10:30 am Sunday Worship
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The Procession of the King

Luke 19:35-40

We are back in Luke 19 today, Luke 19, the coronation procession of Jesus Christ as his journey is coming to a close in Jerusalem. As we’ve seen in our studies so far, Jesus arrived with his disciples in Bethany on a Friday, on Friday, March 27th in AD 33. He and his disciples spent the evening there in Bethany the next day as well, the Sabbath.

They were there with disciples in the region, friends like Lazarus, Martha, Mary. And then, as we saw in verses 28 to 34, Jesus prepared his coronation procession, sent 2 disciples out to go and get a donkey, the colt, the foal of a donkey. This procession is to take place on the first day of the week, which we call Palm Sunday. We’ll begin this morning by reading the text starting at the procession with Luke 19:35, reading just through verse 40.

“And they, [that is the two disciples that he sent out to get the donkey], They brought it [the donkey’s colt] to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. And as he was drawing near, already on the way down the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples begin to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Having made the necessary preparations, Jesus rides on a donkey’s colt toward Jerusalem. He comes in this procession to present himself to his people, as their king, so that they can make this prophetic connection which we have seen in Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation as he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

What he intends to do and to accomplish by this procession toward Jerusalem, in this manner which he’s planned, it’s evident, it’s obvious. Sadly though, the people failed to see Jesus as he really is. They didn’t make the connection at this time. Even his own disciples, it says in John 12:16. His own disciples, they did not understand these things at first. But when Jesus was glorified, when’s that? After his death, burial, resurrection, his appearance to them in resurrection glory, his ascension into heaven? When Jesus was glorified then they remembered that these things had been written about him. And had been done to Him.

True disciples, as we’ve confessed this morning in our confession of faith, the London Baptist Confession of Faith, the faith that we have is not always perfect. Sometimes it’s quite weak, slow to understand. But if it’s true faith, a faith that’s granted by God. A faith that is generated in the heart by the Holy Spirit through regeneration. If it is a true faith it will eventually understand.

Man, that’s a comfort for me personally, as there are so many things I fail to understand, so many things I do understand that I fail to practice consistently or practice well. And it is a joy to know that eventually God will bring me there, drawing me like a tractor meme into his glory. Drawing me toward greater Christ likeness, greater holiness, greater consistency and obedience and righteousness.

So true disciples, though they don’t get it right away, sometimes. True disciples, by the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit, by thoughtful reflection on God’s word, by the grace of God and the mercy of God, his desire to sanctify them in the incredible humility of the Messiah, they will see in him the glory of the incarnation. In the humility of the Messiah, they will see in him the true majesty of the king whom God has chosen.

True disciples, those who by the grace of God are able to see him for who he really is, those who’ve come to know him, to believe in him, to trust in him wholly. True disciples will not make the grave mistake that these pharisees are making of taking this king for granted, despising him in his humility and his meekness. Rather, they will see his humility, and through the humility they will see the glory. They will see the majesty. They will bow down before King Jesus and worship him.

So, by thoughtful, careful consideration of the text before us as we rely on the grace of the Holy Spirit. Let’s see if the humility of the Lord Jesus Christ compels you to worship him this morning. I trust that’s exactly what his grace will do by the Spirit. Let me give you the first outline point for this morning if you’re taking notes.

Number one, we see that the King comes to us in incomparable humility. Number one, the King comes to us in incomparable humility. We’ll go back to verse 35, we see the two disciples they have been obedient to Jesus. They followed his instructions. They did exactly what he told them to do. And so they succeed in retrieving the donkey’s colt. And it says in verse 35, “they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.”

Twice there, Luke draws our attention to the word cloaks. The cloaks act as a saddle, and then the cloaks also become kind of like a carpet, like rolling out the red carpet as Jesus rides on the colt. So soft seat plus soft road equals a very soft ride for the King. People wore a tunic as an inner garment inside the cloak, close to the skin. The tunic, the ketone, was a sleeveless kind of a knee length garment that was made of a softer cloth for comfort close to the body, but it wasn’t any good for outerwear. The tunic wasn’t made for durability, for exposure to the elements. That was the outer garment, the cloak called a Ahmadiyya. Like maybe our jacket or an outer coat. Something that is sturdy, made of durable material that can weather the elements. It was the most expensive item of clothing. It was what was worn on the outside.

So, these disciples remove their cloaks, their most expensive item of clothing, and they threw them on the back of the colt to create for Jesus there, a makeshift saddle for him to ride on. And now, with the colt saddled for comfort, the disciples picked Jesus up and they set him on the colt. Luke is the only gospel writer to call her attention to that detail, to give us this picture. The other 3 Gospels, he sat on the colt. Here, it’s clear they picked him up, set him on the colt. Kind of a touching scene actually. And you can kind of picture it in your mind’s eye.

The disciples are surrounding Jesus, they’re there in Bethany as they get ready to move on the procession down to Jerusalem. They’ve got to go from Bethany to the Mount of Olives and then from the Mount of Olives they’ll see Jerusalem, go down into the Kidron Valley, back up the other side to the eastern side of Jerusalem and into the city. But here they are in Bethany. They’re surrounding Jesus. Maybe picture a football team getting around their beloved coach. This is after the Gatorade bath. They’re about to leave the field and victory. The way men show affection here. The way men rejoice, and they celebrate using their strength.

Understand this moms with your boys, as they rough house and rough and tumble with each other and they’re fighting and rolling in the mud and everything else and you want to say no, no, stop that. They’re just showing affection for each other. Men use their strength, and they lift Jesus up on their shoulders. And they place him on the donkey’s colt. This is the disciple’s showing affection, loving him, honoring him. And they use their own clothing. The most expensive item of their clothing as a saddle, and they put him up above them on the donkey colt’s back.

