170410 Zechariah 9:9-10

Last Updated on Monday, 10 April 2017 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: Zechariah 9:9-10

Theme: Rejoice That Your King Comes Proclaiming Peace!

Talk with a parent who has been up all night with their crying, newborn baby and they will tell you that what they are really looking forward to is some peace and quite. Talk with families who are busy at school or at work and running from this activity to that activity, and they will tell you that they just need to "get away from it all" and find a few moments of peace and rest. Talk with someone who is fighting some type of illness, going from one doctor appointment to the next, and they will tell you all they want is some peace of mind that everything will be all right.

As we gather together here in God's House today, we see Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, ride in to Jerusalem in fulfillment of the prophecy that is before us from Zechariah chapter 9. As we celebrate this Palm Sunday, I invite you to join with me and rejoice that your King comes proclaiming peace!

Many of today's political leaders are working hard each day to bring peace to areas around the world, to the streets in the neighborhoods of our own country. Despite these efforts, it seems that peace is a hard thing to find these days. Zechariah was writing to people who were looking for peace. They lived in constant fear. So, through the pen of his prophet, the almighty Lord proclaims a message of peace; a peace that only he is able to provide. We read a few moments ago, "I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken."

What the Lord promises his people is that the Savior-King would come and bring peace to God's chosen people living in the Promise Land. But, he also makes the promise that the peace he offers extends even farther, "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." The peace offered by the promised Savior-King would not be limited to just one small group of people. It is a peace offered to all people.

Some understand these words from Zechariah's prophecy as referring to a peace among the nations of this earth. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem that first Palm Sunday, the Jewish people were looking for a political king, who would bring peace between them and the Roman government.

However, we know from the rest of Scripture that the peace brought by Jesus the King is not a political, or worldly peace, but rather a peace between God and sinful mankind. As we read from God's Word that is before us, "See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." And in Colossians chapter 1 we are told, "For God was please to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things...by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."

But, Romans chapter 8 describes a situation that is anything but peaceful between our God and us. There we read in God's Word that "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so." There is a war taking place between your sinful nature and mine, and the holy, just God. And in his Word, the Lord God tells us that you and I are guilty of causing this war. The only thing that we deserve for starting this war is to go down in eternal defeat in the flames and torment of hell.

This doesn't sound like a very peaceful relationship, does it? Yet, the Good News of the Gospel is that there is peace between our God and us. This is not a peace that you and I have won for ourselves. Rather, the peace that you and I enjoy with the one and only true God is a peace won for us by our Savior-King, Jesus Christ.

How did Jesus win this peace for you and me? Here the words of our Second Lesson for today come to mind, where Paul writes to the Philippians that Jesus our King willingly "made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!" When Jesus willingly road into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he knew that the Friday we call Good Friday was coming. As Jesus went to the cross on Good Friday, he sacrificed himself as the payment price demanded for all sins of all time. Jesus won our forgiveness and peace with our Father in heaven. As he says about himself in John's Gospel, "Peace I leave you; my peace I give you." And Paul writes this in his letter to the Romans: "Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ..."

So today, on this Palm Sunday, you and I rejoice that our King comes proclaiming peace. We have peace, confident that our sins are forgiven through our King, Jesus Christ. We have peace while living out our days here on this earth, knowing that the almighty Lord is by our side watching over us each and every day. We have peace, knowing that one day we will live forever at the side of our Savior in the perfect peace of heaven.

Palm Sunday begins this week in the Christian Church year known as "Holy Week". I invite all of you to join us for the many special worship services throughout this coming week Our Worship Service times for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday are printed out for you in the bulletin, in the announcements and can also be found on our web site. I encourage each one of you to spend time in God's Word during this coming week, not just here in God's house, but in your homes as well. As you and I open our Bibles, and we hear the Good News of the forgiveness of all of our sins through our Savior, Jesus Christ, you and I rejoice that our King comes proclaiming peace! Amen.

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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