Good stuff here. This should not just be a Lententide thing. This should be an every Sunday thing.
1. Jesus is a Savior of their souls
a. [John 6:1-15] testifies to [Jesus] as the Savior of souls. For according to the account of Matthew and Mark Christ withdrew with His disciples into the wilderness in order to rest. But when He saw the crowds streaming out from the mountain, He had compassion toward their spiritual need; because they were like sheep that have no shepherd, and He began a long sermon. What else will have been the content of His preaching than the sweet Gospel, that He had come to seek the lost, to save sinners? He will have preached to the languishing ones under the curse of the Law that they should find rest for their souls in Him, that He is the true Shepherd Who now wants to attend to His flock Himself. This comforting Gospel led the publicans and sinners for to him that Mary Magdalene at his feet, Zaccheus in the mulberry tree, only in order to have at least his comforting perspective, led a great part of the people to Him in the wilderness;
b. the entire Old Testament testifies to Him as the Savior of souls; even the first promise about Him in Genesis 3:15, that He crushes the serpent’s head, i.e. would destroy the devil’s kingdom and works and redeem souls from it; therefore he is called Abraham’s blessing because he takes the curse from sinners, and should make them again to the blessed ones of His Father; that is why Isaiah rejoices: “To us a Child is born” etc.;
c. His life and His innocent death testifies to Him as the Savior of souls; because by his holy life He has fulfilled the Law for us and acquired righteousness that avails before God; through suffering and death He has expiated and taken away sin, guilt and punishment. That is why He sealed the word: “It is accomplished!” with His glorious resurrection and ascension, as well as through the outpouring of His Holy Spirit and establishing His Church in the entire world; for what else is the same but the community of those who are brought by faith in Him from the devil’s kingdom into God’s kingdom, become pardoned, blessed children of God and heirs of eternal life?
Who is there now among us, who recognizes himself as a forlorn sinner, who would not take his refuge in this Savior? Once He redeems them, He calls them all to Himself, without distinction, young and old sinners, great and small, honest and immoral, a pious John on His breast and a thief on the cross to His right, a denying Peter and a bloodthirsty Saul. All who ever came to him, He has gathered as the true Savior, all gratefully boast: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Why will you not come to Him? As in no one else – salvation and blessedness is certain in Him for everyone.
– Part of a sermon outline for the Fourth Sunday in Lent (John 6:1-15) by Otto Hanser from 1885. Translated by DMJ