance of heaven which is theirs through humble trust in Christ! Let our leaders and our people repent of their sins and, trustful of thy boundless mercy, rely wholly on Thee! We need Thee every hour, yea every moment, Thou saving Son of God. Therefore, come to us, abide with us, and bless us forever! Amen!

 One of the longest trials on record in United States courts is the Government's case against the Aluminum Company of America. This took nine years, and the testimony of these hearings was so technical and lengthy that it filled fifty-five large volumes.

 Contrast with this the life-and-death trials of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He had to face the civil tribunal of His own people, to stand before two high priests, Caiaphas and Annas. He was tried before government tribunals and was brought before two rulers, Pontius Pilate and Herod. Yet all the giving and taking of testimony, the examining and cross-examining in these trials required less than two hours; and everything our Lord said before His accusers could be printed on one small sheet. Nine years and fifty-five volumes for a technical trial; less than two hours and two short columns for the death trial of God's Son!

 The Aluminum Case is finished; but in Heaven's sight Jesus is still on trial and will be until the world ends, and His eternal judgement gives the final verdict on the last man. At some time every one who has ever heard the history of Christ's death and the message of His mercy must declare Him either true or false. You can sidestep a verdict on a thousand other issues; but once you know, as I now declare, that our Lord was sentenced to the cross as a vicious criminal, and that He died there to remove your sins, you put yourself on record for or against Him You may have started this first Sunday in March in much the same way that you began other Sunday's in the past; but the Holy Spirit has made this a time of decision for many of you who do not yet know the glorious grace God's Son offers. The Lord wants this to be a day of contrite repentance for you unbelievers who have denied the Savior, a day of soul-strengthening for the faithful who are always fortified by the record of the Redeemer's love. In the name of that compassionate Christ I summon you, no matter how busy, indifferent, hostile to the holy Gospel you may seem, to


 Watch the falsehood of His foes! Hear the testimony of His truth! Change the verdict of "Guilty" into a triumphant "Not guilty," as you study the meaningful verses of our text (Saint Matthew, chapter twenty-six, selected portions from verses fifty-nine to sixty-eight): "The chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witnesses against Jesus, to put Him to death; but found none. . . . At last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three days. . . . But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest answered and said unto Him, I adjure Thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said. . . . Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy. . . . What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then they did spit in His face, and buffeted Him; and others smote Him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, Thou Christ, Who is he that smote Thee?"


 It is late on Thursday night after the measureless agony of Gethsemane, the betrayal by Judas, the illegal arrest of our Savior, and the brutal beating afflicted by the coarse soldiers, that our Lord is led, bruised and bound, to the Sanhedrin, the court of His countrymen. When you are summoned to this jury in the case of hierarchy against Christ, you must be aware that everything about the Savior's arrest has been illegal, condemned by the code of laws regulating procedure in criminal litigation. No court could find authority for convening late at night; but, as you sit in spirit within the high priest's chamber, you note the unmistakable pressure to hurry through this hearing, to speed up its schedule for slaughter. The Nuremberg trial of Nazi leaders for plotting aggressive war and promoting atrocities took nine months, with the courts sitting a total of 1,100 hours on 216 days; but the high priest and his henchmen have hardly an hour to examine Jesus. They cannot kill Him quickly enough.

 I pray to God that none of you will reject Christ in snap judgements. Yet how many among the much-applauded have hurriedly pushed the Lord aside! Men who sought money or prominence by belittling the Bible and ridiculing their Redeemer have been forced to admit publicly that they had never once read through Scripture. Infidels who have boastfully proclaimed that religion is a racket show by their own misstatements or misquotations of Scripture that they are ignorant of God's Word. The loudest enemies of the Gospel are those who have least worshipped in His church. The critics of divine truth who in the last generation quickly and carelessly wrote shallow books about the mistakes of Moses and other sacred writers are not having their own mistakes exposed. If you love fairness and justice, cry out, as you sit in the jury on Jesus: "Don't rush your verdict! Give Him a fair chance! Take the time to study the truth!" For your own soul's salvation, don't make the fatal mistake of casting off God's Son in a few hours, as Caiaphas and his cohorts did! Don't spurn your Savior's redeeming love through a night of drunkenness and debauch! Don't give a decision against the Lord by a few hours of carnival and carousal that can damn your soul for eternity! Be fair enough to make time for Jesus! He had His whole lifetime for you.