They themselves remain on foot. They walk alongside Jesus, and he is up there riding the animal. That’s where he should be. They want him up high. They want him elevated up over everyone else so that he can be seen by everyone else, because he is the identity of this entire band of disciples. He is the focal point of this procession, so let him be seen. This in a sense, portrays the kind of nobility that was manifest in Jesus, because on the one hand, he is lifted up, points to him as transcendent, points to him as holy. He is a great king, after all.

But on the other hand, it’s understandable that in this text his transcendent holiness is easy to miss. It’s masked a bit by his humility. Masked by his familiarity, his humanity. Jesus comes to his people as no other king comes to his people. He comes in this humility that is familiar with his disciples. He comes close to them. He’s close enough to be touched, to be lifted up. Physically close. He’s not aloof, he’s not distance, he’s not untouchable as we’ve said before and contrasting with the coronation of King Charles the III. He’s not behind bulletproof glass, he’s not in a multimillion-dollar carriage.

He’s right there. He shares with his disciple’s intimate personal space with them. Very Middle Eastern, by the way, not having any sense of personal boundaries in space. They come very close. And although the disciples interact with him as a man, there is in them this sense of a need to show him this honor, to elevate him, to lift him up using their own cloaks for a saddle. So, with the colt saddled and Jesus riding on its back, now the procession begins in verse 36.

“As he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.” Well, what’s that about? Why spread their cloaks on the road? If donkeys are so sure footed and not prone to stumble, and they are the perfect animal, the vessel to carry this king down one side of a steep road into the Kidron Valley and up the other side into Jerusalem, why the cloaks on the road? Well, it’s yet another expression of honor to Jesus. There’s an illustration, actually, from Israel’s history. Goes way back to when Jehu, who was anointed king of Israel in 2 Kings chapter 9.

You may remember that God chose Jehu to judge the house of Ahab. All the northern kings, by the way, were wicked, in fact the whole northern Kingdom when it split off from the southern Kingdom, it set up the parameters and the boundaries of its Kingdom through idolatry, set up a false God in Dan and Beersheba. And so, it wanted to prevent the people from the north coming down to Jerusalem in the south to worship. So, the whole thing was idolatrous from start to finish, not one good king in the northern king of Israel.

And so, God has chosen Jehu, who to judge the House of Ahab and Jezebel, wicked queen Jezebel in particular, because they were Baal worshippers. And so, the prophet Elijah commanded Jehu to be anointed king, send his servant to go and anoint him, anoint him in private. But when Jehu came out his people very quickly coaxed it out of him and said, hey, what just, what just happened? Don’t tell us nothing happened. What happened in there? When the people found out that he’d been anointed.

It says in 2 Kings 9:13, “Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, ‘Jehu is king.’” It was by the anointing that Jehu is set apart. He’d been chosen, set apart from the rest, marked as holy, even though he wasn’t a holy man, but he was marked as holy. He was set apart for a special purpose, but then, in this symbolic act to picture his Holiness, to portray it, the men around him would not let this new king’s feet, his sacred feet, touch bare stone. The stone that had been crafted and shaped by the hands of not set apart men. Jehu’s feet would not touch that stone.

So, they carpet the bare steps of the Jehu’s holy feet will not come into contact with the bare stone. Similar thing here. Jesus’ disciples, they’re thinking the same way. This is common in the ancient world. In fact, you can see in some writings and some historical pictures. You can see slaves bowing down and letting their backs be walked on as the majesty, the sovereign walks over the top of them. It’s portraying their subservience. It’s portraying their humility and their loyalty to the king. Very similar thing here.

He’s the one who comes to us in humility, offering his life as a ransom for many. Willing to die for his people, unlike any other king.

Travis Allen

The disciples intend to carpet the entire road to Jerusalem with their cloaks. The hooves of the colt that he rides on. A colt that had never been ridden by anyone, never been used for any other purpose. So, it is holy. It is set apart. Well, this colt’s hooves now are sanctified not because the colt is anything in and of itself, but by virtue of the Holy One riding on its back.

So, it’s a picture. It’s a scene that pictures holiness as the colt walks on a carpeted path. From the Mount of Olives down into the Kidron Valley and back up into the city of Jerusalem. The other aspect of this picture of spreading cloaks out on the road. It’s a gesture, as I said, of subservience. It portrays an attitude of complete allegiance and total loyalty. By laying down the most expensive item of clothing it’s like saying nothing I have will be withheld from you. Even my cloak, which protects me from the cold and the elements. My cloak, which keeps me warm, the most expensive piece of clothing and I wear around on my body. Since all my trust is in you, all that I have is yours. That is the attitude of a true disciple, isn’t it? That is the believing heart, complete allegiance and total loyalty to Jesus the King.

Now, this attitude of honor and deference at the start of the procession, it begins with the disciples and it quickly spreads. It’s infectious. It spreads to the entire crowd. The crowd is very large. It’s growing larger and larger by the moment. There are residents that are from the region that join the disciples who’ve been journeying with Jesus, down from Pariah into Jericho and then up Jericho into Bethany and Bethphage. So, disciples come. Disciples from that region are there in Bethany and Bethphage and then there are other disciples, pilgrims who’ve come to Jerusalem for the Passover. They come and join as well.

So, this is a massive, massive crowd. Thousands, tens of thousands. In fact, some estimates put the numbers of Jerusalem on festival times, three festivals a year up over hundreds of thousands of visitors to Jerusalem. This city was packed with people. Mark says in his Gospel, his account of this, that many spread their cloaks on the road and others spread leafy branches that they’d cut from the field. So not only their cloaks, they used leafy branches as well. Palm branches, which is why we call this Palm Sunday.

Matthew says most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road. So not just many, but most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. So maybe instead of calling this Palm Sunday, we should call it cloak Sunday, coat Sunday. We should throw coats on the ground, right? Most people here are offering up their cloaks, their coats. In John’s Gospel we read this in John 12:12. It says that, “The next day [the Sunday we’re talking about here] the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.

