Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

05 July 2011

Sermon: Proper 9 (Old Testament)

The 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, 3 July AD 2011

Sermon Theme: Prisoners of Hope

Hosanna, King of the JewsSummary: By birth, all humanity is held captive by sin, death, and Devil. While we may have some vague idea that something holds us prisoner, our natures deny the totality of our captivity.

A classic example comes from some of Jesus’ Jewish followers. When they heard His promise of freedom, they refused to believe they were captives: “They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, “You will become free”?’ (John 8:33)” They were thinking about legal or political captivity, not the total enslavement that all mankind endures by being born sinful.

However, the freedom from captivity that Zechariah declared in today’s text comes only through the forgiveness won on the cross by the King who was “righteous and having salvation” — the King of the Jews who is also King of all Creation, Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, Zechariah’s promise to captive Israel is also God’s promise to free all mankind from our diabolical bondage. Faith in Him frees us from captivity to despair and makes us prisoners of hope, people held not by chains and walls but by the bonds of Christ’s love for us.

Text: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.
Zechariah 9:9-12

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear MP3 of Prisoners of Hope, preached to the saints of God at Christ Lutheran Church, Augusta, Missouri.

Other Readings: Psalm 145:1-14; Romans 7:14-25a; Matthew 11:25-30

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