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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sermon 03202013 Wednesday of Lent 5


May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  Creator of the universe, You formed the land we walk upon, the trees that we use for shade and even the animals used for work.  Enable us to understand all of this is Yours and it is here to serve You, but especially as we come closer to Your passion, it will be used to herald You for Your greatest mission, our salvation.  For Your entrance into Jerusalem on a colt begins the final journey to Golgotha where You die in order that all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel might live.  May we lay claim to this truth for it is for all of mankind, but especially all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel during the final weeks of our Lenten pilgrimage.  AMEN.

Looking across the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem, Jesus would have seen the temple mount and the places where He would go to suffer and die.  But what is ironic as He looked across prior to His entrance into the Holy City was He knew that a man had a colt tied outside of his house and the owner would let him use this beast of burden to carry Jesus into the city.

From today’s installment of the series of People and Places of Lent we hear about the owner of the colt.  Hear the story from Matthew 21 (Matthew 21:1-7)

21 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
Say to the daughter of Zion,
Behold your King is coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats.

As a child I remember going to the movies and seeing Star Wars on the big screen at the drive in and seeing the great Jedi warrior, Obi Wan Kanobi convincing the Imperial storm troopers that ‘these are not the droids you are looking for’.  This scene although not that similar reminds me of this story around the colt for the disciples and the owner of the colt.

Jesus disciples who had been with Him for His entire ministry had seen Jesus cast demons out, spit in the dirt and restore the sight of the blind and made the lame walk, now simply told His disciples to simply say to the owner of the colt, “The Lord has need of them”.  Encapsulated in these words is not a mind trick like was shown in Star Wars, but a message to the owner of the colt.  Your colt, tied up outside of your house that provides you transportation, work in the field when needed and is your beast of burden is needed.  It isn’t simply needed by the Government, but it is needed by the Lord of the Universe, Jesus Christ Who had sent His disciples to retrieve the colt.  Jesus Christ Who is about to fulfill the plan of salvation is in need of the colt to ride into the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Knowing the future, Jesus Christ knew what the outcome would be, but in telling the disciples, “and immediately he [that is the owner of the colt] will send them” Jesus reveals to His disciples His most intimate fore knowledge of all the plans of this world.  The man who was owner of the colt is not identified by name, but this whole story is a fulfillment of the prophesies of the Old Testament.  Both Isaiah and especially Zechariah tell of the coming of the King.  Jesus Christ not only is fulfilling the Old Testament scripture of entering the city mounted “on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden”, Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the plan of salvation for all of mankind including you and me and for all time and all place.

This story is just one more instance of how Jesus Christ not only fulfilled the Old Testament in making complete satisfaction for the Law, but this story of the Colt epitomizes how Jesus Christ is not only prophet, but high priest and King.  As such Jesus Christ fulfilled for His disciples, for the owner of the colt and for us today the plan of salvation with His riding on the colt into Jerusalem.

But of what consequence is the owner of the colt, the fulfillment of the plan of salvation and Jesus entrance in the Holy City of Jerusalem?  For without the owner of the colt, having the animal tied to the outside of his house, without the colt being born, without the owner being in the City on that particular day instead of out working his fields and making a living, the prophecy would not have come true.  The owner of the colt was one more ‘stepping stone’ that Jesus not only prophesied about, but fulfilled on His way to the Cross of Calvary.  Jesus entrance into Jerusalem was not to make Him King, because He already was King.  This fulfillment of the story of salvation history was so the prophecies could be fulfilled and this colt born with a higher destiny would carry Jesus Christ into Jerusalem so the rest of the plan of salvation could be fulfilled.

For the fulfillment of the plan of salvation needed this colt, needed this owner and needed a Savior, Jesus Christ.  In His coming into the world and into Jerusalem, Jesus Christ would continue to fulfill the Old Testament that told of His coming, His living and His dying for all of mankind.  Jesus Christ riding this colt owned by the unnamed owner, would enter Jerusalem with great herald, but then ultimately die between two criminals spit upon, beaten and finally pierced for our transgressions.  Jesus Christ became the ultimate sacrifice so we who gather here during this Lenten Season might have eternal life.  Jesus Christ prophesied about this owner of the colt and his freely giving it for Jesus use in order to go to the Cross of Calvary and freely die for the sins of all of mankind, including all of us saints that are gathered here at Emmanuel this morning/evening.  AMEN.
//trial script