 As you take your seat in the high priest's palace, you will note the men who have constituted themselves the jury to try Christ! Our text lists them as "the chief priests, the elders, and all the council." They are, you recognize, the so-called best minds, the intelligentsia, the most highly educated citizens of Jerusalem. Surely, you may be ready to conclude, these people, with culture to their credit, will be fair, honest, and upright. You are wrong. A well-trained mind does not necessarily mean a well-trained soul. Higher education sometimes produces only a higher degree of cleverness in cheating and deceiving. Recently at Harvard University police arrested a student, popular in Boston and Washington society, a young man who through high governmental influence was released from the Navy. He pleaded guilty to 119 criminal counts, including charges of stealing from fellow students and particularly from the G. I.'s completing their college work at Harvard. Even the first steps in learning often lead men to crime. Superintendent Ray Ryan of the Washington State reformatory reports: "We had a prisoner who couldn't read or write. In six months at the reformatory he had learned to write. Now we have him back as a forger." Indeed, a Baltimore man did not wait until he could sign someone else's name. He learned to make an X and then forged an X to the check of another man who couldn't write. So, from illustrious university circles to illiterate groups we see clearly that education, higher or lower, in itself is no guarantee for goodness. Besides training the mind, we must purify and strengthen the soul; and for that we need the abiding presence of God the Holy Spirit. We must be born again by faith; we must become new creatures in Jesus. Keep that in mind, you parents, who are eager to give your children the best possible education! Have them start in one of our Christian day schools! Help build Christian high schools throughout the land! Send your son or daughter to a Christian college where "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" and the love of the Savior its glorious end! Whenever an infidel doctor of philosophy or an atheist doctor of science tells you young folks that your faith must be wrong because this celebrated skeptic or that applauded agnostic refuses to accept the Gospel, turn to Holy Scripture and learn that "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God!" Let history convince you that the mightiest minds in all branches of learning have been faithful followers of the Lord! "But," you object, "these men here with Caiaphas, the high priest , ready to try Christ, are clergymen, church-goers, leaders among the laity. Surely we are entitled to trust them." You are right; we ought to be able to place full confidence in those who wear the vestments of religion and who claim to support its cause. You are wrong, however, if you assume that church position always promises justice and truth. Recall the ruin and horrors of religious wars waged in the name of the Savior who forbade His disciples to take up the sword! Judas was a disciple when he betrayed his Lord! Understand clearly, therefore, that mere membership in a church, even leadership in the congregation, is neither a guarantee of salvation nor a warrant of fair and just dealing! You should support any spiritual guide only so long as he leads you in truth, according to God's Word. Don't be influenced against Jesus by the high priests, the scribes, and the Pharisees of His day or of ours! Pledge your allegiance to His truth, no matter how high the rank of those who oppose it!

