S-1346-1SIA/C 12/02/2012 Hymns: #55; #62; #64
Texts: Jeremiah 33:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 3:19-13; Luke 19:28-40
Theme: “Divine Details” (Jeremiah 33:15-16)
Question: “Do you like details?” Armour, SD
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! The text for our First Sunday in Advent is from the O.T. Lesson: “In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness’” (Jeremiah 33:15-16)
O most holy people of God, one often hears the phrase “the devil is in the details.” A similar, yet quite different phrase that I prefer is “God is in the details.” Why this preference? Because God’s details always trump the devil’s details. Biblically speaking the Scriptures teach that God works every minute detail in the history of mankind together for the good of the church. Every Divine detail! There isn’t anything that happens in history that in the end will not serve the salvation God has won through His Son for us.
We see this vividly at work on Good Friday. Before the foundation of the universe God planned to send His Son into the world to die on the cross for our sins on a Passover Weekend. So exact were the details that Jesus wills Himself to die on the cross right at the same moment the High Priest sacrifices the Passover Lamb in the temple.
As we begin Advent Season and a new Church Year, we behold how God enlists the details of absolutely everything in history for the sake of the gospel. In Jeremiah we have a powerful prophecy. It tells how from the family tree of David will come a unique Person. Through a New Jerusalem (the Church) He will execute justice and righteousness throughout the land. He will have a huge Branch Office extending throughout the world. This someone will be set apart to do what no king in Israel’s history had ever done. Someone will be born and live a flawless life marked by righteousness, holiness, perfect love, and perfect justice.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus declared as the Son of David through both the lineage of Mary and Joseph that this was part of His gospel mission. He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to FULFILL them.”
To the nth degree the Lord of history would fulfill even the smallest details of the law, of the prophecies related to the Messiah’s coming, and everything necessary for our salvation. So that we could stand before the Father blameless on Judgment Day, Jesus had to fulfill flawlessly the law of God. One itty bitty mistake and we all would end up in a fiery Lake—that is what was at stake.
To see the fulfillment of one set of divine details that connect together as a miraculous pattern we begin with the conception and birth of Jesus. Pious Jews who believed in the Greek Old Testament believed that a virgin born Son, who would be a suffering Savior was to be born in the fullness of times. The Bible teaches that Jesus’ birth was brought about in a virgin womb—a virgin womb set apart. We see in this Virgin born Child from the beginning One set apart for the holy purposes of a holy purpose.
The mission of Christ Jesus come into the world was “mission: holiness,” which is the same as saying “mission: love.” Holiness and love and justice and righteousness all merge together. When one does that which is holy one will march the way of love, justice, and righteousness. And Jesus was the One Jeremiah carefully foretold who would be “The Lord our righteousness”—from His family tree the Church, His beautiful bride—will emerge and grow so that under its branches people from every tribe, language, color and nation will gather to find comfort and peace. PAUSE.
Yet, there are many in our world that don’t know who Jesus is and worse yet, don’t look at others as sacred souls—children of the heavenly Father. Many have a confused view of who Jesus is and what He came to accomplish. Perhaps, you heard the blasphemy spoken this week by Actor Jamie Foxx at Soul Train Music Awards stating: “First of all, give an honor to God and our lord and savior Barack Obama” What a terrible statement to compare a mere man to the One Jeremiah spoke of in our text.
Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ please know Barrack Obama is not lord and savior. He didn’t create the world, he didn’t do any miracles to help the world, he didn’t suffer for the world, he wasn’t crucified for the world, he didn’t die for the world, and neither was he raised from the dead for the benefit of the world. Look at Barack Obama’s hands and you will not see the print of nails in them, and there are no puncture wounds on his forehead. Therefore, he is neither lord nor savior.
But the One spoken of in Jeremiah is indeed the righteous branch that His Kingdom will have no end. He is the One who will rule with justice and righteousness all the days of His life. For this reason it is important for us to know the truth of Scriptures; so that we can tell the world of the debauchery of sin and the destructive powers of the devil.
Yes, God is in the details—divine details to saving you and me. We see that in the life of Jesus the offspring of David. We see that in His perfect obedience to the will of the Father by completing every minute detail for our benefits. PAUSE.
I know it is easy to jump all over Jamie Fox and say what blasphemy and what atrocity; but what about us? Are we willing to be called the “Lord our righteousness” for that is what we are? Did you know that in the text, “Jerusalem” and not the Lord is called the “Lord our righteousness?” This is speaking of God’s people who have been made righteous through the blood of the Lamb and clothed by His white garments of holiness.
But if we are indeed Messianic People, why then do we not call sin for what it is SIN? Why do we turn our eyes and act as if there is nothing wrong with our world or family of faith? Why are we not willing to be the people of God declaring sin as damming, destructive and deadly? Why do we keep our mouth shut when the world makes fun of us? Why oh why, don’t we get involved in Bible studies so that we may know what Scriptures teaches?
Yes, we come to Church, but we don’t live like a church. We don’t live like the redeemed of the Lord; we don’t live with the urgency that Christ is coming back soon. We act that it is no big deal. We may get angry when we hear a statement of blasphemy like what Jamie Fox said, but we don’t get angry when our sons and daughters are living together, are not in God’s house, live as if there is no tomorrow.
Precious children of the heavenly Father, it is so important that we know the Divine Details of God and how He works everything for our good. As we read in the Gospel lesson this morning: The One who came into Jerusalem as a servant King moves us to be servants of a Kingdom that will last forever. He wants us to see that every detail in history is enlisted for the good of the church. Nothing happens by sheer chance, that in the end, Jesus Christ does not convert into our ultimate good. NOTHING!
We are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us wrote St. Paul in Romans 8. That is not only the main message of the book of Revelation but it is THE core message of the universe. It is the grand unification theory that Einstein and Hawkings were looking for in Physics we, as the children of God are able to see by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith. Every detail God takes and weaves into a Trinitarian tapestry of endless love.
Jeremiah’s words are of the utmost importance because it shows the Divine details of God. And in the life of Jesus we see it even more—Christ’s double entrance into Jerusalem at the beginning as well as the ending of His early life is a wondrous Advent thread to assure us we have splendid reasons for high confidence. These are mighty Divine details to savor through Scripture always leading us to Christ’s unending infinite love for us. May these divine details set our sails aright this day for this week to come as well as for all eternity may define our paternity. Amen.
Now the peace…
SOLI DEO GLORIA