Alexander and Antiochus (Daniel Sermon 12 of 17)
March 11, 2001 | Andy Davis
God's Purpose for the World, Prophecy, Providence and Sovereignty of God
I. A Tale of Two Conquerors: Alexander and Christ
Remarkable things from the book of Daniel, we've seen the sovereignty of God, we've seen his knowledge of the end from the beginning, the meticulous and careful way in which he's laid that out in the book of Daniel. And we come now to Daniel 8 and one of the most remarkable prophecies in the book in terms of how it lines up with popular secular knowledge of history. We come to an account of Alexander the Great. In the year 323 BC, the life of a 33-year-old man, the most successful, the most powerful, the most talented, the most visionary leader of the world had ever seen, and some people think has ever seen ended in a bout of drunkenness, in the city of Babylon. The very same place where Belshazzar's life, 200 years before, had ended in a fit of drunkenness. Alexander the Great, died because he drank too much.
Move ahead three centuries or more. 30 AD, city of Jerusalem, the life of a 33-year-old man ends on a cross and whereas Alexander's death ended his reign over his earthly kingdom, Jesus death on the cross began his reign and the advance of a kingdom, which will never end. Today as we look in Daniel 8, we look at a tale of two conquerors, and one anti-Christ. We look at the tale of Alexander the Great and his successor after 200 or so years, Antiochus, an anti-Christ figure and then we look at Jesus Christ, the greatest conqueror the world has ever seen, and we're going to compare their methods and their achievements, and we're going to see the eternal kingdom of God again. The thing that's remarkable about Daniel Chapter 8 is how specific it is about the coming of a man that most people know. And I'm going to give you today a tool right in your hands that you can take into your work places and with other people in this truth questioning age that we live in and say, there is a supernatural evidence of the truth of the Bible right here in Daniel 8. Have you ever heard of Alexander the Great, well, 200 years before he was born, his kingdom and his death and the division of his kingdom was all laid out in prophetic perspective by the Prophet Daniel.
Remarkable thing that I came across in my research for this sermon, about the year 330 Alexander the Great had not yet completed his conquest of the Persian empire. He was in the middle of it. He was seeking to conquer Gaza and he took a side tour up to the city of Jerusalem. The account of this is in Josephus, a first century historian, Jewish historian and he went to Jerusalem and there the high priest came out and met him in their robes, and he was so impressed with their appearance because he had had a vision. Alexander had had a vision, a dream (so the account goes) before he had ever left Macedonia, that he would come to a city in which people dressed in certain robes would come out and show him a prophecy. He had a dream, and that had encouraged him and exhorted him to begin his conquest of Asia. And now these men were coming out in these robes and it was the Jewish priest and the high priest in particular.
And he brought out a copy of the Book of Daniel and he showed Alexander in Chapter 8, what we're going to study today, what was written in there about him. Alexander believed these kind of oracles. He was always going to this or that or the other oracle for predictions or prophecies about him. But here is one that have been written 200 years before he had been born and according to that prophecy he would conquer the Persian empire. I think that the high priest stopped reading too soon because it also gave a clear warning of his death at the height of his power and perhaps the high priest should have taken a moment to warn him, to make himself right with the God of heaven before he died.
All of us today are facing our own mortality, and no matter how much we achieve in this world, no matter how great we are as Alexander was great in the world side, we need a savior, and we need to enter the kingdom, that we've been learning about in the Book of Daniel, namely the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
God’s Purposes: Vision & Interpretation
Now as we come to Daniel 8, you have to wonder why did God spell out something like this? Why is this important to God? I think, first of all, that we understand God knows the end from the beginning. He knows the future in detail and He delights to reveal some of it to us. Now, we don't know it all but we know enough to see that God holds the future in his hand. And secondly, why does he reveal it in this way? If you look and read through Daniel 8, you'll see the confusion in Daniel's mind. Daniel, one of the wisest man that ever lived. He could not understand it unless God sent Gabriel or some way to explain it and so it is also with the wisdom that comes from God. God knows all things. We know nothing unless God is pleased to reveal it to us.
And so we come to Daniel 8 and what I like to do is take it in parts so that we don't get overwhelmed by what's in here. Let's look at verses 1-8 and see the vision described and then we'll interpret it. Beginning at verse 1.