 As the trial begins, you must note the stealthy but vicious falsehood that forms the line of attack against Christ. You can hardly believe it, but here it is, clearly recorded in Scripture: these higher-ups in the clergy and laity "sought false witness against Jesus to put Him to death; but found none." "Yea" we read, "though many false witnesses came, yet they found none." You can begin to estimate the caliber of these accusers when you see that men who were sworn to uphold holiness resort to lies, just as you can observe the trend of our own times in increasing perjury and multiplying untruth. War tends to make men liars, but the poison of pernicious propaganda continues when the bloodshed stops. An American author and a New York publisher had to pay Winston Churchill, Britain's wartime prime minister, heavy damages and apologize to him for libelous statements in a recent book. If the churches and the cause of Christ would receive payment of damage for the falsehoods men spread about Jesus and His saving Gospel, the scornful slander they print regarding His redemptive love, our missionary treasuries would be filled to overflowing. Men lie about the Son of God as those first perjured witnesses did, and maliciously seek to make Him responsible for the sorrows under which the human race suffers. The Communist creed lies when it makes Christ a Friend of the rich and the capitalists, but an enemy of the poor and the workingmen. Has anyone throughout history ever championed the cause of the downtrodden, the sick, the starving, the enslaved, as our Lord did? The followers of Karl Marx lie when in tall letters they print this falsehood on their public buildings: "Religion" [and they mean especially the Christian religion, the Gospel of the Savior slain for the sins of an evil world] "is the opiate of the masses" -- the drug that puts people to sleep and keeps them from enjoying their right and liberties. For where in all the ages can you find a force that has even approached Christ's Evangel as an agency of freedom, blessing, progress, prosperity, both spiritual and material for the whole human race? Men lie when even in the name of religion, they systematically deny that Jesus is the Savior of mankind and, contradicting the sacred promise that "whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life," teach that He is the Redeemer only of a select few. They lie when they claim the atonement He purchased with His blood is not enough to free us from our sins, that we ourselves must earn and pay our own way into heaven, when His Word testifies to the truth that "by one offering He has perfected forever them that are sanctified." The reason many of you are still against the Son of God is to be explained by the tragedy that instead of hearing Him speak to your soul you have been influenced by poisoned prejudice, followed falsehood rather than given Christ a chance to show you His glorious Gospel. Many of you are opposed to your Savior because you have listened to smooth atheists, militant modernists, godless teachers, and -- may the Almighty call them to faith and forgiveness! -- to unbelieving parents and relatives. Be fair enough to hear, not what men mistakenly claim concerning Christ, But what He Himself teaches in his own blessed Book! As a member of the jury in this trial of trials, rule out all perjured propaganda by wicked men! Let the Lord speak for Himself! Examine the inspired record!

 After many failures to secure witnesses who would agree even in their lies, the priestly scheming succeeded. We read: "At the last came two false witnesses, and said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three days." Jesus never told anyone that He would rebuild the sanctuary within three days; but He did declare that though the temple of His body would be destroyed when He died on the cross, nevertheless He would be restored and on the third day return to life. Christ kept that promise, as He has definitely fulfilled every pledge. He rose from the dead. Why do unbelievers, then as now, deliberately twist His words into contrary meaning? Millions of dollars and almost endless hours of time have been spent by the enemies of His love in trying to put into our Lord's mouth statements He never uttered. These foes of faith know only too well that the true utterances of God's Son express the highest standards for soul and body men have ever heard. Even David Strauss, whose vicious attacks tore many from the Gospel, was honest enough to admit: "He [Christ] remains the highest model of religion within the reach of our thought; and no perfect piety is possible without His presence in the heart." Don't listen to the opponents' bitter, slashing, cut-throat assaults on our faith without checking every word they speak! Nine times out of ten they are deliberately false before they start, and the tenth time they are mistaken before they finish.

 You cannot sit long in the jury trying Jesus without realizing that against all the laws covering the procedure in life-and-death trials, Christ has not been given an attorney, and that no witnesses have been summoned for His defense. With what greater consideration do we treat even confessed criminals today? Our Government gave Premier Tojo and other Japanese leaders charged with war crimes twenty-four top-notch American defense lawyers. Besides, the prisoners had Japanese attorneys and the services of 200 clerks. Millions of words were spoken and recorded in the long defense of Tojo and his co-defendants, but no one spoke in behalf of our Lord, although He had healed and helped multitudes, physically and spiritually. The blood-thirsty killers in that council of his own countrymen were afraid to give the Savior a fair chance, to study the evidence for His truth, to hear the testimony to His power. Similarly today many keep their distance from Scripture because they fear that it may change their unbelief and convince them that the Gospel is right. Listen to Gamaliel Bradford, noted author, scholar, and linguist. He writes, "I do not read the New Testament, for fear of its awakening a storm of anxiety and self-reproach and doubt and dread of having taken the wrong path, of having been traitor to the plain and simple God." Such refusal to hear Christ's Word never satisfies. It gave Gamaliel Bradford no peace, for in the same book he pleads: "Who will tell me something of God? I know nothing about Him whatever." The worst mistake you can ever make is the refusal to study the Gospel of grace. If you spurn that goodness and guidance, the time will come when you also will cry out: "Who will tell me something of God? I know nothing about Him whatever."

