I won't be preaching from Romans this week since it is the week of the Clinton Area Minister's Association (CAMA) Pulpit Exchange. All of the ministers in the area that participate in CAMA will be preaching at a church other than their own this Sunday. I will be preaching at the Christian Church. Rev. Hunte, the pastor at the Presbyterian Church will be preaching here at our church.
I decided to use a sermon I have preached before since I am preaching somewhere else this Sunday. This not only frees up some time for me to work on some other important projects that needs to get done. It also gives me a chance to preach one of my favorite sermons again. I'll be preaching from Jeremiah 23:1-6 while also referencing Luke 23:33-43. In the Old Testament passage, Jeremiah speaks of a king who will restore justice and righteousness in the land. I use the imagery of an old western and a new sheriff coming to town to straighten things out to communicate this idea of a righteous king who restores justice in Judah.
Of course, as Christians we believe that this Messianic prophecy should be applied to Jesus but the crucifixion scene in Luke 23 shows just how oddly Jesus fits this description. The words of the scoffers at Jesus' crucifixion highlight this reality. They all point out that if Jesus was really the Messiah he claimed to be then he would be able to save himself from the cross he is on. But, of course, Jesus does not. He does not restore justice and righteousness by force. He does it through his own willing death and his trust in God to resurrect him. This resurrection is God's proclamation to the world that Jesus is indeed the new sheriff in town just as he claimed to be even though he does not look quite like the sheriff anyone expected.