So, they took branches of palm trees and they went out to meet him.” They run out there. What compelled them to leave Jerusalem? The place that they had journeyed to, many of them coming from miles around. What compelled them to leave Jerusalem? The location of the feast, in order to go out and meet him with palm branches in their hands? Well, John 12:17 says. The reason the crowd went out to meet him was that they’d heard that he had done this sign. What sign?

Residents of Bethany, they had been telling everyone how Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead just several weeks earlier. So, they’re spreading the news. They’re telling all about this resurrection, this raising of Lazarus from the dead. And so, with excitement, with messianic expectation, everyone is heading over to Bethany to see this Jesus, to see this miracle worker, to see this prophet of God, this one who has divine power to even raise the dead. They find out that Jesus has arrived there and they’ve just got to get out there and see him.

So, we’ve got one crowd coming from Bethany. They’re moving westward toward the Mount of Olives and toward Jerusalem. On the other side, we’ve got another crowd coming from Jerusalem, moving eastward. So, we’ve got these two crowds coming together, and they converge at the Mount of Olives. They form one massive crush of bodies. Bodies everywhere, people everywhere. You just imagine the scene. It’s like a, I mean, the thing that comes to my mind when I look on the internet and see crushes of bodies like this, or pilgrimages to Mecca when Muslims come and crush around Mecca.

The next verse says that in verse 37, once they meet up, they all then move back toward Jerusalem. So, you’ve got this massive throng of thousands of people, tens of thousands, probably all. I don’t know how they fit, but they’re all crammed together on the road. The disciples are there, and they are treating the Lord as they have, with honor, with deference. They’re portraying this allegiance to him, the crowds themselves, residents of Bethany, Bethphage, Jerusalem.

All the visiting pilgrims as well, they are coming in for the Passover. They follow suit. They do what the disciples are doing. They honor Jesus as Lord. They acknowledge him as king. And yet when it comes to it, they see him coming in humility. He’s not coming to them riding on a stallion. He’s not coming riding on a war horse. He’s coming on a colt of a donkey. He comes to them in peace. He shows himself to be a king, coming in humility, not in great pomp and circumstance and power and authority. Though he has all that. As he comes to them, he comes to them near. He’s not aloof. He lets them come near to him, close to him, very close. He doesn’t stand apart. He’s not out of reach. And if I could put it this way, we can see in here a picture, very clear picture of the incarnation, can’t we?

That though Jesus being God, of very God, the Son of God, he was robed in flesh. His true power and glory, the infinity of his essence, in the eternity of who he is in his nature, shielded from our understanding, because he looks like one of us. What we’re seeing here is transcendent holiness represented by him being lifted up by the carpeted way before him. And yet he walks among us in earthbound humility. Jesus, God of very God, he deserves all honor and glory and praise, and yet he considers equality with God not something to be grasped, not something to be held on to, clung to. He knows who he is.

And when he comes to us, Jesus would have us see him, at least at the very first. He would have us see him in this way as our brother, as our friend, as our humble, servant hearted savior. He’s the one who comes to us in humility, offering his life as a ransom for many. Willing to die for his people, unlike any other king. Willing to die for his people to save them from their sins. That’s how he comes an incomparable humility. There’s no one like him. No one, no one like him.

Here’s a second point for this morning in your notes. The king comes to us in incomparable humility number one and the king comes to us number two in an incarnational glory. The king comes to us in incarnational glory, the procession comes to the point, as we just cited in verse 37, where Jesus sees the city before him. It says, as he’s drawing near, he’s already on the way down to the Mount of Olives, and Alfred Edersheim, as he typically does, helps us to picture the scene.

Here’s what he says, “At this point, the first view is caught of the southeastern corner of the city, the Temple. And the more northern portions are hide by the slope of the Olivet on the right. What is seen is only Mount Zion, which at the time rose, terrace upon terrace from the palace of the Maccabees and of the high priest. A very city of palaces so the eye rested in the summit on that castle, city and palace, with its frowning towers, magnificent gardens, the royal abode of Herod. Supposed to occupy the very sight of the palace of David. Herod took over what David had built, lived in the palace called Zion, the City of Cities, the Pinnacle.”

So, as they come with inside of the City, verse 37, it says that “the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.” Okay, what mighty works are we talking about? Well, disciples who’d come from Jericho they talked about him healing a blind man named Bartimaeus along with his friend on the road to Jericho. They talked about how Jesus himself sought out and found the tax commissioner over Jericho. Why did he do that? To show his power in another way.

He found this man, Zacchaeus, the tax commissioner. They by the end of the day, they hear Zacchaeus promise publicly in front of everybody, holding himself accountable to repay fourfold anyone from whom he had stolen anything. Nobody hears that. That might be even more impressive than giving sight to the blind in the eyes of these people. Disciples who were living in and around Bethany, Bethphage, Jerusalem, they are talking about the resurrection of Lazarus, no doubt.

How Jesus had called him out of the grave telling the people to roll the stone away even though he had been in there for 4 days. Jesus called to him, “Lazarus, come forth.” The raising of Lazarus from the dead is a picture of spiritual regeneration. That physical calling forth of one dead who could not hear anything being dead. And yet life was created to him at the call of Jesus, and his ears could all of a sudden hear, and he all of a sudden had power animating his body and his limbs. After four days of being dead, he gets up and he walks out, still wrapped in his grave clothes.

That’s a picture of spiritual regeneration, that no one can hear the call of God unless God by his power, awakens that person to life. Gives them ears to hear, eyes to see, a heart to respond and move. The power to heal. The power to open blind eyes. The authority to forgive sins. The transforming power to turn a shady tax collector into an honorable man. Power to raise the dead. No one’s seen it. No one’s heard of it. It doesn’t even factor into mythology.