 No wonder, then, with all the falsehood, perjury, malice, but with no defense attorney for our Savior, and no witnesses testifying in His behalf; with the record revealing that "Jesus held His peace," since He knew that the truth would be completely disregarded, the high priest, impatient to have his prisoner condemned to the cross, finally, after our Lord declared Himself "the Christ, the Son of God," "rent his clothes" in a gesture of mock disgust, turned to the assembly of Jerusalem's churchmen, scholars, and citizens, shouting: "He hath spoken blasphemy. . . .  What think ye?" In the blindness with which men are always ready to follow blind leaders, that council of Judean judges, in the most unjust verdict given by any court throughout the ages, answered and said, "he is guilty of death." Not only a few, a majority, or even the far greater part of that civic council, clamored for Jesus' blood; every one of them cried out, demanding that He be killed. As Isaiah foretold, "He is despised and rejected of men," of all men who could have saved His life.

 Even this shocking injustice, you soon see, is not the lowest level of hatred and wickedness. Sitting in the high priest's headquarters, you want to close your eyes to the hideous brutality which follows. But don't turn your head away! See this scene through to its end and admit that men in their depravity can be more cruel than brute creatures! Shudder, as you read, "then did they spit in His face, and buffeted Him"! Rejection of Christ always resorts to cowardly cruelty, vicious violence, bestial brutality. Think of the blasphemous orgies in our own country, for example, those at the beginning of the last century in Newburg, New York, where scoffers organized into an atheistic society, publicly burned the Bible, baptized a cat, and gave mock communion to a dog! Examine the anti-Biblical materials published by infidel groups, and you will find them crowded with obscene and suggestive material! Investigate the bloody persecution of believers during the past third of a century, and you will discover in the massacre of innocent women and girls, clergymen and church workers killed for their faith, a spirit of deep-rooted hatred similar to this lust for the Savior's blood.

 Before Christ is brought to Pontius Pilate, take one last look at His enemies smiting the blindfolded Lord "with the palms of their hands, saying, prophesy unto us, Thou Christ, who is it that smote Thee?" Jesus knew exactly who His persecutors were, and to their eternal sorrow every one of them learned that the captive Savior could see through the cloth over His eyes; that His gaze could penetrate into their very hearts. God can take horrifying revenge. Within five years after those shocking rites at Newburg, New York, every one of the more than twenty participants had died, either by murder, suicide, execution, or strange, unexplainable accident. Two of the leaders were found dead the morning following their satanic ceremonies. Soon after the Voodoo worshipers on Martinique Island nailed a pig to a cross in ridicule of the Redeemer, the fires of Mount Pelee flared high, the molten lava spewed down its side, and the sacrilegious natives were destroyed. Within our generation the boasting, blatant agents of atheism who control wide world fronts today will also be cast down in utter defeat. Look at the ruins to which Jerusalem was reduced during the generation after the Savior's crucifixion! Literally, in many cases, not one stone was left upon another. Read in accounts of atrocities such as the world has seldom seen, how mothers ate their own children, and mad cannibalism accompanied the terror of starvation; how the proud city was all but wiped off the face of the earth, as in truth Jesus showed that He did remember those who had struck Him, bound and blindfolded! Let America, blessed immeasurably more than Judea, survey the sweep of divine wrath on Jerusalem and heed Scripture's warning, "The nation and kingdom that will not serve Thee shall perish!"

 As you behold the brutal persecution of your Redeemer, take to heart Scripture's weighty words of warning, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked!" If you are without Christ -- and that means against Him; if you have abused and misused the holy name of your Lord; if you have boasted that you will live as you please, without a crucified Savior, and continue to belittle His grace, you have surely sentenced yourself to eternal damnation. As you work on your income-tax returns and read that 7,800 additional internal-revenue agents have discovered $200,000,000 undeclared in taxes, admit that even more certainly the Almighty, before whom nothing can remain concealed, knows every one of your sinful thoughts. You may escape human courts and avoid paying the penalties for your misdeeds, but no sinner has ever been smart enough, no lawyer shrewd enough, no judge powerful enough, to free you from the curse and consequence of your transgression. If you are against Christ, you are lost. If you join the jury and declare, "He is guilty of death," you have signed your own eternal warrant.