"In the third year of King Belshazzar's reign, I, Daniel, had a vision after the one that had already appeared to me and in my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa, in the province of Elam. In the vision, I was beside the Ulai canal. I looked up and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal and the horns were long, one of the horns was longer than the other, but grew up later. I watched the ram as he charged toward the west, and the north, and the south. No animal could stand against him, and none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great. As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. He came to towards the two horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at him in great rage. I saw him attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against him. The goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him, and none could rescue the ram from his power. The goat became very great, but at the height of his power, his large horn, was broken off and in its place, four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven."
II. The Vision Described and Interpreted
Context: Time, Place, Circumstances (vs. 1-2)
The context, the time, place and circumstances of Daniel's vision are given in verse 1-2, it's the third year of Belshazzar's reign. Remember, Belshazzar is the one that had had the writing on the wall. The one I described to you earlier, the one who was the final ruler of the Babylonian Empire. The one who drank a toast to the gods of wood and iron and stone from the vessels taken from the temple of the Lord, this Belshazzar. The time was probably 553 BC, about 200 years before Alexander the Great and he said that this vision came after the previous vision. Well, what vision was that? It's the vision, we just discussed over the last two weeks in Daniel chapter 7, the vision of the four beast that came up out of the disturbed and turbulent sea. And we saw that these were four great world empires; the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greek Empire and then the Roman Empire.
We also saw the vision of one like a son of man coming on the clouds of heaven to bring in a kingdom that will never end. And we saw that this was Jesus Christ, the Son of Man whose kingdom will never end. The place of the vision is given as the citadel of Susa. Now, this is visionary language, and so we're really not sure if he was physically in Susa or just traveled there in the Spirit as Ezekiel from time to time, would travel in the Spirit or as the Apostle John would travel in the Spirit to see visions, of heaven, but he may have been physically there because he was a high-ranking official in the Babylonian Empire, and Susa was an important city. It was the capital of the Elamites, the ancient capital of the Elamites about 250 miles east of Babylon. It would later become the capital of the Persian empire, it was the home of Nehemiah, for example, and of Queen Esther wife of King Xerxes.
And as he was standing there, he was by the Ulai canal. It says this was a wide artificial canal connecting the Choaspes and the Coprates river. This is a physical place and that's where he was in his vision, so in the vision he's kind of tied to an actual city and a little detail of the city, a small canal and that's where he has his vision and what does he see in the vision?
The Ram with Two Horns (vs. 3-4, 20)
Well, he sees a ram with two horns. In verse 3 and 4, "I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns standing beside the canal and the horns were long, and one of the horns was longer than the other, but grew up later." Well, this must be the Medo-Persian Empire, and we know it because it says so down in verse 20, look down at verse 20, the two horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation, but will not have the same power. So we get Gabriel, the angel coming and telling us literally what this means. So we don't have any doubt at all. This is the Medo-Persian empire.
And one horn is longer than the other because the Persian power was greater than that of the Medes, very specific, and then suddenly the conquests, are described in verse 4, of the Medo-Persians, "I watched the ram as he charged toward the west and the north and the south, no animal could stand against him, and none could rescue from his power, he did as he pleased," it says, "And became great." So the Medo-Persian empire was the greatest empire that the world had seen, up to that time. It spread from northern Ethiopia, all the way to the Black Sea. It spread from the Asian or the Aegean Sea near Greece, all the way as far as the Indus River almost to India and China. It was an incredible empire, it traveled westward, northward, southward and it was totally dominant. Nobody could stand against its power.
It says of the kings of Medo-Persia that they did as they pleased, or he, the goat, did as he pleased and became great. This is the ultimate desire, isn't it of human beings in vaunting themselves against God. We want to do as we please and we want to become great. We want to be worshipped like gods. That was the original temptation in the Garden of Eden. And so we see its fulfillment in these human empires, these tyrannical reigns, these kings who want to do as they please and conquer and dominate; the essence of human rebellion, against God.
