Philippians 2: 5 – 11. John 12: 12 – 19.
Hopes and dreams
The visual aid is from the Easter experience that took place in here last week, ‘Hopes and Dreams’ was their theme for Palm Sunday.
Martin Luther Jr “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
In 1964, 65, 68 the end of discrimination through the Civil Rights Acts.
We understand that the people in Jesus day were hoping and dreaming of the day when God would sent the Saviour, a descendent of King David who would come and set up God’s kingdom on the earth. The term used by the Jewish people Acts 3: 19 ‘The Times of Refreshing’ the re-establishing of the throne and land of King David.
There were two aspects of David the son of Jesse life that was fulfilled in Jesus.
Jesus the Shepherd King
Jesus included in his mission his disciples, it was to take the good news of the coming kingdom to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. Matthew 10. 5, 6 records Jesus sending his disciples out with the good news of the coming kingdom, he told them to, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”
Isaiah wrote of the Saviour, “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.” Isaiah 40: 11
Jesus willed to do his Father God’s will, he had a servants heart, nothing was too much trouble for him, The Centurion sent Jewish elders to Jesus to pray for his servant who was poorly, the elders explained to Jesus that the Centurion had supported the Jews. Jesus responded and went with the elders and as they drew near to the Centurion’s house. The Centurion sent word to him not to come but just say the word and he’ll be healed. Jesus commended him for his great faith.
And in our reading John 12: 17, 18 after he raised Lazarus from the dead, as a result these witnesses recognised that Jesus was the Messiah, God’s Anointed One, their redeemer and Saviour and they told others and they came and stood on the roadside rejoicing, waving their palm branches. They shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” The Hebrew word for hosanna ‘‘Hashanah’ meaning ‘Save now’.
Zechariah’s prophecy fulfilled in Jesus, in his humanity the shepherd King, riding into Jerusalem on the ass’s colt.
Visual Aid – The shepherds ministry placed on the road by some of the congregation. Pictures and words of some the healing, miracles and encounters with people that took place during Jesus ministry.
Billy Graham said, “Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity has. Out of pain and problems have come the sweetest songs and the most gripping stories.”
The other aspect of King David’ life was that of A WARRIOR KING
David the shepherd had courage to face Goliath, for us Goliath can be a fear, a worry, and we need courage to do the right thing, courage to face the future. Goliath is like the thief that comes only to steal and kill and destroy; Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10: 11
God sent Jesus into the world to redeem us from evil one. The battle was a spiritual one, but he had to do it from our perspective in human form. He defeated the devil that held the power of death over humanity.
Hebrews 2: 14 “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil.”
Jesus won this victory as we know on the cross, his bloodshed for the sins of the whole world and universe. In his ascension the proof of his victory he entered heaven to a tumultuous welcome.
Psalm 24: 7-10
“Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty, he is the King of glory.
Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi declared: “Jesus’ name, highly exalted is above all names, that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
On the Easter experience the children were asked what were their hopes and dreams and to “Try to think of something you would like to happen – something really important for you, your family, or the world.”
This morning what are our hopes and dreams, our expectation as a result of our faith in Jesus?
In January the Lord gave me a picture of two rivers one river represented the world, the other represented the river flowing from God.
The scripture I found in Isaiah 8: 6-8. Judah had rejected the rule of God, the rule of God was described as the waters of Shiloh that flow gently. The Lord would bring the waters of the ‘Euphrates the King of Assyria and it would rise and overflow into the river Shiloh and cover Judah. Isaiah’ prophecy came true in 722BC the Assyrian Empire conquered Israel.
In my picture the two rivers were separated by rock. The rock stopped the huge river from overflowing into the other river.
The river of the world was flowing at great speed and volume, with dangerous currents, swirling and consuming everything in its path. This river polluted by the world tipping its pollution into it. Whoever drinks from this river will thirst again. It can’t quench a person’s thirst.
The river from God flowing fast but calm and clear, this water is living water, pure and good to taste, refreshing and quenching the thirst.
Jesus the rock
We have been given strength to witness to the world because we are standing on the rock in Jesu’s victory over the god of this world, and through our faith in Jesus we have the courage to stand for Jesus.
Another person shared his hopes and dreams.
God’s expectation of us – To fulfil the commission Matthew 28: 19, 20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We’re called to go and tell people the story about Jesus the shepherd and warrior King, to receive by faith in Jesus, God’s mercy in forgiveness of sins and to receive all the benefits of what Jesus has blessed us with: an abundant life, with the promise, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus is with us always, he lives within us, and his presence gives us hopes and dreams:
( added afterwards – Further study revealed that the river Shiloh was in association with David’s calm peaceful reign and the river Shiloh originally a stream and it was channelled via an aqueduct to the Pool of Siloam. From this water the priest took water at the Feast of Tabernacles to be poured at the base of the altar in the Temple at Jerusalem.
On the last day of the ‘Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink, out of them shall flow rivers of living water.” John continued to identify the river as the Holy Spirit who came into the world when Jesus was glorified, the Holy Spirit being poured into the hearts of those who believe in Jesus. John 7: 37-39. Acts 2: 17. Joel 2:28.
What the picture signifies when we come to faith in Jesus the world has no dominion over us, Jesus has redeemed us called us by our name, and we belong to God. We are separated from the world. God’s Spirit confirms the existence of God, but the spirit of the world denies the existence of God, so the two don’t mix.
The Israelite was separated from the worship of other gods, as they are today.
The church has been washed by the water of the word, Jesus. We are cleansed from the spirit of the world. We are reminded Jesus prayed for his disciples saying that while they were in the world, but not spiritually part of the world.
The rock is Christ.
Psalm 89 : 26 “He will cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God and the rock of my Salvation.”
Salvation means being saved by faith in Jesus.
Paul writing to the Corinthians pointed to Jesus being the rock.
1 Corinthians 10: 4 “Moses drank from the rock Jesus.” Numbers 20: 11.
Double meaning: In the book of Numbers the Israelite’s needed water Moses was told by God to strike the rock with the rod, he did and water came out of the rock, a miracle. The water saved the people, the water in reference to Jesus: He gives us life giving eternal water, the Holy Spirit.
Soon after in the Exodus the Israelites 600,000 people crossed the Red Sea into the Shur Desert they ran out of water. They found a pool, but the water was undrinkable it was bitter. The people cried out in anger to Moses, he prayed to the Lord, God told him to throw a tree that lay beside the pool into the water, as a result the water became sweet drinkable. The cross was in the foreknowledge of God. Acts 2: 17. It’s there in the scriptures in Exodus 15: 25-28
The bitter water represents sin, the tree – Jesus’ cross bearing our sin and the sweet water forgiveness of sin and the giving of the Holy Spirit.
To me it’s a powerful prophecy that was a real life situation of life over death. God in action.
Jesus the rock: we say ‘as solid as a rock, Jesus is the rock of our salvation, it speaks of our salvation being permanent, immoveable.
It’s the house built on the rock that’s stable, everlasting.
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