Sermon Dezember 26, 2004 : Zachariah 9:9

Posted in Sermons
  • Presenter: Dr. Roberto Miranda | Translator: Dr. Roberto Miranda
  • Length: 40:03
  • Date: December 26, 2004
  • Location: Congregation Lion of Judah, Boston MA

We’re going to read from the book of Zechariah, chapter 9, verse 9. Zechariah is known as a minor prophet because his writings are small and yet they have such a powerful teaching for us. God put this passage in my heart today to share with you, particularly verse 9 although we’ll go on to verse 10 as well.

“Rejoice greatly oh daughter of Zion! Shout daughter of Jerusalem! See your king comes to you righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariot from Ephraim, and the woe horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken, he will proclaim peace to the nations, his rule will extend from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.”

This passage that Sam just read was written centuries before the fulfillment of the prophesy that is enclosed in it. You know Zechariah writes in a time when there’s great suffering in the land of Israel. The people of Israel have been taken captive and they spent many years in captivity, 70 years in fact, and then are returned to Jerusalem and as they see the glory that has been lost and all the suffering that has taken place and they are still a small people and oppressed by the enemy and all kinds of evil nations are still having supremacy over Israel, this is the context of this passage, of this great promise, of the this great call: to rejoice.

Zechariah speaks a lot about the coming of the Messiah and it’s very important that we understand that this book was written several centuries before Jesus came, before the Messiah came to Israel. The Messiah is pictured as somebody who is going to set things straight. There’s all this suffering, all this oppression on the land of Israel but God is going to send a liberator, God is going to send somebody to free the people of Israel.

We look at Isaiah, chapter 9 and we see this call of the Bible to celebrate and to rejoice in the middle of darkness. Many times the Messiah is announced in a context of suffering, in a context of danger and of oppression. The people who were dwelling in darkness saw great light, those who were dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, a resplendent light is shown over them.

The Bible calls us many times to rejoice and to celebrate in the midst of great trials and tribulations and to kind of challenge suffering and to challenge negativity and to say I’m going to rejoice, no matter what. I’m going to celebrate Christ who makes possible all kinds of solutions.

Many times we have to learn to rejoice in the Lord, and to celebrate in the Lord, even though everything is not going well. The Bible says that “…the joy of the Lord is our strength”, and many time we chose to consciously, willfully, defiantly worship and praise the Lord and thank him, even in the midst of great tribulation, that is often the vehicle that God will use to bring his liberation.

What I’m saying is that many times it will not be natural for us to worship the Lord. Many times it won’t be natural to want to rejoice in the Lord. Many times when we look around the circumstances that surround us we will only see gloom and doom and despair, there will be nothing to justify praising the Lord, there will be nothing to justify an optimistic attitude. But we have learned through scripture that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a natural thing for you to rejoice or not. Maybe it’s not in your temperament but when you chose to believe in the faithfulness of God and to confess the faithfulness of God, then that somehow breaks through the darkness in your life, breaks through the bad intense of the enemy and the love of God and the faithfulness of God uses your faithful confession of God’s goodness to break through into your area of doom and to bring the blessing of God into your life. So never depress yourselves simply because it’s not a natural thing for me to do. No, you must use the joy of the Lord as an artificial almost, but a very powerful tool and weapon to bring in the glory and the blessing of God in your life.

The prophet Habakkuk says here that no matter what happens in his life, in chapter 3, no matter how dark things get, no matter whether the economy goes flat or you lose your job or disease comes into your life, he says: No matter what happens in my life I will still rejoice in the Lord, I will still celebrate de Lord, I will still find a reason to express the Lord’s goodness in my life. And we have to plan for such occasions as that and we have to believe that in the midst of that situation, we will still be able to give glory and honor to God.

You know, there’s this idea in scripture that we must trust that God will bring a solution from somewhere, you know the Israelites had all the reasons to despair, there was no hope anywhere but they believed that God was going to bring a liberator. God was going to bring something, and I believe that that is the ethic of the believer that somehow God is always going to bring a solution from somewhere.

The essence of the Christian life is that hope that we have that Jesus Christ always makes a solution possible, that we need not bow before adversity, that we need not conform ourselves to a negative style of life. That God always has a good plan for our lives, and that is why what we need to do is challenge adversity and use a prophetic way of neutralizing adverse situations in our lives.

You know Jesus came to the earth not as an impersonal king, not as a generic king, but He came as a personal king. Here in this chapter it says: your king will come to you, therefore rejoice, celebrate.

You know in Isaiah it says: “because a son has been born to us”. A king comes it talks about the royal nature of the Messiah, the royal nature of Jesus Christ, he comes as a king. It says that the Messiah would be just, He would be a savior, He would be humble and He would come riding a donkey, a young donkey. It was just a baby donkey, in a sense. The extreme of humility.

These qualities that here are explained to us about the coming king are also for us to imitate them. These qualities of justice, of saving and savior, these are qualities that we need to include in ourselves, in our own lives. Jesus was a just, is a just king and He came to redress all the inequalities, and all the oppression and all the bad treatment that we give one to the other and we must also, like Jesus Christ exercise justice. We must treat each other in a just sort of way.

Jesus came also as a savior, He came to save us from our sins, He came to save us from our oppression from our distance from God.

Here we have this quality of the king that He will be humble and that He would come riding on a donkey, and it’s sort of unexpected that such a great king, a liberator, would come riding on a donkey. Such a humble animal and that gives us one of the most important qualities of Jesus Christ which is this humility that we must also imitate in our lives.

You know the word that is here for “humble” is really a very strong word in the Jewish language, in the Hebrew language and it means really unattractive, debased, lowly. It’s a very powerful, very strong indication of lowliness on the part of that king that is coming to free his people.

The thing that God said is that when He was going to send his son, his messiah, his king was not going to fight with weapons that men and women generally use. He was going to use weapons of light, weapons of humility, of love, of kindness, of peacefulness, because men always want to be fighting one with the other, they want to oppose strength to strength and God said: no, those weapons are not the ones…. The World is too full of that kind of warfare. The warfare that I will wage is the warfare of love and of mercy and of grace, and these are the weapons that we as Christians are supposed to use.

The battles that we now fight in the Lord are battles in weakness, we wage battles now in an understanding that it is not our strength that we must humble ourselves, that we must make ourselves weak, just as the son of God made himself weak in order to be strong.

The Bible says that Jesus achieved the greatest victory of all on the cross, humble on the cross, tied down, nailed to the cross, defeated in many ways, there he achieved the greatest victory, he defeated the principalities and powers and he won peace and reconciliation for us.

You know I pray that this year our church will be more than ever a place of harmony, a place of love, a place of sincerity, of friendship, of people who speak the truth one to the other, who treat each other justly, who do works of mercy, because this is the way that our Lord achieved his victory: It was through those weapons of mercy and of light.

May God help us to be people of peace, people of humility, as we let the Lord manifest his peace in our lives.

Let’s just stand. Father, let us be people of peace. Let us be people of humility. Let us be people, who like our king Jesus Christ do not come with huge demands of respect for ourselves or somehow fear on the part of others towards us, but rather people of peace, people of humility and simplicity of spirit. We embrace the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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