The Goat with One Horn (vs. 5-8, 21-22)
Well, as he's watching all of a sudden comes this goat. Now, you think in a contest between a goat and a ram, the goat has no chance. The ram is bigger, it's more imposing, it's more powerful and it's got these strong horns. And along comes this goat with just one horn. Look at it again in verses 5-8. "As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between his eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. He came toward the two horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at him in great rage. I saw him attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering his two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against him. The goat knocked him to the ground and trampled on him, and none could rescue the ram from his power. So Daniel is pondering this ram with the two horns, he's intensely interested, the Hebrew is very strong, he was very interested in this vision of the ram, he's mystified by it and not sure what it is. And then all of a sudden comes this goat and it's moving fast. I mean, it's flying, it's almost like a missile, it's a goat missile. Can you imagine a goat missile? And it's coming fast from the west.
Versus 5 and also 21 describes him with a single prominent horn coming up from between its eyes and the origin of the goat, it says it's from the west. Well, it just so happens that Macedonia is from the west, it's coming from Greece. The Persians were never able to settle the Greeks down, there was an ongoing struggle between the two, and they never quieted them down and there was a great deal of bad blood between the Greeks and the Persians, a lot of history there. And so from the west came this goat and it's moving fast, it says it's crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. Remember in Chapter 7, what represented the Greek Empire. It was a leopard with four wings, speed, agility, that was the picture. It moved fast and it conquered fast. There's an enraged charge of the goat in verse 6-7, and a complete conquest by the goat in verse 7, and then at the height of his power, that prominent horn is cut off and the kingdom is divided into four, four equal parts, a four-fold division of the kingdom. This is the vision.
III. Detailed Fulfillment #1: Alexander the Great
Now, what is the fulfillment? Well, you don't read the fulfillment in scripture, you have to go to secular history, classical history to understand what happened and there is no shortage of accounts of the life of Alexander the Great. You see, Alexander was intensely interested in his legacy. He was intensely interested in history. He knew who he was or at least who he thought he was. And so it came about, his father Philip II of Macedonia had organized a coalition of Macedonian troops and they began to conquer Greece. His first conquest was over a small mining town, right near his area. This is Phillip now, his father, changed the name of that town to Philippi and we have the book Philippians from Alexander the Great's Father Philip, that was the first conquest, but at the height of his power, he was assassinated and his young son, Alexander, a mere 19 years old, took over Greece at that point. So in effect he was the first king of a united Greece because the conquest wasn't completed yet and Alexander took over.
Rise to Power
Now, Alexander had been born July or August perhaps 356 BC. After Alexander's life, there are lots of myths that grew up about him, about supernatural birth and other things like that but he was just a man, human being, his father was obviously wealthy and powerful and had him tutored with the best tutor available who happened to be Aristotle. So Aristotle tutored Alexander. Aristotle, one of the most famous philosophers of ancient Greece, and he tutored him in the ways of Greek culture and he became, in effect, a disciple or an apostle of Greek culture and everywhere Alexander went, he spread the Greek language and Greek culture. He had a vision of the supremacy of Hellenism of Greece and he got that from Aristotle.
When he was eight years old, his father bought him a mighty war horse, a charger, a steed named Bucephalus. Nobody could even get near the horse. It was a very proud and powerful horse. Alexander was just eight years old, and he watched for a while, and he said, "Father, I'd like to try to ride him," and his father just stared at him and he said, "You're going to get hurt." He said, "I want to do it." And so, he got down there and he took the horse and turned it toward the sun and it kind of blinded it, right in the sun, and then while it was blinded and somewhat confused, he jumped up, he jumped up on his back and he conquered that horse just like that. Bucephalus rode with him everywhere he went. He became his horse and as he conquered, he went everywhere he went and his father Phillip said to him after that you'll have to find another kingdom. Macedonia, won't be big enough for you. So from the very start of his life, he was kind of groomed with visions of grandeur and conquest.
Vengeance on the Persians
The time came for him to invade Asia. I don't know if it was because of that vision I had mentioned earlier, where he had a dream of somebody saying, "You will conquer," but off he went. His armies crossed the Dardanelles, and they spread over into Asia Minor. Alexander the Great, went to Troy, ancient Troy, the enemy of the Greeks and he went there and he took the shield of Achilles that ancient Greek hero and he carried that with him everywhere he went, he had delusions of grandeur, always thinking of himself in this way and everywhere he went, he wanted eternal glory. That's what his biographer said, he was seeking eternal glory. In lightning fashion, he went down, he conquered down the coast down into Egypt, went back up and defeated Darius the King of the Persians in two key battles; Issus and Gaugamela, two battles. And within three years, the whole world lay at his feet. Three years. Lightning conquest.
