Sunday, April 01, 2012

Thoughts from this morning’s message, 4/1/12

Thoughts from this morning’s message, 4/1/12

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. Zechariah 9:9

After the Triumphal Entry, foretold above by the prophet Zechariah, the world was to be forever changed. As Dave pointed out this morning some chose to serve Him, some listened but did not surrender to Him, and still others openly rejected Him. Today we live in a world of 6 billion people, and at least 5 billion are rejecting Him. In many parts of the world, the bare mention of the name Jesus can make your life forfeit. I wonder if that is what Jesus meant when He questioned, “when the son of man returns, will he find faith on the earth?”

Zechariah was a prophet during the return of the remnant of Israel. Seventy years were decreed against the Israelites of those days, and Zechariah reminds me that just as the seventy years came to pass exactly as foretold, even so, the passage above foretold the coming of the Lord, riding an ass, to be rejected by the Israel who should have worshipped Him.

I cannot help but notice the next verse: “10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” Here I think is what is referred to as a prophetic perspective of two mountaintops, which the prophet utters almost as one event, but which are actually separated by a great amount of time. The prime example of this is in Isaiah 61:2, quoted by our Lord in Luke: “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Jesus left off the last half of the verse, “and the day of vengeance of our God,” because that time had not yet come, and a great valley of time has now opened between the two very distinct prophecies.

So it is with this verse. Note that it says His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and even to the ends of the earth. We live in that generation which shall surely see the coming of the Son of Man. The first time Jesus came we celebrate about this next week; He is our Passover Lamb, offering Himself so that the world might be reconciled to God. Whosoever will may come—and that offer has been for nearly 2,000 years, but it is drawing to a close. The church is now anxiously waiting for the Bridegroom, and the beginning of a peace on earth like we have never known, but before that time comes, the earth will experience the day of vengeance of our God, a day and a time unlike we have ever experienced.

God has saved us from the wrath to come—and that is where Christian’s eyes are now. We look anxiously for the Lord to snatch us from the beginnings of that judgment, and to preserve us from the fearsome judgment that will fall on the earth. I have a couple of pictures that have hung in my front room for the last thirty years. One is a picture of an actual lamb looking toward the cross; the other is a roaring lion bringing light behind it while chasing away the darkness. I have had my friends say that it is too fierce some of a picture, and that they could never hang it in their own home. But in that picture, I see the love of God chasing away the darkness of the world, and I believe it a dear picture of what is to come. God will bring a day of reckoning to the world, bloodier than any we could conceive, but that day will quickly pass, and He will bring in an Age of Light like man has never had. Oh, that will be glory for me!