Mythology is all about taking perverted human beings and elevated them to being perverted gods. That’s not this. This is something else entirely. Divine authority, and all of it divine power, divine authority embodied, remarkably in someone who, by all appearances, appears to them to be a mere man. Telling these stories, the crowd, they’re walking along and talking among themselves and all these stories, these marvels about the mighty works that they had seen just go ripping through the crowd like electricity with lightning speed, electrifying this crowd.

It’s Frederick Godet who says, “The procession meets at every step with new troops arriving from the city, and these successive meetings call forth ever and again new bursts of joy.” They are excited to share the news. They’re excited to tell about who Jesus is and what he has done. I’ll just make a very quick comment here in parentheses. Beloved, don’t ever become so familiar with who Jesus is and what he has done, what he’s done on the pages of Scripture, and what he’s done in your life that you were not this excited to share the news with others. “Tell out my soul the praises of the Lord we sing.”

What’s the result of this? Well, the result is a spontaneous and infectious attitude of worship. Edersheim puts it this way, “It’s a fire leaping from heart to heart.” The whole place ignites in this chorus of worship and praise. In Luke 19:38 says, they were reciting A refrain that comes from Psalm 118, verse 26. Says, “the whole multitude of disciples begin to rejoice and praise God,” “Saying, ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Psalm 118, verse 26 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!.” And then they added “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” when we compare the other three gospel writers. Matthew 21:9 says, “The crowds that went before him and followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’”

Hosanna, by the way, is transliterated from the Hebrew or the Aramaic, and it means save now, help, I pray, save I pray. That also by the way, comes from Psalm 118, verse 25, a verse before the “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” And it says in Psalm 118:25, “Save us, we pray, O Lord!” That’s Hosanna, “save us, we pray.” Mark 11:9, “Those who went before and those who followed were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our Father David! Hosanna in the highest!’” And then in John 12:13, they “went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’”

Matthew, Mark, John. That cry of Hosanna features their prayers for divine salvation. All four gospels really connect us with kingship, the salvation, the kingship that go together in the Messiah of God. Matthew 21:9, it’s the “Son of David” that’s the Messiah. Mark 11:9, it’s “the coming kingdom of our father David,” messianic promises.

John 12:13, the “King of Israel”, shorthand for Messiah. Luke’s is the shortest reference to kingship. Just “Blessed is the King,” “Blessed is the King.” You say, well, all of those very slightly. What was actually said? Tens of thousands of people. All of that was said right? And more. Gospel writers are just boiling it down, helping us to see some of what was said there.

So, what does this show us? It shows us that Jesus’ plan, his intention to come to them as Savior, to come to them as King and fulfill Zechariah 9:9. He succeeded in what he set out to do, didn’t he? What he planned, he accomplished. Keep that in your mind about God and his ways. That what he plans, he accomplishes. That’s a mark of divine power and divine authority. What he plans, he accomplishes. Many things we plan. We can’t fulfill it right? Not with God. Zechariah 9:9, this is what he wants him to see. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you.” “Your king.” How will you know him? Comes gentle, mounted on a donkey. A colt. The foal of a donkey. That’s how you’ll know him. That’s how you’ll see him.

Again, this crowd, we understand. Their knowledge is shallow. Their understanding is imperfect, incomplete, as we said. Even his own disciples, they’re not going to understand the significance of all this until after he’s glorified. And yet, even at this point we see that this crowd, along with the disciples, they all acknowledge Jesus is their king. He is the Messiah. By the way, Psalm 118, it is one of the processional Psalms that was recited at the Feast of Passover in particular.

It’s a liturgy of thanksgiving for the pilgrims who are on procession coming to the temple. This is very fitting for the crowd to chant the refrains from Psalm 118 on this occasion. One section of the Psalm in particular, versus 25 to 28. The crowd would, as they made their way up to the city of Jerusalem and up to the temple itself. A group of these pilgrims coming into the temple coming toward the temple would chant versus 25 to 28 of Psalm 118 and antiphonally. So, you’d have one group on one side calling out the first line of the stanza and then the other group responding, calling out the second line of the stanza. Kind of an enjoyable, fun way of praising and proclaiming Psalm 118:25 to 28.

So, it went like this, and you’ll hear it and what’s already been recorded. “Save us, we pray, O Lord”, that’s the Hosanna. “Save us, we pray, O Lord!” What’s the refrain or the response? “O Lord, we pray, give us success!” We pray for salvation. Give us salvation. Next line. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” on the one side. On the other side they respond with “We bless you from the house of the Lord.”

So, there’s pilgrims coming to the temple. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” and then from the temple they say, “We bless you from the house of Lord.” Come on in. We pray for salvation. Give us success. There is success. Come into the temple. Come into the temple. And how can they come in? Next line, “The Lord is God, he made the light shine upon us.” He made his light shine upon us.

The response to that, “Bind the festal sacrifice with chords, up to the horn of the altar.” There must be a blood atonement. There must be a sacrifice. And then finally we see the reconciled relationship and that refrain. “You are my God” is the call. “You are my God, and I will give thanks to you on the other end. You are my God; I extol you.” I give thanks to you my God, and I extol you my God. I rejoice in you. Why? Because my heart is filled with gratitude. Why? Because there’s been a sacrifice made to reconcile me to you. And because of that I could come into the temple. Because of that, I see your salvation fulfilled. Psalm 118.

Year after year pilgrims had been coming to the Passover. Year after year they chanted those lines. Varying levels of understanding. Salvation, sacrifice, success means blood atonement. The one who comes in the name of the Lord, he is the light who shines upon Israel. Chanting those lines year after year after year. This year is different. This year they’re visited by the very one they’ve been singing about, the one who comes to them as savior, who comes to them as King. He comes to them in incarnational glory.

John wrote about this and his opening lines. John 1:4, “In him was life and the life was the light of men.” Now they don’t discern, obviously, the full significance of what they’re saying. They’re speaking better than they know, better than they understand. But still they acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, and in their excited enthusiasm, their praise rises heavenward further still. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” And then, “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Where have we heard that language before?

