Summary: The Lost Sheep-are Sinners The Lively Hope-is Jesus The Last Stop-is Heaven
You gotta go through Baghdad to get home!
This week has been a week in which we have been thrust into a war with the likes of Saddam Hussein, his sons, and the nation of Iraq. Our commander in chief, President George W. Bush, has not thrown our military into action in a careless manner! As a matter of fact, even six months ago there were troops that were being sent to the Middle East in preparation for those first attacks that came last Wednesday night following prayer meeting!
There was a Journalist, I did not get his name, that gave me the idea for this sermon this morning! This journalist was quoting a young Marine officer who was one of the first to be deployed 6 months ago to the Middle East region! It so happens to be that this young Marine officer is married and has a little girl. As the journalist was commenting on his conversation with the young Marine, the Marine was telling him about how he has been training in the desert and he felt he was fully prepared to go to war because the United States of America had trained him well. “You see” he said, “we are the few, the proud, the Marines”! We are not suppose to cry, we are the Marines. The journalist begun to ask a few more questions and the one that brought tears to this proud Marine was when the journalist ask if he was missing his family...then the tough, young, 21 year old Marine said “I miss’em like crazy, but we gotta go through Baghdad to get home!”
There are three points that I would like to share with you this morning, based on this subject...being lost, gettin’ found, and going home!
I. The lost sheep-are sinners!
It is interesting the crowd that was gathered that day when Jesus began to speak of this parable, of the lost sheep. It was that same motley crew that Jesus was known for hanging out with...the tax collectors (Oh by the way, don’t remind me...I still need to file my taxes), the sinners, the publicans, that were gathered there that day. These old boys were there to hear the good news that Jesus was sharing. They are the ones who represent the lost sheep in our story! SHEEP
Dr. Andrew Bonar tells the story how in the Highlands of Scotland, a sheep would often wander off into the rocks and get into places that they couldn’t get out of. The grass on these mountains is very sweet and the sheep like it, and they will jump down ten or twelve feet, and then they can’t jump back again, and the shepherd hears them bleating in distress. They may be there for days, until they have eaten all the grass. The shepherd will wait until they are so faint they cannot stand, and then the shepherd will put a rope around himself, and he will go over edge and pull that sheep up out of the jaws of death. Someone asked Dr. Bonar, "Why don’t the shepherds go down there when the sheep first gets there?" The Dr. replied. "Ah!" He said, "sheep are so foolish they would dash right over the precipice and be killed if they went after them right away!" And sometimes my friends, that is the way with men; a lot of times they won’t get right with God till they hit rock bottom, have no friends and have lost everything. If you are a wanderer I tell you that the Good Shepherd will bring you back the moment you give HIM the opportunity! Moody’s Anecdotes, pp. 70-71
Which brings me to my next point...
I. The lost sheep, are the sinners
II. The lively hope-is Jesus
We are in the middle of the lenten season and we are preparing ourselves for the greatest time of the year and that is the Easter Season. It is the time where we celebrate the death, and the burial of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the time where we look back and remember what Jesus went through for us. But we not only celebrate the death and burial of our Lord but we also celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord as well! You see, this lively hope, this Jesus that I speak of this morning is no longer dead! He is no longer in a grave. He is no longer on the cross that the Romans were responsible for but he is now strategically placed somewhere, out there, up there, in Heaven seated at the right hand of God Almighty....there making intercession for you and me, those who are part of the bloodwashed, he is saying, “Come on you can make it, my yoke is easy my burden is light..”