What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed, and you decorate the monuments of the godly people your ancestors destroyed. Then you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.’ But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started. Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell? Therefore, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city. As a result, you will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time—from the murder of righteous Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you killed in the Temple between the sanctuary and the altar. I tell you the truth, this judgment will fall on this very generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate. For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Matthew 23:29-39
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. Revelation 21:5-7
Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
In the Matthew passage above we see more of Christ's condemnation of the Pharisees and teachers of religious law. But think about the following words that reveal Christ's heart toward them: "How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me." How often is Christ waiting to draw us close to himself in order to cover us with his wings of love and care and we don't let him. Let's conclude our week and series with words from both the Revelation and Hebrews passages above. Jesus says to us, “Look, I am making everything new!” .... “It is finished!" .... "I will give freely from the springs of the water of life." .... "May he equip you with all you need for doing his will." .... "All glory to him forever and ever! Amen." There is nothing we need to do but fall back into his arms of love and grace and receive from him all that is needed for living fully for him.
Thank you, Lord that you are the great Shepherd of the sheep. Grant that I can abandon myself like a sheep to your wondrous love and care. Produce in me everything that pleases you. Thank you for the gospel of grace that sets me free. Amen!
Posted on Sat, March 28, 2015
by Ken Hart