Remember, it’s from the angels, right? The night of Jesus birth witnessed by the shepherds who are tending their flocks near Bethlehem. It says in Luke 2:14, “a multitude of the heavenly host was praising God and saying, [what?] ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” What are the angels praising God about in that context there? Incarnational glory, they see the Son of God in the form of this baby. And they’re giving glory and praise to God. “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among those with whom he’s pleased.”

God robed his one and only son in human flesh, in human vesture. He wrapped the second person of the Trinity in swaddling cloths and laid him in a Manger. Why was that necessary? To glorify God in the highest? And on earth to bring peace to those with whom he’s please. It was necessary. Glory, Peace, those are some weighty terms, and we will not be able to unpack the fullness of those terms here now at this moment. But just a couple things to say about this.

Glory and peace are two massive theological themes in scripture. And if we commit to some reflection on glory and peace, the glory of God, and peace or reconciliation between God and man, we reflect on that. They may seem like competing goals in the plan of redemption, but they do come together in Christ. The word glory, the Greek word doxa. It translates the Hebrew, which is kavod. Kavod means heavy, means weighty. That’s what you should think about in terms of glory.

Don’t get caught up in some false charismatic view of gloria’s angel dust blowing out of the vents. Don’t get caught up in that. Kind of like gloria is some human thing, some manufactured thing. Same way that we draw God into our presence and experience his glory. Because if the glory of God arrives, if it shows up in your midst, you know what happens? You fall down in your face like a dead man, Isaiah said, in Isaiah 6 seeing the glory of God. I’m undone. I am disintegrated. Glory is weight. Glory is not effervescent happiness and goosebumps. Glory is weight. Heavy power from God, the weight of holiness. And when the glory of God comes, when it visits, it can come in a terrifying form.

In fact, we see in Israel’s history some memorable encounters with the weight of divine glory. I can’t obviously take you through them all, but let’s just illustrate by going back to Exodus 19. Just turn back to Exodus 19 very quickly and find your way to Exodus 19 and verse 16. The description there in Exodus 19 is of the manifestation of divine glory. Portraying the glory of God that comes in its weight and its heaviness. On to Mount Sinai. And this is the giving of the law. Just before the giving of the law, God visits them in his glory. What was it like for the people who saw it?

Well Exodus 19 verses 16, I can tell you they weren’t dancing around with goosebumps. “On the morning of the third day, [it says], there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud in the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. And then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire, and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, the whole mountain trembled greatly.” You’ve got this massive earthquake shaking the whole mountain. “As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder [and louder], Moses spoke and God answered him in thunder. [And] the Lord, [that’s the divine name Yahweh], came down on Mount Sinai to the top of the mountain.”

You think the people were giddy? No way. They’re terrified. The text says that all the people in the camp trembled. The whole mountain joined them, trembling greatly it says. Go to the end of Exodus chapter 20 after God gave the 10 commandments. It says an Exodus 20 verse 18, “Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and they trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we’ll listen; but don’t let God speak to us, lest we die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.’ [But then] the people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.”

TWo experiences here of the presence of God. The manifestation of the glory of God evokes fear in human beings. And there is the believing fear of reverence and awe, represented by the reaction of Moses. That’s a believing fear. That’s a fear of a believer, a fear of one who knows and loves and worships God.

Then there is also the unbelieving fear represented by the people. A fear of dread, of craven death. That’s the response of the people. The people could rightly sense in their fallen state. In their fallen condition, they sense their own sinfulness. We know these same people, Exodus chapter 32. They’re about to dance around a golden calf, committing sexual immorality with each other and partying. They want the giddy God. They want the God that they can dance around and have goosebumps and warm friendships and relationships and parties and drink and immediate gratification and satisfaction.

They don’t want this God. So, the people sense their condition before God. They feel the distance between their sinful selves and the Holy God. So, there is in them at this moment when they see the glory of God, the weight of God. They have an absence of peace. Isaiah 43:24, God says, “You have burdened me with your sins; you’ve wearied me with your iniquities.” Few chapters later Isaiah 59:2, “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.”

People like to encourage sometimes unbelievers to pray. We need to gather around the pole and pray. We need to have a day of prayer and I’m certainly all for encouraging people to reverence God, to turn to him, to call out for his help. As a nation we have departed from that so far and look where we are. But listen, when good, conservative, rural, hardworking, salt of the earth folks regard iniquity in their hearts, you know what?

God does not hear them. There’s no such thing as good people. They’re just bad people upon whom God shows mercy and grace and favor. God said through Jeremiah. Jeremiah 5:21 and following, he says, “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not. Do you not fear me? Declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me?” Like, don’t you know who you’re dealing with? Do you not regard my glory? Do you not regard the weight of my being? Do you not feel the heaviness of who I am?

Actually, you just continue living your lives doing the same old thing, nothing ever changing, really. That’s how you’re going to respond to me, he continues through Jeremiah. “I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves tossed, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it.”

Think about that imagery there. He places the sand, little, tiny grains that you can barely see with your naked eye, and they are the boundary for the powerful waves of the ocean. Why? Because God ordained it. He takes the little insignificant grains of sand. And he amasses them and makes them boundaries for the entire oceans of the earth. And he says, I control the oceans, I control the tides. I keep the waters from covering the land, from covering you, where you live. Don’t you fear me? Aren’t you going to tremble before me? Aren’t you gonna regard my glory, the weight of who I am?

He continues through Jeremiah, “But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. They don’t say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest. [Oh, my people], your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you.”

