“And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”
And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
We begin Jeremiah today and will spend the next 23 days in this book, the longest book in the Bible!
Jeremiah prophesied during the most tumultuous period of Judah’s history. He began his ministry halfway through the reign of Judah’s last good king, Josiah. Jeremiah continued prophesying through the reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. These last evil kings of Judah looked to Egypt and Assyria to save them from the dominant Babylon. We know from our readings from 2 Kings, that God gave them over to the Babylonians as his judgment for their apostasy. Jeremiah was God’s mouthpiece during this grievous period.
We read of Jeremiah’s calling in Chapter 1… God’s sovereignty is center stage as he tells Jeremiah in vs. 5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Consider the weight of Jeremiah’s calling. He was to preach against sin to a hard-hearted people. He was to warn of the impending judgment. And mixed throughout the prophecies of judgment, were promises of hope and renewal.
In his role as a prophet, Jeremiah was a precursor to Christ.
In John 12, Jesus was not delivering messages of judgment – but preparing to receive the judgment on our behalf…a judgment so great that he asked to be saved from it…
Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? (John 12:27)
He endured the cross willingly for our sake! He rescues us from the judgment of the last day. His great love compels us toward obedience, and He is our hope and source of renewal! He is the Final Prophet – setting us free from the power of sin and death!