“thus says the Lord God, ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high. 27 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him,'” (21:26-27).
At first all I could see was the sword. As a matter of fact, the heading assigned to this chapter in the NASB reads, “Parable of the Sword of the Lord,” and mention of “the sword” is voiced fifteen times. And I couldn’t help it. The thought that rushed my mind sounded something like, “ouch, this is not going to be easy; it all sounds so dark.”
For even the righteous would be caught up in the suffering; and while we may think it all just seems so unfair, the fact is, His judgment would sweep the nation, and even the righteous, like Jeremiah, would feel the effects.
“and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold, I am against you; and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. 4 Because I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore My sword will go forth from its sheath against all flesh from south to north,’” (21:3-4).
But God specifically directs His Word to Zedekiah, the last king who would sit on the throne before the fall of Jerusalem.
“And you, O slain, wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day has come, in the time of the punishment of the end,” (21:25).
Zedekiah’s end was close at hand, and as we know, it was brutal. And Jerusalem would fall and its inhabitants taken captive. I felt anguish as I thought of my own country, for surely we are no more righteous than they were; surely we are in line for the sword as well. And thus, I resigned myself to considering His sword.
But then, the next words He spoke changed everything!
“thus says the Lord God, ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high. 27 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him,’” (21:26-27).
For as we considered in chapter 17, He Will Bring Down the High and Exalt the Low. And we saw His perfect fulfillment of that in Jesus.
…Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, (Philippians 2:5-9).
And oh, today just gets better!
God would remove the turban; that which was worn by the high priest designating him as holy to the Lord and appointing Him to minister on behalf of the people.
“You shall also make a plate of pure gold and shall engrave on it, like the engravings of a seal, ‘Holy to the Lord.’ 37 You shall fasten it on a blue cord, and it shall be on the turban; it shall be at the front of the turban. 38 It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall take away the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord,” (Exodus 28:36-39).
And God would remove the crown; that which was worn by the king designating him as anointed ruler over his people.
Then he brought the king’s son out and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony; and they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!” (1 Kings 11:12).
From the inception of the nation, God had told them that One Who Has the Right would come, One from the line of Judah, One Who Has the Right to be honored with worship and obedience.
The scepter will not depart from Judah
or the staff from between his feet
until He whose right it is comes
and the obedience of the peoples belongs to Him, (Genesis 49:10 HCSB).
And while Judah’s apostasies were great and the devastation would be massive, and while the nation would be in ruins, God’s promise came that He would fulfill His Word. He would exalt One Who is low and abase those who believe they are high. And the Turban and Crown would be given to One. One who would be abased in the eyes of man yet exalted in the eyes of God, given to Him Who Has the Right to Wear the Turban and the Crown.
Consider Him Who Has the Right to Wear the Turban and the Crown
“ thus says the Lord God, ‘Remove the turban and take off the crown; this will no longer be the same. Exalt that which is low and abase that which is high. 27 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I will make it. This also will be no more until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him,’” (21:26-27).
Jesus alone Has the Right to Wear the Turban:
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Turban; He is Our High Priest Who is merciful.
- Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people, (Hebrews 2:17).
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Turban; He is Our High Priest Who was tempted as we are, yet without sin.
- Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin, (Hebrew 4:14-15).
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Turban; He is Our High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek
- This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek, (Hebrews 6:19-20).
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Turban; He is Our High Priest as He always lives and is able to save forever.
- The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them, (Hebrews 7:23-25).
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Turban; He is Our High Priest as He is holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
- For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself, (Hebrews 7:26-27).
Jesus alone Has the Right to Wear the Crown:
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Crown; He is Our King Who establishes and upholds His kingdom with justice and righteousness forever.
- For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this, (Isaiah 9:6-7).
- For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Crown; He is Our King Who came into the world that we would hear His Truth.
- Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” 37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice,” (John 18:36-37).
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Crown; He is Our King raised from the dead to have dominion over all authority and power.
- which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come, (Ephesians 1:20-21).
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Crown; He is Our King, the blessed and only Sovereign.
- …our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, (1 Timothy 6:14-15).
- Jesus Has the Right to Wear the Crown; He is Our King Who will overcome every enemy.
- These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14).
How do we respond to Him Who Has the Right to Wear the Turban and the Crown?
We were created for fellowship with Holy God that we would worship and serve Him with all that we are. But sin changed all that. Only through Jesus, Our High Priest and King, are we rightly restored to live in His purpose and peace.
“Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. 13 Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices,”’ (Zechariah 6:13).
But sadly, so many still reject Him and the Truth of the Gospel. Let us learn from God’s command to Ezekiel, that we would groan and grieve for those who are facing the sword of His judgment. For the news that is coming for those who refuse His Grace is terrifying; but His Word will be fulfilled. And it will be irreversible.
Pride will fail them and courage will melt. Hands will be feeble as they will be unable to do anything to help themselves. Spirits will faint as their hope dissolves. And knees will be weak, unable to support themselves in His coming judgment.
“As for you, son of man, groan with breaking heart and bitter grief, groan in their sight. 7 And when they say to you, ‘Why do you groan?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming; and every heart will melt, all hands will be feeble, every spirit will faint and all knees will be weak as water. Behold, it comes and it will happen,’ declares the Lord God.” (21:6-7).
And this truly should break our hearts. For such is the fate of everyone who rejects Him Who Has the Right to Wear the Turban and the Crown. As God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, His command to Ezekiel would come in keeping with His character; His heart breaks and groans and grieves for those facing His wrath. And thus He gave His Son, that we would be spared.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him,” (John 3:16-17).
Let us seek opportunities to share our faith with others. Let us see the gravity of the future for those who refuse to believe, that we would boldly proclaim God’s power for salvation in Jesus Christ. Oh that we would never be ashamed to share the gospel of Him Who Has the Right Wear the Turban and the Crown.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, (Romans 1:16).