No peace between God and man. Because man’s sin brings him into conflict with God’s holiness, man’s sin puts him at enmity with God. There can be no peace. There can be no reconciliation between God and man apart from God reconciling his justice. There must be a just punishment for sin. For every sin, for all sins, and the total removal of sin, there must be a propitiation of the wrath of God. What is that? A propitiation means a satisfaction of the wrath of God. He must be appeased, must be propitiated. His wrath must be removed, taken away. And how does that come? But through death for sin. And that sin must also be expiated, not just propitiated, but expiated, removed, separated from us as far as the east is from the west.

How can that happen? That’s what we read earlier in the antiphonal refrains of Psalm 118. Salvation by sacrifice. “Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the House of the Lord.” Come on in. Why? Because the Lord is God. He made his light to shine upon us. So, bind the sacrifice with chords to the horns of the altar. Salvation by sacrifice. A peace that comes that can only come through the blood of an atoning sacrifice. All this pointing to. In the good providence of God, by what he ordained, by what he orchestrated, by what he’s planned and brought to fruition.

In this procession from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem, God manifest in Christ, the mediator of a new covenant, ratified by his blood. That’s what Paul says in Colossians 1:19, “For in him [who’s that? It’s in Christ. In Jesus Christ] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” The fullness of an infinite God. That’s an infinity of goodness, eternality, omnipotence, omniscience. His full power, his full glory, the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in him. That’s the incarnation. And then to do what? Through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Again, salvation sacrifice of peace that comes and can only come through blood atonement. At this most basic level, peace is contrasted with war. War is the probably the ultimate outbreak, you could say, of enmity, hatred, hostility. War is the outbreak of it, and it’s the opposite of peace. Peace, the opposite of war, is the ultimate expression not just of a cessation of conflict or hostility, but an expression of harmony.

So put those at opposite ends of the spectrum. You can put disintegration in war, destruction in war, contrast it with harmony and integration in peace. One author put it this way. And he’s surveying the ancient classical Greek statements on the concept of peace. He says, “Peace is not only the elimination of war, but an organization of the future because it guarantees tranquility and wealth and an opportunity for all sorts of happiness and prosperity that comes into the biblical concept of peace.” God sent his Son and all the fullness of deity in human flesh to secure this kind of peace.

Again, not just the cessation of hostility, but to secure a harmony. To secure the right ordering of all things. Colossians 1:20, “to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

So beloved, don’t just think that because I’m saved, I’m good and I just coast my way to heaven. If you think that way, ask yourself: Am I really a Christian? Because Christians don’t think like that. Christians want peace with God. That is not only the cessation of his hostility against me for my sin. I want that, obviously. But that’s just this first step. That’s just removing the obstacle.

What I really long for is reconciliation with God, a relationship with him. To know him, to follow him, that my life would be rightly ordered according to his will. That my priorities, my thinking, all my relationships, everything in my life, my business, my so called private world and public world. Everything comes together reconciled to what he wants. That is peace. That is the right ordering of all things. That’s what Christ came to do. In the cross God judge sin, the enemy of all peace, the cause of all disorder, the disruption of all harmony, the disintegration of all order, and all structure. “God sent his own son, [Romans 8:3] in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, and thus condemned the sin in the flesh.”

So sins the problem. Sin is the source of all enmity, and while it remains undealt with while sin remains unjudged. There can be no peace, there can be no reconciliation. But with sin judged, it opens up an avenue for peace and as I said, not just the cessation of hostility, but an opportunity for harmony. For full reconciliation, for fully doing God’s will. This is why Paul says continuing in Colossians 1 verse 21, you who were once alienated, hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, and as you were not at all at peace”, but you were living contrary to his glory, you once alienated, hostile in mind, doing evil deeds. “He is now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death,” in order that what?

In order that you may coast and live your best life now as you coast your way into heaven to walk the streets of gold with all your buddies and your friends, and you have a big party in heaven? No, that’s not what Colossians 1 says. “In order to present you holy, blameless, and above reproach before him.” In other words, to live in peace, to live in harmony, to live a reconciled life.

Now by the grace of God, Moses understood that he didn’t understand that fully, but he understood that truly. And I would dare say he understood that better than many of us living today. We can see what he longed for more than anything else. God, show me your glory. God, I won’t go ahead as the leader of this nation unless you go with me. I long for you. I long for a glimpse of your ways, your glory. Please show me who you are. Moses understood this. As I said, not fully, but he truly understood. Moses is drawn by the holiness of God.

He’s compelled to come near. He’s not repelled. He’s not turned away. That’s why he tried to encourage the people when they withdrew from God. Do not fear. Come on people, don’t go away. Don’t fear, don’t run. He’s evangelizing his people. God’s come to test you. So, the fear of him may be before you that you may not sin. Sins the problem people. Deal with your sin and come near to God. But the people stood far off. They’re repelled by the glory of divine holiness. They held on to their sin, and that sin has proven manifold, manifestly in Exodus 32 and all through the record of the Old Testament.

Moses, though he drew near to the thick darkness. Not because the thick darkness was so appealing, that because the thick darkness is where God was. He’s willing to go through with whatever he’s got to go through. Though would cause his heart to tremble, his knees to buckle, his flesh to pull back and recoil. He’s pressing forward because he wants to be where God is. He’s compelled by glory. He seeks God’s perfect peace. He trusts in his reconciliation. He trusts in his power.

So, you can go back to Luke 19 now with that in your mind. as the King makes his way down the road, riding the colt of a donkey down the Mount of Olives, down in the Kidron Valley, he comes in his incarnational glory. He comes to secure the peace in order to reconcile his people. And they had no idea. They all shouted. Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, glory in the highest.

As we said, they spoke better than they knew. But Jesus knew. He knew how the peace in heaven and the peace on earth would be accomplished. He knew how God would be glorified. He knew how the demand of the weight of God’s holiness would be satisfied. He knew how divine justice would be satisfied, satiated. How the wisdom of God, the power of God would be put on display, would come at the expense of his dead body hanging on a cross. And you know what? He’s eager. He’s running to the cross. So, the king comes, number one in incomparable humility. Number two, he comes in incarnational glory. And thirdly, this is verses 39 to 40. We can’t deal fully with this, but we’ll try to get to some of it now and then next time.