Lightning Warfare, Lightning Conquest
He continued to march for another 10 years, went all the way to the Indus River. His army marched with him for 20,000 miles in 10 years. Think about that 20,000 miles in 10 years. Average of 2,000 miles a year, that's a full army marching with all their equipment, incredible speed. And everywhere he went, he had victories. He never lost a battle, never a single battle. Finally, his men said, "Enough is enough. What we're going to go on into the Himalayas? We're going to go, going to continue going east?" They wanted to stop, they wanted to go home, enough was enough, and he sat down and wept because there was no where else for him to conquer. Incredible speed of assault, three years Persia destroyed, 10 years the known world, conquered. Some days he pushed his army to march 36 miles in a single day.
Zeus-Ammon: the Symbol of the Horn
While he was in Egypt, he was crowned Zeus Amun, the son of Zeus. On the cover of your bulletin, there's a coin there, a picture of Alexander the Great and coming out of the side of his head is a horn. This is an ancient coin from Alexandria, Egypt, the city that he established. It's still the finest port in Egypt. It's named after himself. And by the way, everywhere he went he planted cities which he named Alexandria. There are 30 Alexandrias that he started but Alexandria Egypt is the most famous of them all and there he was crowned Zeus Amun and he was declared to be a God, the son of Zeus. Do you see the horn coming out? It looks a little bit like the hair. You have to look at it a while but you see it curving around, it represents his power. It's remarkably like the vision that Daniel had had 200 years before hand.
And so, he conquered from Yugoslavia to the Himalayas, 3200 miles about the distance from LA to New York and he organized an efficient Empire, and he had future dreams to build a thousand warships and conquer North Africa beyond Italy, all the way to Gibraltar; to build a road supply along Southern Mediterranean coast for all of his ships. He had a vision of a harmony of all of Asia and Europe, an intermingling of all peoples and languages and tribes. He wrote about this often. A vision of one world and one culture under the Greeks, and he would be its eternal king because he believed himself to be a God. And then he came to Babylon. Came to Babylon. No where else for him to conquer just to organize his empire that would be the seat of his power.
Verse 8, "The goat became very great, but at the height of his power, his large horn was broken off." Well, this is how it happened. They were having a feast and somebody brought to him. So it goes, the story goes, the Hercules bowl, a huge bowl and no one had ever been able to drink a whole Hercules bowl of wine, and so he was challenged and he never backed down from a challenge, that's what his pride was, his ego and so he drank it to the bottom in order it to be filled again and always filled the second time, and he drank it to the bottom and died several days later from alcohol poisoning. He conquered the world, but he couldn't concur himself.
The height of his power is cut off now, he left no heir and so his foremost powerful generals divided the kingdom among themselves. Cassander ruled in Macedonia and Greece. Ptolemy in Egypt, Selecus in Babylonia and Lysimachus in Thrace in Asia Minor. This is a clear fulfillment of prophecy maybe the clearest detail of this entire vision, the fact that his kingdom was divided into four parts, the goat became very great verse 8, but at the height of his power, his large horn was broken off and in its place, four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven. Verse 22, The four horns that replaced the one that broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power, clear fulfillment of prophecy.
Now, what is the significance of Alexander the Great to us as Christians? Well, he's unified the world under Hellenism and therefore all of you who have studied the Bible know that the New Testament is written in what language? In Greek and why is that? Because Alexander conquered Palestine. And so many Jews were Greek speakers and the New Testament was written in Greek. Above Jesus' head when He was crucified, there was written, this is Jesus, the King of the Jews, in what languages? In latin because that was the power language of the time. In Hebrew, Aramaic because that was a religious language, and then in Greek, because that was the language of commerce and culture, and why because of Alexander the Great. But he did not leave an empire that endured for ever rather he died and his empire was divided and was never that powerful again.
