Summary: This sermon encourages everyone to rejoice because we are more than conquerors do to the love of Christ Jesus.
Sermon Title – More than a Conqueror!
Sermonic Text - Matthew 21:1-11
As a pastor I cannot endorse any candidate for President. I think America is very fortunate this year in that any of the remaining three candidates would probably make a good president. Given the intense scrutiny and voracity of attacks you receive when you run for president of any country I believe you must either be crazy, overly ambitious or most likely you truly feel you are doing what God has called you to do if you seek the highest office in the land.
I must admit that not so long ago I was concerned that Senator Barack Obama would be killed because he is of African descent. But, should the fear of death ever dissuade us from pursuing with passion that which God has called us to do? Should we ever try and prolong our life by keeping silent in a world that is saying all the wrong things and doing all the wrong things? Should we ever try and circumvent death by avoiding the city where God has called us to make a stand for mercy, justice and righteousness?
We should not try to delay death or discomfort just because it will make us feel good and enjoy this life. There is a Hymn that says: Must Jesus bear the cross alone, and all the world go free? No, there’s a cross for everyone, and there’s a cross for me.
We all have a role to play in the building of God’s Kingdom. But, do we spend the majority of our time, money and energy seeking to buy houses, cars and clothes we cannot afford and do not need or do we study, pray and obey when God tells us to do our part in the building of His Kingdom? If we love God, truly love God we should be willing to trust and obey God no matter what our circumstances happen to be or what we will believe the consequences will be as a result of submitting to God’s will.
So my assignment today is to encourage everyone under the sound of my voice to rejoice because we serve Christ Jesus who is more than a Conqueror! And, because God loves us we are more than conquerors?
In today’s text we find Jesus preparing to go to Jerusalem. He is preparing to enter the city where his life will end. Can you imagine knowing the place and time of your death? Can you imagine knowing you would be beaten, whipped and scourged if you continued on your journey? Can you imagine continuing on your journey even though you knew your journey would lead to death on a cross? If we are honest with ourselves and honest with God we will admit that Jerusalem is the last place we would go if we knew what Jesus knew. And yet, Jesus sends two of his disciples to a village to get a donkey and a colt. They bring them back to Jesus and He rides the colt into Jerusalem thus fulfilling the prophecy of the O.T. prophet Zechariah. 500 years earlier, just as Israel was emerging from Babylon captivity Zechariah prophesized:
9Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
This leads me to my first point.
Point #1 - Jesus is a prophets – Prophet!
Jesus fulfilled hundred’s of O.T. prophecies concerning the coming Messiah and those prophecies that were not fulfilled will be fulfilled at His second coming. Jesus not only fulfilled most of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah but He also brought forth prophetic messages during His earthly ministry.
But, what is a prophet and what is prophecy? Let me be clear prophecy is not fortune-telling. While prophets are in a way future-tellers, they are also concerned with the future as it impacts the present. Prophesy is now and always has been a ministry.
Noted O.T. scholar, Walter Brueggemann in his book entitled, The Prophetic Imagination says: “The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us.”
Jesus’ announcement that the Kingdom of God is at hand is prophetic. It is prophesy in that through Jesus, the Kingdom of God was brought into this world but it does not yet rule this world. The Kingdom of God is already present but not yet fully realized.
Jesus functioned as a prophet in His teaching. Jesus told stories that had relevance for the future even as they impacted the present situation of the marginalized people who were oppressed by the Jewish religious authorities and the Roman government.