The Anointed One is Reigning!
Sermon from Compline: Prayer at the Close of Day on January 18, 2012
The Anointed One is Reigning
Text: Psalm 2
February 2nd 1989 is a day my parents will never forget. My dad a young pastor in Helena, Montana shot out of bed to the sound of an explosion. He looked out the window and saw five electrical transformers explode, his first two thoughts, the world was ending or Helena was under attack. In the wee hours of the morning an explosion rocked the small city of Helena. A runaway train engine had slammed into a parked 48 car freight train carrying isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide causing an explosion that threw debris for blocks and shattered windows up to three miles away. Electricity was cut for much of the city. A short time later a police officer knocked on our door in Helena, much of the city was being evacuated because they did not know what chemicals had been released. The temperature at the time of the accident was about 28 degrees below zero with a wind chill factor of minus 75… When firefighters tried to put out the fire the water froze in their hoses.
A train running out of control created a memory that those who lived in Helena will never forget. A train running out of control is a scary and dangerous thing.
Trains were created for a purpose. Trains were made to carry massive cargo along a specific route at a specific time and speed. When a train deviates from what its owner and operator planned chaos results. Imagine that night in Helena. Picture what happens when a train leaves its tracks. Trains were created to work in a certain way and when they stray from the plan, wrecks occur…
Contrary to popular opinion, human existence is not a random cosmic mistake. Much like trains we were created for a specific purpose. Our lives are not the product of chance or luck. Our daily activities are not independent choices that have no objective guidance or effect on the world around us. We were made for a purpose. We were created to fulfill certain roles. We were fashioned to follow certain tracks or guidelines and much like a train out of control, when we deviate from the blueprint our creator gave us wrecks happen.
Our owner/operator is none other than the Anointed One. He was there in the beginning when this world was created. He was the force behind the Father’s voice that made oceans deep and mountains high. His hand painted fall leaves and brilliant sunsets. He created this world with an order, everything thing had its appointed place and role to fulfill. It was a beautiful world; it was a good world, a very good world.
And then the train left its tracks… as if the train didn’t need its creator, as if the train stood any chance without its owner/operator…
Ever since the Devil lured Adam and Eve off the track God set for them this world has become one giant wreck. Satan first planted that seed in the created things mind, that seed that said the created did not need the creator; that seed that said the created knew better than the creator how it should live and what purposes it should fulfill. Since that day the created has been resisting the creator’s plan. Plotting and conspiring against the Anointed One has become the vain pursuit of this created world. Just like that out of control train, this out of control world is a scary and dangerous thing.
The sin that turned God’s “very good” creation into a scary and dangerous creation also makes us a foolish creation. In our corrupted state we boldly think that we know how to run this world best. We humans have been constantly but unsuccessfully trying to leave the tracks God laid out for us ever since that fateful day in Eden.
Remember Jonah who was told by his creator to preach the word in Nineveh. A violent storm and three nights in a fish’s stomach later Jonah abandoned his vain resistance and traveled to Nineveh where once again the creator’s will was done and the city repented.
Remember Sennacherib the King of Assyria. His envoys stood outside the walls of Jerusalem hurling insults at the creator. One night and 185,000 dead soldiers later Sennacherib fled home with his tail between his legs only to have his life snuffed out a short time later by the very same God over whom he had claimed superiority.
Remember when the Anointed One entered his creation. Remember what the created tried to do to the creator then. “Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.” A crucifixion, three days and an empty tomb revealed this empty power grab by the created for what it was.
The examples of the created vainly resisting their creator from Eden until today number as many as have breathed in that time span. This vain resistance, this scary, dangerous and foolish attempt to abandon God’s plan is seen not only in modern evolutionists, atheists and agnostics but also in you and in me.
