Sermons

Summary: Christ came and will come again, and even if the time seems to go slowly, we are empowered to work for the day of His second coming.

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Sermon: "Behold the Lamb of God" D. Anderson

Isaiah 53:1-6; I John 1:5-9; John 3:16-21

Listen again to the cutting Words of Christ,

our Priest and King, but also our Prophet,

from the Gospel record of John:

17 For God did not send his Son into the

world to condemn the world, but to save the

world through him. 18 Whoever believes in

him is not condemned, but whoever does not

believe stands condemned already because he

has not believed in the name of God’s one and

only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has

come into the world, but men loved darkness

instead of light because their deeds were

evil. (John 3 NIV) These are Your words,

Lord Christ, renew us in Your Word, For Your

word is eternal Truth. Amen.

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ,

grace, mercy and peace to you as the Holy

Spirit increases faith and confidence within

you concerning all the promises of God-- and

especially, in the Second Coming of Jesus

Christ. Amen.

Imagine that this evening I had startling

news that Charlton Heston would be coming to

perform a scene from the movie “The Ten

Commandments.” He could not give us the

exact day, because it had to be worked into

his schedule, but he would be coming.

Excitement and enthusiasm tingled up your

spines. The next few months showed

electrified activity within our parish. Mr.

Ash’s long awaited dream of a stage in the

gym was quickly realized, even though it was

expensive.

NEXT AN ELABORATE SET WAS MADE FOR THE STAGE.

Al, Fred, John with parish handymen where

swinging hammers while Lori, Barb, Jeanne,

Pam and other gifted arts-and-crafters

decorated the set. Judy, Nancy, Linda and

Dorcas women were busy sewing costumes. IT

BECAME AN ELABORATE AFFAIR.

Soon all was done-- we were ready for the

call from Charlton Heston announcing the day

of his arrival and our special performance.

Days past... weeks... past... months past.

At first calls came in daily to the office.

"Any news yet?" "Have we heard from Heston’s

agent?" Yet as time past, fewer and fewer

calls reflected a decline in our enthusiasm

and expectations.

The stage set became dusty, and even

reflected some damage from gym activities

which accidently came in contact with the

stage area. Our people no longer wanted to

keep things us... the costumes, once hung

pressed and ready to go, where tossed around.

Arguments began to flair. "Why did we spend

that money anyway for that new stage!" some

snapped. "I’ll not give another cent toward

that gym," returned another. "I think it was

all a trick from the beginning... just

another trick to get more money from us."

said a third.

The whole parish had been electrified and

motivated by the coming of a big personality,

but when his coming was delayed, enthusiasm

converted to disgust, and motivation to

defiance.

Israel, God’s chosen people, experienced a

time of great blessing and prosperity under

King David. After his death, however, the

country disintegrated, became divided, and

was finally was devoured by foreign powers.

Faithful prophets tried to explain Israel’s

downfalls in terms of its sin against God.

Ezekiel, Haggai, and Zechariah also sought to

build up the hope of the displaced people of

Israel.

The temple was rebuilt by a people

electrified and enthusiastic-- there was a

confidence that the Messiah would be coming

soon. Confident of the Messiah’s imminent

coming, two crowns were made from the gold

and silver of returning exiled Jews.

One crown was placed upon Israel’s high

priest, and the other upon Israel’s reigning

king. These crowns would not leave the

temple, but remained a symbol of Israel’s

confident expectation that the Messiah, both

priest and king, was soon to arrive.

BUT TIME PASSED... AND PASSED... AND PASSED.

"Where is the coming Messiah?" people began

to grumble. "Why did we build this temple

anyway!" exclaimed others. "I’m not going to

worry about supporting the temple anymore,"

said many.

By the time of the prophet Malachi, Israel

was spiritually bankrupt. The failure of the

Messiah to come quickly, as expected, had

brought about two very serious spiritual

problems.

People didn’t see the importance of God to

daily life. They saw no profit to religion.

They stopped tithing to the Temple.

Israelite men divorced their Jewish wives--

treating them shamefully, in order to marry

pagan women.

The other problem was worse. Many in Israel

doubted the presence of God on earth. When I

traveled to Israel in the early 70’s to study

Biblical archeology, our guide was a Jewish

man who had been a tank commando in the army.

He was very frank to say that many Jews were

not religious, but identified with their

heritage. He was not a religious Jew. I saw

in him the Jew of the time of Malachi, who no

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Talk about it...

Zack Martin

commented on Oct 31, 2006

This was a great aid to a sermon I had to prepare on the Lamb of God. It did not go into detail aabout John1:29, but a great introduction

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