IV. The Vision Extended: The “Little Horn” (vs. 9-12, 23-26)
The Description and Rise of the “Little Horn” (vs. 9-12, 23-36)
Now, in verses 9-12, we have another vision, a vision of a little horn. "Out of one of those four horns the four kingdom that was divided, came another horn, which started small, but grew in power to the south and the east, and toward the beautiful land. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens and it threw down some of the starry host to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the prince of the host. It took away the daily sacrifice from him and the place of his sanctuary was brought low, because of rebellion the host of the saints from the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did and truth was thrown to the ground."
This rise of the little horn parallels that we've already seen in Daniel 7, the description and rise of the little horn also seen in verses 23-26. In the latter part of the rein, it says in verse 23, "when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern faced king, a master of intrigue will arise. He will become very strong but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the prince of princes. Yet, he will be destroyed but not by human power.
The War on the Saints and the Desecration of the Temple
So there is a horn to grow up, out of this, one of these four Greek sub-empires, this little horn and who is this little horn? Well, it is Antiochus IV called The Ephiphanes. He lived in the 2nd century BC, he was not a mighty conqueror. Rather, he was a usurper, a master politician. He had the ability to work intrigue and to gain positions of power, and influence for himself.
In the year 175 BC, he secured the high priesthood from the Jews and he pressured the Jews to show loyalty to Greek culture and to idolatry. Many Jews were persecuted, and put to death. Antiochus then was guilty of blasphemy, he ascended himself up to be an incarnation of Zeus, just as Alexander before him acclaimed to be, and not only that, he went into the holy of holies, into the temple itself, he cut off all animal sacrifices, all the sacrifices of God for 2300, it says mornings and evenings. Now, some people think this was 1150 full days, 1150 mornings, 1150 evenings. I think that fits better with history. We know that the Jews were commanded to offer morning and evening sacrifices and Antiochus cut those off. God had no sacrifices because of Antiochus. Rather Antiochus wanted to be worshiped. He set himself up as an incarnation of Zeus. He had an idol put in the holy of holies and even worse, he had pigs taken into the sanctuary and sacrificed, and pigs blood anointed all over the altar and in the holy of holies.
Can there be a greater defilement of the temple than that? Antiochus totally usurping power, setting himself up to be worshiped and then desecrating the temple. This was a direct assault on God Himself, and the scripture says very plainly that he also will be cut off but not by human hands. Now we're going to learn more about Antiochus in Chapter 11 in Daniel 11.
The Hanukkah Story: The Reconsecration of the Temple
But basically what happened was he was on a trip and God struck him dead with a disease. He was dead within a week, suddenly he died. God will not forget this kind of open rebellion, and in 164 BC, just three years after he had desecrated the temple, Judas Maccabeus, (this is written in the apocryphal I Maccabeus) reconquered Jerusalem, took over the temple, had it cleansed ceremonially from all the pigs blood, and the idolatry. Re-established worship to God and they found in one part of the temple, a little vial of oil that had not been desecrated, a little bottle of oil that they could use for the burning for the light within the Holy of Holies, just enough for one day.
But yet, so the story goes that, miraculously burned for eight days. And so, our Jewish neighbors celebrate Hannukah every year. Eight candles for eight days, the eight days that the temple that that oil burned miraculously after the temple had been cleansed. Specific fulfillment.
V. The “Little Horns” of Daniel 8 & 7: Type and Fulfillment
Now, as you look at Daniel 8 and Chapter 7, who are these little horns? Well, you have to compare them. There are some similarities. Both of them arise out of Gentile kingdoms coming from one of these beasts. There is a similar career a conquest of rivals, war against the saints, blasphemy against God, desire to be worshipped in God's temple and its demise not done by human hands, but there's some significant differences too, aren't there?
This one arises out of the third beast, doesn't it? The Daniel Chapter 8 horn arises out of Greece, but the Daniel Chapter 7 horn arises out of the fourth beast. And so, what is the relationship between the two? I think it's a relationship between pattern and fulfillment. Things were acted out in history, in the 2nd century BC that we will see again at the second coming of Christ. Things were acted out by Antiochus IV fourth called epiphanies which means manifestation of God that's what he claimed to be, acted out in a small scale just in a little part of the world, that it's going to happen again at the second coming of Christ with the true anti-Christ.