 Can you behold all this shrieking injustice and the coarse brutality in the trial of Jesus and refuse to raise your voice in protest? Are you satisfied to see God's Son sentenced to death on the basis of fraud, perjury, and personal hatred? Are you ready to sign your name beneath the verdict of violence, "Guilty"? Now that you have witnessed the trial of Christ, you are truly a member of the jury judging His case. You must decide for or against Jesus. Either you agree with His prosecutors and persecutors to have Him nailed to the cross, or you must cry out in His defense and declare Him innocent. Which will it be for you?

 To answer this question, the most important issue in your whole life, study the testimony on which Jesus was condemned -- and again we say, how helpful if His countrymen in authority could grant a new trial and fairly, squarely restudy the facts! Why, technically, was our Lord pronounced guilty? He was sentenced to the cross because of His answer to the high priest's demand, "I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God." In that moment Caiaphas gloatingly asks: Do you claim to be more than a man, more than Moses and the Prophets, more than angels and archangels? Do you insist, as you have tonight, that you are superhuman, divine, "the Son of God"? Do you still maintain that you are the long-promised, divinely appointed messiah, the heavenly Deliverer who, as Moses foretold, would be born as the Seed of the woman to destroy the work of the devil; the King who, as David predicted, would annihilate all God's enemies; the mighty Monarch before whom, as Solomon foresaw, the rulers of the world would humbly bow; the Son of the Eternal, whom Isaiah long in advance called "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace," yes the Almighty Himself, whom Jeremiah exalted as "the Lord, our Righteousness"? Are you, the high priest's question implied, the sin-bearing, sin-atoning, sin-destroying Christ of whom the Old Testament declared, "The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. . . . He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities"?

 That moment when the high priest presses Jesus for His answer was a crisis in history, when heaven and earth almost stood still, awaiting His reply. If Jesus were to declare that He was not "the Christ, the Son of God," then every hope you and I have for the forgiveness of our sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting with our Father in heaven would have been dashed to pieces forever. Keep reverent silence to hear Him, "who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth," answer, "Thou hast said," the customary way then for asserting, "Yes, I am!" And because the divine Prisoner proclaimed Himself both the sin-destroying Christ and the Son of God; because, as His enemies charged, He made Himself equal with the Almighty, every one in the council declared Him guilty, worthy of death.

 Today, too, no one will condemn Jesus to the cross for teaching the Golden Rule, for insisting that men should love one another, for pleading in behalf of the poor and the hungry, for warning against the horrors of war. But when the Bible teaches that our Lord, according to His own statement, is both God and Savior; that without Him there is no forgiveness of sin; that He is the only way to heaven; that those who reject Him are eternally ruined, every unbeliever in our modern, enlightened world will be ready to join those who scream: "Away with Him! Let Him be crucified!" At a literary gathering in England attended by Thomas Carlyle, a woman expressed the regret that Christ had not appeared in their time. She added: "How delighted we should have all been to throw our doors open to Him! Don't you think so, Mr. Carlyle?" "No, madam," replied the distinguished author, "I don't. . . . If He had come uttering His sublime precepts and denouncing the Pharisees, and associating with the publicans and lower orders, as He did, you would have treated Him much as His countrymen did, and cried out, 'Take Him to Newgate, and hang Him!'" The real reason men reject Jesus is still their unwillingness to receive Him as Redeemer and Ruler of heaven and earth.

 Now here is the question of eternal importance for you, summoned to the jury judging Jesus: Do you believe the Accused when He declares that He is both the Son of God and the Savior of the world? Before you turn away in denial, study His wonderful works, the mighty miracles which only God could perform! Review His absolute sinlessness, the perfection which only God could have! Hear Him acclaimed as the Lord by Prophets and Apostles, yes, by the Father and the Holy Spirit of the Bible, the errorless Book which only God could inspire! How he has changed the world, as only the ruler of the universe could, making new creatures of those who believe Him! Then, remembering that even some of His enemies, for instance, Napoleon, exiled on a bleak island, admitted that Christ must be divine, acclaim Him the King of kings, the Savior of mankind! Rise up before this jury that has condemned Jesus to the cross and declare: "Stop your soul- destroying blasphemy! This Captive, bruised and beaten, slandered and defamed, whom you sentenced to suffer and die on the cross, is your God and your Redeemer. You have condemned the Almighty Himself! You have rejected the only Hope of heaven you can ever have. Repent, and repeal your verdict of 'Guilty'! Tear the blindness from your heart, the prejudice from your souls, bow humbly and contritely before him who is your Lord and your only Deliverer from death."

