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Christ's Mission of Restoration--Sabbath Sermon 5th April 2008

By: Elder Enoch Ofori Jnr

When Jesus came to earth. He came to meet a world in distress, a world that needed to be healed and restored. For this purpose was He sent by the Father and rightly so. for He had a hand in its creation.

What a poignant spectacle then might have greeted Him as He walked the earth! The world He created so perfect—a blessing—was now full of sick, poor and oppressed people. Everywhere He went, it was curse and pain all round. One legend even has il that Jesus was so saddened by the curse-ravaged state of the world that He never once laughed; He had no reason to.

The world He made to be a blessing was now full of curses with sickness and death reigning supreme. If the earth will again have hope, there was a need for a Restorer.

And so lo bring relief to the suffering, the oppressed, the sick and the poor of the earth, He came. His mission was clearly spelt out in Bible prophecy. He would come to preach good news to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and free those bound in prison. He will comfort all that mourn in Zion. And then He will RESTORE all desolations (Isai. 61:1-4).

There won't be anything lost or destroyed that won't he restored. The sight of the blind will be restored; likewise the health of the sick, (he riches of the poor and the freedom of the oppressed. Where mourning dominated the atmosphere, joy would take over (as happened when Jesus raised the only son of a widow to life and Lazarus too - Luke 7:12-15; John 11:40-43).

In short. He will come to make all things well, as Mark 7:37 put it. He will make a total restoration!

In fact. Jesus' reputed maiden miracle at the wedding at Cana (in Galilee) was a restoration of a sort. Before He miraculously turned water into good-tasting wine, the guests had all along been served alcoholic sub-standard wine which took the joy out of the party.

But because He came to replace sadness with joy and shame with glory, He miraculously produced a great tasting drink that at once restored joy to the guests. Pleasantly surprised, the man at the high table queried the bridegroom, “Why did you keep the good wine until now?”

Traditionally and even Biblically, sweet (non-alcoholic) wine represents joy and merriment. (For example. Melchizedek met Abraham with bread and wine after his war victory - Gen. 14:18-20. Not strong alcoholic drink given to the perishing - Prov. 20:1. 31:6).

I don’t know about you. but life may be bitter for some of us as a result of poverty, joblessness, sicknesses, etc; indeed the bitter-tasting strong wine of life may be causing some of us to stagger along to nowhere—no progress in life.

It's time we invited Jesus to our wedding—our lives which ideally should be joyful—to produce a new wine of happiness for us. We have been drinking the poor lasting drink long enough; now is the time for Jesus to perform a miracle in our lives.

Throughout His three-and-half year ministry on earth. He was totally committed to restoring the good life to the poor, the sick and the oppressed (Acts 10:38). He is the same today as yesterday (Heb. 13:8); He is still committed to doing us good, restoring to us the blessings due us.

That we sometimes feel forsaken does not mean He has forsaken us. as stated in Heb. 13:5-6. He says of Jerusalem through the Psalmist:

"If I forget thee. O Jerusalem let my right hand forget her cunning. "If 1 do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if 1 prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy" (Ps 137:5-6).

You and I are that Jerusalem, the beloved city; it is impossible for God to forget us (Isai. 49:15). Though the mountains be removed. His kindness shall not depart from us (Isai. 54:10).

So lei the barren (those who lack) sing; let her break forth into singing, for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife. Enlarge thy dwelling place for the habitation of thy seed (blessings). Your shame shall you forget and likewise the reproach of thy widowhood (downfall/poverty, sickness, etc).

"For thy Maker is thine Husband; the LORD of hosts is His Name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called.

"For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith God.

"For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather [restore] thee (Isai. 54:1-7).

That which is filled up needs no refilling; that which is whole needs no repairs or restoration; he who is well needs no healing or physician. The fallen humans we are. we are none of the above. Every one of us here has a lack or need, and we must go to the Restorer for our restoration.

One day as Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem with His disciples, they chanced on a man who was born blind. The disciples, curious to find out the cause of the man's predicament, inquired of Christ if his congenital blindness was as a result of his own sin or that of his parents.

Notice Jesus' reply: "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be manifested in him" (John 9:1 -3).

Subsequently, Jesus proceeded to perform His miracle on the blind man by daubing his eyes with clay mixed with His spittle and commanded him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam". The man did so, and came back seeing! Halleluya!

Now, if the man hadn't been born blind, how else could this uplifting miracle have manifested the glory of God as it did that day?

Sometimes we fall and endure unpleasant moments so that the Restoration Power of God might be manifested in us through Christ.

Therefore, say no more that you are Forsaken nor Desolate, for the time has come for God's glory' to be manifested in you—you arc married and you shall soon be fruitful (Isai. 62:4-5). However, your restoration will come at a small price: the Restorer may yet delay and so keep not silent; "give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise on earth" (6-7).

That will be the time (after the prayer) He will restore in abundance the wasted years:

"And 1 will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which 1 sent among you.

"And you shall cat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you; and my people shall never be ashamed" (Joel 2:25-

26).

The Lord Jesus Christ is able to do this and more because He has been appointed the heir of all things, including riches, to the Church (Heb. 1:2; Eph. 1:22; Philipp. 4:19; I Cor. 3:21). As the Heir of all things, He's amply qualified to supply ail our needs and restore our every lack.

Yeshua is not concerned about how long you have suffered or how hopeless your situation seems. He simply comes to do His mission—restore you. When John the Baptist, then in prison sent his disciples to Christ seeking to be assured of His mission, He reassured John of His Restoration Mission thus: "Go and shew John again those things which you do hear and sec:

"The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deal hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me" (Matt. 11:4-6).

Blessed arc you if you are not offended in Him and if you arc nut despaired of waiting for His Miracle-Restoration Time. Once you have prepared a way before Him as John did, continue to hope for His restoration, and the glory of the LORD shall be revealed (Isai. 40:3-5). In the process, every valley shall be exalted and mountain abased.

May the Lord restore all your wasted years and give you the blessing He called you to inherit (I Pet. 3:9). May He restore your health if you are sick and wealth if you are in need, And may every mountain (problem) be abased before you. His restoration hour has come, and there is no stopping of His Hand! Amen!