Ezekiel utters a lamentation about Israel losing her autonomy and being overcome by Babylon. Eze 19:14 states that the fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which has devoured her fruit, so that she has no strong rod to be a scepter to rule. That fire was sparked by disobedience, self-justification, and presumption. No branch left on Israel’s tree was strong enough to rule. As the prophesied time for Messiah approached, Israel expected HIM to pick up the scepter and wield it; returning the nation to power.
However, Jesus came with a shepherd’s staff and not with a flaming rod of power. He spoke with authority as Messiah, but HIS earthly mission was to reveal the heart of the Father and to die for sin. He launched a new covenant build on better promises than that which Israel thought God would re-establish through Messiah.
Christ embraced sin to become the substitutionary sacrifice. Jesus went into hell with our transgressions and there HE paid the penalty for our iniquities. Hebrews 1:6-9 states: When the Father brings in the first-begotten into the world, he says, ‘Let all the angels of God worship him.’ About the angels He says, ‘God makes his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire’, but unto the Son the Father says, ‘Thy throne is forever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Because you have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.’
Jesus was given a scepter of righteousness. The Greek/Hebrew roots imply leveled fairness and evenly administered justice. Angels may be flames of fire ministering the Father’s power, yet Jesus’ kingdom contains an oil of gladness that is above that realm.
Christians should pursue righteousness not power. God is our rearward, and His authority limits our enemies. Many release weapons at flesh and blood to show their power when our enemies are unseen principalities. We believers demonstrate God’s kingdom by being obedient to His living Word and by actively communing with HIM. Therefore our scepter is LIKE Christ’s present scepter. We don’t need to demonstrate authority but agape.
Christians shouldn’t let evil run over them. However, we carry out our commissions because of our right-standing with the Father (without fear of judgment) not because we have sufficient power on our own. The kingdom we serve is greater than the kingdom of this world. We do not determine where we are deployed, but we go where God sends us, and we say what He speaks to us. As we seek first God’s kingdom and HIS righteousness, the worldly needs will be supplied.
Jesus’ kingdom is not yet fully manifested on the earth, but it is already activated in our hearts. I want to let Christ be the head ruler. As my elder-brother, HE will rule me justly, and HE guarantees that I will inherit all the promises that HE has acquired with his resurrection. As I die to self-rule and come alive to being God-directed, my kingdom decreases, and His kingdom increases. That Branch is the one that will reign. AMEN