We see just how scary our corruption is in the way we are able to reason away our sins. Even though our creator has given each of us the tools to know what is wrong, we, the created, try to follow our own tracks. Those sins we commit, those times we stray from God’s path are really no big deal we tell ourselves. God will not hold it against us is we let just one of our feet stray from God’s plan for us… That little bit of gossip, that fleeting judgmental thought, that temporary spiritual apathy are not really that bad. There are certainly people doing much worse things out there…
We see just how dangerous our defiance is in the fractured and devastated effects that sin has in our lives. We thought we could go it alone. We thought we knew better than the Anointed one. Broken relationships, arguments and disputes between friends, fractured hearts, families and lives are the train wrecks of our sinful existence.
We see just how foolish we are when our Messiah Complexes have been clearly revealed as the hoaxes they are. We think our health, safety, and happiness depend on our hard work and effort. We imagine that we are a crucial cog in this world as if the world and God’s kingdom would cease to function if we were not in it. As if this church or Christ’s Church would not survive without our offerings of time and money. As if God would fail to spread his word if it weren’t for our skills and love of Jesus.
Daily we fail to recognize that the Anointed One is reigning. Daily the sinful nature inside each of us strives to break free from God’s plan for us, his creation. Daily we affirm and strengthen the case against us. Daily we prove that eternal punishment is what we deserve.
Remember when the Anointed One entered his creation? It was our rejection of God’s plan for our lives that stirred the crowd into that ghastly chant, “Crucify him, crucify him, crucify him…” It was our sins that nailed our creator to that cross.
The vanity of this action, the utter foolishness of humanity trying to free itself from God was made perfectly clear on that Easter morning. It will be made doubly clear on the last day. God the Father, our creator has established Jesus, his Anointed One, firmly over all the earth. Try as we will, nothing we do will ever change this fact. Jesus is going to come again, and when he does all the trains that resisted their tracks, all creation that has deviated from his established plan will be destroyed.
Psalm 2 reminds us to, “Be warned…” We deserve this destruction. We have strayed from God’s plan for us. We have vainly resisted our creator’s tracks. We are the reason our creator had to come to this world…
It was the creator’s love for us that motivated him to come. He certainly didn’t have to come. He could have simply wiped us all out and started over again if he wanted to. It was his unfailing faithfulness that caused him to be led like a lamb to the slaughter. As a sheep beneath the shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth when our vain resistance attempted to kill God made flesh. He certainly did not have to undergo the torturous death on the cross. The wood and nails that held him to the tree would not have existed if he had not created them. Those carrying out this deathly deed would not have been able to take another breath if he had not allowed them too.
It is a truly curious thing… the creator enters his creation to save a creation gone wrong.
It is a truly awe-inspiring thing… something that might lead us to “serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.”
Jesus came as the Anointed One for me and for you. He loved us, his creation, without us doing anything to earn it. He loved us enough to live the perfect life we could not. Jesus never deviated from the tracks God laid out for humanity. Jesus fulfilled our role perfectly on our behalf. And then Jesus took the punishment that this creation deserved for vainly trying to abandon its creator.
Daily the Holy Spirit we opposed comes to us through the remembrance of our baptism… Daily the Anointed One we rejected intercedes for us at the Father’s throne… Daily we are forgiven because our creator would not allow us to continue living this life like a train out of control. Daily we are blessed because in faith we have taken refuge in our God.
Some may argue that it is a sign of weakness… giving up our resistance and allowing God to guide us along the tracks of this life like a good train. I would argue that it is a sign of God-given faith. Many will continue to conspire and plot vainly against their very creator. They will continue to attempt to take their stand against God’s plan for his creation. They will continue to attempt to survive as a train derailed from its tracks. But we believe that “the one enthroned in heaven laughs, the Lord scoffs at them” because of the foolishness and uselessness of their resistance.
By faith we “Kiss the Son.” We embrace the plan of the God who loved us enough to die for us. We respectfully revel in the fact that Jesus came to this world and was anointed on the banks of the Jordan River to be our Savior. That is the comfort we draw from the Gospel we had for Sunday. Jesus is the anointed savior of the whole world. By faith we know that the Anointed one is reigning. Resistance is vain, look to him and live!