Summary: God's love is sovereign, unshakable, and true.
Sovereign Love, Isaiah 50:4-9a
“The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back. I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me?” (Isaiah 50:4-9a NIV)
A group of four-year-olds were gathered in a Sunday school class in Chattanooga. Their enthusiastic teacher looked at the class and asked this question: “Does anyone know what today is?” A little four-year-old girl held up her finger and said, “Yes, today is Palm Sunday.” The teacher exclaimed, “That’s fantastic! That’s wonderful! Now does anyone know what next Sunday is?”
The same little girl held up her finger and said, “Yes, next Sunday is Easter Sunday.” Once again the teacher said, “That’s fantastic! Now, does anyone know what makes next Sunday Easter?” The same little girl responded and said, “Yes, next Sunday is Easter because Jesus rose from the grave.” But before the teacher could congratulate her, she continued, “But if he sees his shadow, he has to go back in for seven weeks.”
Indeed, it is Palm Sunday. Today we consider the events surrounding Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem. There is much we could discuss today. All of which has great relevance to who Jesus is as Messiah, Christ, God, and King.
Rather than focusing entirely, however, on the New Testament account of Jesus triumphal entry through the Eastern gate, we will focus on a related matter the fulfillment of prophecy of the passion account.
Specifically, we will look at Isaiah’s “suffering servant.” Jesus is the long foretold messiah of the nation of Israel; the savior and redeemer of the world. Today, we will specifically examine the promise of God to save the world through His servant, foretold in Isaiah, who would come into the world first to teach, heal, and suffer and who will later come in great glory to reign!
Today, if you come worshipping with wounds that this world has given to you; worship Him with your wounds, he’s wounded too. (Michael Card)
Isaiah is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Indeed, John’s gospel is my favorite New Testament book and Isaiah is my favorite Old Testament book. For serious students of the Bible the connection is obvious. One is written foretelling the servant of the Lord would come to free us from sin. The other is written so that we might believe in one who has come; Jesus the Christ!
God is sovereign over His creation. If there is one fact of Scripture that gives this pastor’s heart comfort and courage in all times, it is the reality that God not only knows me, my past, my present, but that He holds my future in His hand.
Whatever comes to pass He brings to pass or allows it to come to pass. He is a King, exercising absolute dominion in His kingdom. He is the conductor of a symphony, hearing every sound, knowing perfectly the strengths and weaknesses of every member of His ensemble.
So it is with the ministry of Jesus. God had a plan in place from the very beginning of creation to redeem the elect in Christ. Indeed, God, from the foundations of the earth, chose to redeem you and me in Christ.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:3-8 NIV)
This is what Palm Sunday is all about. It is about our great God and King who loved us according to His sovereign love, before the foundations of the earth, from eternity pat, lavishing us with grace, according to His sovereign plan, His divine authority; we are saved because He saved us; nothing more.