 Yet it is not enough for you to declare Christ innocent, to admit, as His Word and work proves, that He is the omnipotent, self- giving God; you must so completely trust His promises that in triumphant faith you tell the world, as I have prayed many of you will today: "This Jesus, suffering at the hands of the churchmen and civic leaders of His day, and too frequently of ours, is my God and my Savior. He was agonized for the whole world, and that includes me. He shed His blood on the cross for the whole race, and therefore, despite all my sins and shortcomings, He washed and cleansed me. He died on the accursed tree as the sin-bearing Substitute for the whole ruined race, 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' Therefore, by faith in Him -- and what marvelous mercy that my redemption is entirely His glorious grace and nothing of my work or worthiness! -- I am forever free of sin, delivered from hell, and sure of my salvation."

 It is never too late for those of you who have stubbornly resisted Christ to be blessed, in faith, by His pardoning, renewing love. Take time to hear, read, study, and believe His Word! Then, no matter how vile your past has been, your future will be glorious with Him. John Newton went to sea as a young man and early learned the shocking blasphemies of coarse unbelief. He deserted the Navy, was whipped and demoted. He sank lower and lower, until he lived on an African plantation, shunned even by slaves, and taunted by his native master. Then, after he had been spared in a terrific storm at sea, he turned to God in his utter despair, made time to read the Bible and pray, was graciously converted, and later helped break the tyranny of slavery. He became an energetic minister of the Gospel and the author of hymns which have brought joy to millions. On his deathbed he declared, "I know two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Jesus Christ is a great Savior." His tombstone bears this inscription: "John Newton . . . once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was by the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy." The Holy Spirit can work the same wondrous change in you, if you only acclaim God's Son your Redeemer and, trusting Him, are born again into the new and heaven-blessed life.

 What glorious riches can thus be yours in the Savior's rescuing love! After a ten-year lawsuit, two Negro brothers and their wives in Kansas, together with an Indian woman, were awarded oil rights in Oklahoma which their attorneys estimate, are valued between ten and fifteen million dollars. Overnight these people who had been poor workers became millionaires. When a reporter brought the news to the wife of one of the men, she cried out: "I'm dizzy! Excuse me!" and slammed the door. A few moments later, however,  the woman reappeared and explained: "I fainted. . . . Now tell it to me again -- slower." Today Christ stands at your door, seeking entrance into your soul, with a treasure a million times larger than the world's most productive oil fields. Let me tell it to you again slowly: He offers you pardon for all your sins, peace with God, a cleansed conscience, victory over hell, triumph over your temptations, a new, Spirit-born life, courage in every fear- filled moment, answer to your prayers, strength in your afflictions, hope in your troubles, comfort in your sorrows, soul profit in your losses, help in every need, guidance in uncertainty, life after death, heaven after this earth! With "the riches of His grace" yours, through humble, trusting faith, receive Him now as your Redeemer and Ruler! Cast your ballot on this jury for the sinless Sufferer! Stand up for Jesus even though you have to pay a penalty for your loyalty to the Lord! Tell the world: This Prisoner whom wicked men have sentenced to the cross is not only innocent and stainless, not only the loving Rescuer of the race; above all, He is my God and my Savior! Repeat that with me now, aloud, right before your radios: "Jesus is my God and my Savior!" Then listen closely as His Word of truth that can never be broken promises you, directly and personally, "Whosoever . . . shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven"! O gracious God, bring all of us together before Thy throne, through Thy saving Son, who died for us and went to prepare our personal place in Paradise! Amen!

The preceding Lutheran Hour sermon first aired on the first Sunday in March 1947