But thirdly, number three, the king comes to us in irrepressible majesty. The king comes to us in irrepressible majesty. “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’” Censure them, silence them, “He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones will cry out.” It’s a future tense verb there. They will cry out. Not they would, but they will. The Pharisees rejection. We know this from the rest of the narrative. It’s gonna spread like a virus among the people.

That’s why Jesus laments over Jerusalem in versus 41 to 44. He knows what’s coming. He knows the betrayal, the rest, the trials, the execution. He’s under no delusion about the outcome. He knows what’s coming. And it’s not as though Jesus is some unwitting victim of circumstance that he’s like this well-intentioned but wrong self-styled Messiah. It’s not in spite of all his best efforts, he fails to accomplish his mission. No, he knows exactly what’s coming. He comes to Jerusalem on this coronation procession in this manner, and it’s all a part of the plan. He knows it’s going to end in his death, and in fact he’s counting on it. Why? Because he came to bring peace between heaven and earth.

He’s provoking this. He’s just waiting through this coronation procession for such as the Pharisees to come voicing their complaint. He’s not taken by surprise. In fact, before Jesus determined to go to Jerusalem, it says and Luke 9:51, he told his disciples back in verse 22 of the same chapter, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, be rejected by the elders and the chief priests in the scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Quite a prophecy, quite a prediction.

So, he’s been eager to get to Jerusalem. Now with the city inside the temple just ahead, even though the people seem to be receiving Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus has met with a very sentiment that’s going to kill him. The complaint of these Pharisees that works like a contagion working through all the crowd. He predicted this too, back in Luke 13:34, when he said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones, those who are sent to it! Oh, how often I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers a brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Behold, your house is left to you forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

And we look at this verse here, Luke 19:38. And we say, aha, they’ve said it, Eureka. Blessed is he who comes, the name of the Lord. Sadly it’s not this day, in spite of how he comes, presents himself to his people. Showing great humility, manifesting incarnate glory, revealing his true majesty in spite of how these people seem to be receiving him, what is actually happening is what He has said about them all along. “These people are honoring me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Must have lips and hearts aligned so that what is spoken from the mouth is coming from the bowels of the heart.

That’s not happening here, because in less than a week’s time, these people are going to be not saying blessed as you comes in the name of the Lord, but crucify him, crucify him. His blood be on our heads and on the hearts of our children as well. Pharisees come and they’re taking offense at this whole scene. They’re envious of Jesus. The pilot knew that he could see through their complaints against him. They’re trumping up charges against him. Even the Roman governor Pilate. It’s not his first time around the block. He knew envy when he saw it.

The Pharisees are irritated with his influence. They feel nothing but contempt for him. They resent the way he’s had, sway over the crowds. They resent the seeming affection of the people for him. This has to stop. What is it that’s bugging him? Put simply, Jesus is accepting the praise of these people. They’re recognizing and knowledge him as the Messiah and the, the Pharisees are offended because not only are the people deluded, ignorant masses are going to say what ignorant masses say, but even worse, Jesus is not stopping them. He’s letting this continue.

Can we have some modicum of propriety here, teacher? Get a hold of these people. What kind of disciples are these. They’re at enmity with God. They can’t see Jesus clearly because they are at enmity with God, and so they’re at enmity with his chosen Messiah as well. So, they don’t run around trying to silence the crowd. That would be a bad tactic on their part, trying to silence the crowd at this time, probably get him stoned. They’re man fears, not God fears. They’re man fears.

So, they go to Jesus. They have so little regard for him, they think they can command him. They think nothing of commanding him to rebuke his disciples. And they, they come with this kind of faux shock. Like, oh, oh teacher, look at this impertinence, look at this ignorance. Get a hold of this outrage. Absolutely blind. They discern nothing about him, nothing at all. In fact, rather than discerning very little, even the crowds discerned little. Even the disciples didn’t understand everything. They had to see him be fully glorified. All his predictions come true before they saw it fully.

But the Pharisees, it’s not just that they don’t understand. It’s that they come to an opposite conclusion about him. They hate him. How could you hate him? He is glorious. He’s majestic. He’s coming in humility. The truth is, they don’t see Jesus for who he is because they don’t want to see him for who he is. They hate him and they’re religious people. You know, the deepest hatred and the most violent outburst of persecution come from the most religious. We see it in Islamic terrorism. We saw it in the Apostle Paul as he tried to persecute Christians, throw him in jail, have him killed, stoned. We see in these Pharisees as they’re about to crucify Jesus.

Make no mistake folks, as we head into a further, further times of trouble in our country, it’s not going to be pretty for us. The violent, religious secularists. I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. But the secularists in our country are very religious, evangelistic. They’ve got a worldview and they demand that we line up. We bow before their authority. It’s coming. If they hated him, they’ll hate us too. The greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world, eh?

Sin is the source of all enmity, and while it remains undealt with while sin remains unjudged, there can be no peace, there can be no reconciliation.

Travis Allen

These Pharisees religious, but they’re worldly minded. They’re unconverted men even though they are churchgoers. They’re spiritually blind. They see meekness and humility in Jesus as weakness. They want power. They want glory for themselves. They want military might. They want to take back society. They want to overthrow the Romans. They want to elevate the Jews. They want to establish the Kingdom for themselves and set up morality and laws according to their system. So, in Jesus, they mistake his meekness for weakness and they have made up their minds. They despise his humility. They ignore his glory. They’re blind to his majesty. Jesus is going to speak to them in a moment. We’ll get to that next time.

But for the time being, Jesus receives this praise. He receives it because it fits his station. It is what is due to him. And there are true disciples in the crowd who are speaking this praise and this worship from their hearts, from changed hearts. They’re believers. There are other people, many people in this crowd, who are just going along with the show. But if Paul tells us in Philippians 2, “One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father,” and there will be some knees that bow voluntarily because they bow now.