Type and fulfillment. It says in 1 John 2:8, "Dear children. This is the last hour. And as you have heard that the anti-Christ is coming, many anti-Christ, have now come." And so this pattern is set and it would be replayed again, just one generation after Jesus Christ when the temple that Jesus visited was destroyed and he called it the abomination of desolation. We'll learn about that in Daniel 9. But the Romans came in that fourth beast, and they destroyed and desecrated the temple, and it has never been rebuilt. Some scholars believe that the temple will be rebuilt. II Thessalonians 2 says, The anti-Christ, the man of sin will sit in God's temple and make himself out to be God in God's temple, II Thessalonians 2. And so we have a pattern, a kind of an acting out in history by Antiochus of something that's going to happen, yet in the future.
Now, as we look at this, Daniel 8, all these details, you think, "What does this have to do with me? What does this have to do with my life?" Well, first of all, I think we have to understand it relates to God's ability to know in detail the future. Does it matter to you what happens to you in the future? Does it make a difference? Would it make any difference to you to know whether you're going to heaven or hell? Would that make a difference to you?
I think it would make a difference to me. I don't think it's possible to live until you're ready to die. And we know that death is coming for all of us. It came to Alexander the Great and it's coming to us. Are you ready for that? But God has given us specific promises, whoever trusts in Jesus Christ will have eternal life, and no one can take that life from us, and so God has declared the future before it has even happened. Further more, it says that some day he will return in glory to set up his kingdom. Are you waiting for that? How can you pray the Lord's prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done," without believing in a God who knows the future. And say, it absolutely will happen, and so we can pray in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy kingdom come." And know it will certainly happen, because God has shown his track record, his specific performance in the past.
I think we also need to realize that history matters. Only a handful of you are really that interested in Alexander the Great. Some of you would watch a documentary about him in UNC-TV or something like that. Others couldn't be bothered. But I think the fact of the matter is, that God cares intensely about history, he cares a lot. This is Christianity, the only religion that's woven together through historical events. Do you realize that it? It makes a difference whether Adam and Eve ever lived. It makes a difference whether there was someone named Abraham, who was called out and promises were made to him. It makes a difference whether the Jews ever lived in Egypt and were slaves, and then led out by Moses. It makes a difference. It makes a difference whether there ever was a Joshua, conquered the promised land, whether there was or was not a king David makes a difference.
It makes a difference, whether there was a Jesus of Nazareth born in Bethlehem of a virgin, lived for 30, some odd years, ministered, died on the cross, rose from the dead. It makes a difference. History matters because if Jesus has not been raised from the dead, we're still in our sins. History makes a difference but your personal history makes a difference too.
Remember, last week we talked about in Daniel 7, the court was seated and the books were open or what's in the books? Your history, every word you've ever spoken, everything you've ever done, it's all written down. God is a meticulous and careful historian, he cares about history and so we need a savior. Because we could look at that. Daniel said very clearly that the Alexander the Great came and was cut off in the height of his power. He needed a savior, and so do you. Jesus Christ said, "What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul. What would a man give in exchange for his soul?" Has there ever been a man who came so close to conquering the whole world as Alexander the Great and yet he could not conquer himself. But Jesus Christ came to give eternal life to all those who claimed him. I want to finish by giving a comparison.
VII. The contrast between King Jesus and King Alexander:
- Alexander crushed His enemies, leaving them shattered and poverty-stricken
- Jesus saved His enemies, leaving them eternally blessed and wealthy
- Alexander boasted and exalted Himself
- Jesus was meek and lowly of heart and laid His majestic glory down in order to save us
- Alexander claimed to be the son of Zeus
- Jesus was the Son of God
- Alexander wept that there were no more peoples to conquer
- Jesus wept when Jerusalem would not believe in Him
- Alexander died in his early thirties in a drunken feast of pride and dissipation
- Jesus died in his early thirties on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for sins
- Alexander’s body rotted in a grave
- Jesus’ body rose from the dead on the third day
- Alexander’s soul was eternally judged for his sins
- Jesus is Alexander’s judge
- Alexander built a world-wide empire... all that remains is the reputation
- Christ is still building His world-wide empire... it will last eternally