Our Gentle Commander

Matthew 11:25-30

We have all had leaders under whom we considered it a privilege to serve – those who treated us kindly, with dignity and respect, ones whom we would follow anywhere and for whom we would do anything. George Washington was just such a commander and leader of his men.

  • George Washington anecdote from Jeff O’Leary, Taking the High Ground

There is one who is a greater favorite of heaven than Washington, one who unlike Washington did die in battle, yet even in death he remained unconquered, undefeated since he rose again to defeat even that enemy.

A. Commander of the Lord’s army Jos_5:13-15

Joshua was only a captain under the Commander

see how readily and cheerfully Joshua surrendered his authority and asked for further instruction

a broad mandate – protect and lead the people of God (Joshua’s experience)

protect and sustain the Son of God – birth, temptation, passion

having the full resources of the heavenly army at his disposal

a perfect record – no recorded losses

B. Commander of a large army 2Ki_6:14-17

king of Syria assembled “massive” army

army of the Lord outnumbered the Syrians

Jesus declared he had more than 12 legions available Mat_26:53

if the angel of the Lord could destroy 185,000 Assyrian military men in one night (2Ki_19:35), what must 12 legions of angels (72,000 soldiers) be capable of accomplishing!!

C. A conquering Commander 1Co_15:54-58

Our commander has defeated, completely conquered enemies which no creature could possibly vanquish – the twin enemies of the human race since the Fall, sin and death.

victory over sin at the cross

victory over death at the empty tomb

victorious on behalf of his people, not himself Heb_2:14-15

D. An experienced Commander

in all things made like his brothers Heb_2:10 Heb_2:17-18

tested in every point like us Heb_4:15-16

has entered the heavenly sanctuary as our forerunner Heb_6:19-20

it was the entrance of Christ into Heaven which settles fast the “Anchor” within the veil! It was for us Christ has gone on High! A “forerunner” is one who has already traversed every step of the race which is set before us (Heb. 12:1,2), and who has entered into possession of that toward which he ran. Because Christ has been where we now are, we shall soon be where He now is. A. W. Pink, Exposition of Hebrews

E. A providing Commander Isa_55:1-4

spiritual nourishment – all things essential to spiritual life

plain teaching – pay attention, listen and experience life

protective covenant – a sure and certain covenant; a merciful covenant; guaranteed by the Commander

F. A gentle and humble Commander Mat_11:25-30

imperative verbs – come, take – words of command

attached promises – rest for the soul

rest is a legitimate expectation by virtue of the Commander’s character – he is the one taking the strain of the yoke

G. A persistent Commander Act_17:30-31

God has overlooked (been patient) with ignorance

issued the command 2000 years ago to repent

is still mercifully postponing the day of judgment

the exhortation to come to Him still thunders forth from His Word

flee to Him today, submit to His command, turn from sin and follow Christ

Freedom is important; men have given their lives in numerous conflicts to ensure our political and personal freedom. For those who have faithfully served their country in the cause of freedom we are truly thankful. But there is a freedom more important than that –

O HOLY FATHER, thou hast freely given thy Son,
O DIVINE SON, thou hast freely paid my debt,
O ETERNAL SPIRIT, thou hast freely bid me come,
O TRIUNE GOD, thou dost freely grace me with salvation.

To enjoy thee is life eternal,
and to enjoy is to know.
Keep me in the freedom of experiencing
thy salvation continually.

Freedom, The Valley of Vision

Are you weary, are you burdened with the cares of this life? Act on our Saviour’s invitation and come find rest in him.

Have you experienced the freedom of salvation found in Christ or are you still seeking for that which will truly satisfy? Hear the invitation, the command of our Sovereign Lord to come to him and receive the blessings purchased by the blood of Christ. The feast is spread, the Living Bread is offered to all who will come, it is that which will satisfy eternally because it is Christ himself who is offered.

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