There will be some knees then that are forced to bow. They will bow underneath the rod of iron, but they will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father. God has ordained praise for the Son and the God who can raise up children for Abraham from the very stones, as John the Baptist said in Luke 3:8. He can also extract praise from the stones. These stones, if the praises of humanity fall silent. If the praises of God’s people fall silent, well you can evoke praise from the stones. Very interesting metaphor here. The stones will cry out.

Only four or five different ways that I’ve found the commentators explain that. I’ll mention maybe some of those next time, but for now. We can just say this, that biblical poetry often portrays inanimate objects in creation that praise God. We heard that this morning in Psalm 96. Inanimate objects of creation, the trees and the mountains and all that, that give praise to God. “The heavens declare the glory of God, [Psalm 19:1], the sky proclaims his handiwork.” Isaiah 55:12, “the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing, and all the trees in the field shall clap their hands.”

It’s poetic imagery, isn’t it? Often in the Bible we see that kind of poetic imagery. Stones, in particular. Stones in the Bible portray solidity, durability, we could say immutability. It’s like the mountains that will always be there, The stones will always be there. There are other less durable substance in creation that pass away. But stones, they remain. They remain as witnesses.

Oftentimes Joshua, Joshua 24 sets up a stone and says this stone, he’s not a pantheist or a panentheist. He just says this stone has heard this testimony, this is God. We will serve him. We’ll follow him. “As for me, and my house, we’ll serve the Lord.” All the Israel says, yeah, we’re going to do the same thing. Okay. I’ve set this stone up. The stone heard you. He’s not saying the stone has ears. There’s life in the stone. It’s not a Disney cartoon. He doesn’t believe that. He’s just saying this stone is gonna outlive this generation and the next and the next, and it’s going to be here on through the ages as a perpetual testimony of what you said here on this day.

That’s why the 10 Commandments were inscribed in stone. Perpetual testimony. When the crowd chanted in Psalm 118:26 “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” If you go back a few verses in Psalm 118, it says, “the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” A couple days later from this event here, Jesus is going to quote that very verse. He’s going to quote it to the chief priest, describes the elders who challenged his authority.

You can see that in next chapter, Luke 20 verse 17, no matter what they say. No matter what they do, the Pharisees, the religious leaders, though they crucify Jesus, though they try to silence him completely. God has made this one that they reject made him the cornerstone, which means his majesty is irrepressible. It is solid, it is durable, it is immutable. No silencing him. You know something else? Those who receive Jesus as the Messiah. As God’s cornerstone, we’re cut from the same stone, aren’t we?

Therefore, we’re made of the same durable stuff. This generation of Abraham’s descendants according to the flesh, those who witnessed Jesus’ procession but refused to receive their king, ultimately rejecting his glory, trying to suppress his majesty. Nevertheless, we find there are living stones. Those whom God raises up as an abiding witness to his glory, built into a holy temple in the Lord.

That’s us, beloved, that’s us. It’s by no accident. It’s by no coincidence that the disciple whom Jesus nicknamed “The Rock” after Jesus ascended into heaven. Peter did some reflecting on his own name, and he wrote, as it were, a theology of stone. For us living stones to read and rejoice in 1 Peter 2:4 through 8, he says, “As you come to him a living stone rejected by men, but in the sight of God chosen and precious. You yourselves, like living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture, behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone, chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So, the honor is for you who believe living stones, but for those who do not believe. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of a fence. Beloved you and me, we are those living stones. Though the generation who saw this procession, though they fall silent, though they submit to the censure of the Pharisees, you know what we’re crying out.

We’re singing in praise and gratitude and worship of Jesus Christ. This king who has come to us in incomparable humility, in incarnational glory and an irrepressible majesty. Paul says, we’re being built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone in whom the whole structure being joined together grows into a holy temple in the Lord and in him you are also being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. And there’s so much more to see here.

Just going to have to cut it off at this moment and return the procession next time. But let me just ask, what about you? As you hear all this from Luke, his record, of Jesus procession into Jerusalem. What about you? Do you take the humility of Christ for granted or are you compelled to worship him for his humility and his meekness? Through his humility and his meekness, you see your way through to the weight of his incarnational glory.

Do you see his glory? Do you see the peace that he is wrought for you in his own body on the cross? Do you bow before his kingly majesty? Does his holiness compel you to come, or keep you at a distance? I pray it’s the former, not the latter, because to know him as he is, in his humility, his glory, his majesty, my friend that is living. That’s what we were created to be and to do for all of eternity. Let’s pray.

Our Father, we thank you once again for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you for his majesty. That he comes as a king and yet he comes to us in a way that we can apprehend, comes in humility. He comes presenting himself in his first advent as the suffering servant, the one who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. He came to win a people. Not by compelling them from the outside external pressure, but by winning them from the inside out, making them new creations by the spirit, causing them to be born again to a living hope. Giving them a heart to believe and to understand. Giving them a new nature, a new spirit, one that longs to obey, longs to do your will.

We thank you, Father, for your perfect plan of redemption. We thank you for the great wisdom that it demonstrates. We know that a gospel like this can only be revealed from heaven, can never be made up like so many manmade religions that makes sense to them.

We thank you that you have been pleased to open our eyes to the truth, we asked that you would help us to walk in it, that we would not just see the peace between us and you that’s won by Jesus Christ and his atoning victory on the cross. We’d not just see that peace is just, just a cessation of hostility with you, but that we would see it instead as a, a compelling force to live in harmony with you, to be reconciled to you fully. To enjoy the relationship with you in obedience, in truth, love and worship. We thank you for the time we’ve had this morning, and may it be used to glorify you in the name of Christ. To sanctify us by the Spirit. It’s in Jesus name we pray. Amen.