Summary: God Kills Ezekiel's Wife

Palm Sunday 2018 - John 12, Ezekiel 24, Ezekiel 34

PRAYER - Today is Palm Sunday, a day we think about triumph and celebration and Jesus riding in to Jerusalem. But tied in with the idea of celebration, we want to look at the idea of weeping. And we’re going to tie in two different passages in the book of Ezekiel. So we’ll be jumping back and forth between John 11 & 12 and Ezekiel 24 and Ezekiel 34. If you want to turn with me, you can start in John 12:9.

A number of years ago, I took a trip of Europe and ended up in London when they were celebrating the queen’s birthday. It’s called Trouping the Colors, and all the streets are lined with spectators as the royal family all parade out of Buckingham Castle and parade through the city. It’s quite a spectacle to see.

That’s the type of day Palm Sunday was for the Jews when Jesus came into the city. It is a few days before Passover, and it is “lamb selection day” in the city. All the Jews would come into town to pick out the lamb they wanted to use for the Passover ceremony. It had to be a perfect lamb with no blemishes. They were to select it and take it home until the Passover four days later. And on this day, Jesus comes into the city as the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus also was without blemish. In 1 Peter 1 we find recorded, For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Jesus had been in Bethany, just two miles away, with his good friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Remember that Lazarus is the one that Jesus had raised from the dead. When Jesus comes to town, he had arrived a few days too late for Lazarus’ funeral. He had told his disciples that Lazarus was sleeping - they said, well if he is sleeping, he’ll get better! Jesus says, Lazarus is dead! But Jesus had intentionally waited so that the power of God could be displayed. Jesus goes to the grave, and as Jesus stands there, he weeps. John 11:35 - Jesus wept. Here Jesus is at the grave of a dear friend, and as He stands there, a tear rolls down his cheek. It a quiet grief, a subdued tear.

But as we will see in a little while, later on Palm Sunday is the day when Jesus truly weeps, when he wails with great emotion. Jesus is at the grave of His friend, but Jesus is not overwhelmed by sorrow, because He knows what He is about to do. Jesus told his disciples “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

Jesus calls Lazarus by name, and Lazarus is brought back to life. Later, everyone around town wants to hear Lazarus’ story. John 12 records for us, Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him. . . Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.

So Jesus had come to the funeral, but he has a private, intimate tear. It is not the outward grieving that is so typical of funerals and mourners. Now having said that, let’s look at Ezekiel 24. We’ve been looking at the book of Ezekiel, seeing various spotlights in this book as Ezekiel acts out his sermons before the people. And in Ezekiel, we see the prophet facing the death of one who is very close to him.

Read Ezekiel 24:15-27

So what in the world is going on here? As I have said before, being a prophet was a difficult calling. God often called the prophets to do things that we can’t believe He asked them to do. And in this case, God tells Ezekiel, I’m going to kill your wife! And I don’t want you to grieve!

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