Summary: sermon on Christ the King
November 24, 2002 Ezekiel 34:11-16, 23-24
For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.
I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the LORD have spoken.
Dear Once Scattered Sheep Who have Been Brought Near Through the Blood of the Lamb,
I wonder what it feels like to live in Iraq right now. They’ve got the whole world against them, and if they so much as sneeze they will find themselves in a world of war. Your house would be in jeopardy of getting blown up. You could even easily die. What could be worse? How about being Saddam Hussein? Or worse yet, the ruler to replace him? What a mess that would be!
Today is Christ the King Sunday - and in a lot of ways the situation is comparable to that of Iraq. Christ is not just the king of the Jews or the king of Jerusalem. Christ is the King of the Universe, including the earth. As King, He has the job of seeing to it that justice is done throughout the world at every second. He has to listen to or hear the complains of millions of people every day. Would you like to see what goes on in every nook and cranny of this sick and sinful world that is constantly at war and in turmoil? It would be like inheriting Iraq - only worse. So we thank God that Christ is the King, not us.
As subjects of the kingdom, living in this wasteland of sin, we are also appreciative of our King, because of what He does as our king. When there is no leadership - or good leadership - it doesn’t matter how good the company is - it can still go down hill. The stockholders of Westar understand that very well. But a good leader is able to take a company that is nothing and make it into something. Our King - Christ - does that very thing for us. That is the main focus of God’s promise to the Israelites in today’s text.
The Prince of David Will Come
I. Look at the way he comes
This Word of God is from Ezekiel. Ezekiel had a pretty colorful ministry, as he preached to the Israelites both before the Babylonian Captivity and after it. Before the Captivity, Ezekiel told them, “don’t even think about escaping from this judgment. It’s coming.” But afterward, when the people were languishing in captivity hundreds of miles from home, he said to them, “wait! Don’t give up! There’s still hope.” That hope is what we hear in today’s text, as God gives a direct promise to the Israelites. I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David. I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. Fifteen times in the English translation you can see the word “I”. God was contrasting what the kings of Israel had done to them, to what HE would do for them. Even though they had rejected Him as their King, He would step in and rule over them anyway. You can tell from these words that He isn’t happy at all with the way His people were being led, and it was time for Him to step in and take over the operations.