With the death of Dale Earnhardt NASCAR lost its hero. Although his
death marked the end of an era, it did not end NASCAR. That won’t
happen. NASCAR cannot be blockaded by the death Earnhardt. It won’t
Every movement has its hero and for the Christian faith, that Hero is
Jesus. There were attempts to blockade God’s plan through Christ Jesus.
Those efforts were so forceful that the movement lost its Hero in
death. That was a victory, for Jesus’ death marked the end of an era:
the era of death. Ironically death did not stop the movement. It proved
not to be a blockade to the plan, but part of the plan. His death only
intensified and solidified it. All one had to do was claim that victory
through a faith relationship with the Hero, the Resurrected Jesus, and
one would live forever.
Blockading God’s plan has been the goal of many people from different
backgrounds. But it is impossible to blockade God’s plan. It won’t
happen. Luke 13:31-35 affirms this.
This word about Jesus’ destiny in Jerusalem, which was a cross, enables
us to realize that blockading God’s plan is not going to happen. It
won’t happen. Some Pharisees warned Jesus to leave the region because
of the danger from Herod who wanted to kill Him. They were really
displeased with Jesus’ teaching and wanted to be rid of Him. Jesus
rejected their warning, using the occasion to speak of finishing His
work, of Jerusalem’s rejection of Him, and Jerusalem’s subsequent
future. They were attempting to blockade God’s plan and Jesus assured
them it wouldn’t happen. Even religion can’t blockade the plan of God.
Blockading God’s Plan for Kingdom Growth: It Won’t Happen
God’s plan for kingdom growth cannot be blockaded. It won’t happen.
Herod probably did want to kill Jesus since Jesus was a revolutionary.
So Jesus called Herod a “fox.” How rude! To call someone a fox was to
imply that individual was a killer. Jesus was saying, “You can’t
blockade God’s plan for kingdom growth. It won’t happen.
There are many foxes in the world that want to kill the efforts of God
in making a difference. John Kaiser was a 67-year-old Roman Catholic
priest who was a missionary in Kenya. Charismatic, compassionate, and
outspoken in his allegations of abuses by Kenya’s power elite, he was
killed for his Christian faith. Thousands of Christian mourners crowded
his funeral nearly four years ago holding banners that read, “Bullets
can’t stop us.”
Father Kaiser is gone, but the kingdom continues to grow. Bullets can’t
stop it. Foxes abound to blockade God’s plan for growth. It won’t
Blockading God’s Plan for Compassion: It Won’t Happen
As the kingdom grows so grows compassion. There are foxes that would
blockade God’s plan for compassion. It won’t happen. Jesus epitomized
compassion – especially for Jerusalem, a city that was compassionless,
that had killed prophets. He longed to bring Jerusalem under His care
and protection just as a hen would hover over her chicks providing
warmth and security. A hallmark of faith is compassion.
Bill Wallace served in China as a medical missionary from 1935 until
his brutal death in 1951 at the hands of Communist Chinese in 1951. He
was 43. Arrested on false charges that he was an American spy, he was
beaten and ridiculed. Driven to distraction by brutal interrogations,
he was despondent to the point of insanity in his final days. He was
literally beaten to death. But it wasn’t his death that defined him. It
was his compassion.
The late Everley Hayes, the missionary nurse who worked with him and
who identified his body, said that Wallace was a different kind of
martyr. “Many think of martyrs as those long-faced people. But I knew a
Dr. Wallace who was very much interested in everything around him. He
was a martyr not because he died in service but because he so
identified with the Chinese people that they considered him one of
them. He had compassion for them and they loved him.”
Jesus had compassion for Jerusalem. Through Bill Wallace, He had
compassion China. Jesus’ compassion resulted in a lonely death. But
like Bill Wallace, John Kaiser, even Dale Earnhardt, His lonely death
is not all that defines Him. His compassion defines Him. His compassion
can’t be blockaded. It won’t happen.
Earnhardt is dead. NASCAR lives. John Kaiser is dead. The Kenyan
mission lives. Bill Wallace is dead. The China mission lives. Jesus is
dead. No wait. He’s alive! And because He is, those coming in His name,
like a John Kaiser or a Bill Wallace, are blessed and make a
difference. They’ll keep coming too. The foxes of this world can’t
destroy. They can’t blockade God’s plan. It won’t happen.
Sermon brief provided by: Jimmy
Gentry, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Carrollton, GA