Sermon for Good Friday 04.07.23 “Worst. Best. King. Ever.: Manasseh”

Good Friday 2023
Text: 2 Chronicles 33:1–20
Theme: Worst. Best, King. Ever.: Manasseh
Hymns: LSB 449/450, 452

A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 serves as our sermon text for this evening, which
reads as follows:
2 Chronicles 33:1–20 (NASB95)
1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned
fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
2He did evil in the sight of the LORD according to the abominations of the
nations whom the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel.
3For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down;
he also erected altars for the Baals and made Asherim, and worshiped all
the host of heaven and served them.
4He built altars in the house of the LORD of which the LORD had said, “My
name shall be in Jerusalem forever.”
5For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the
house of the LORD.
6He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he
practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with
mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD,
provoking Him to anger.
7Then he put the carved image of the idol which he had made in the house of
God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house
and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will
put My name forever;
8and I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have
appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have
commanded them according to all the law, the statutes and the ordinances
given through Moses.”
9Thus Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more
evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the sons of Israel.
10The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.
11Therefore the LORD brought the commanders of the army of the king of
Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with
bronze chains and took him to Babylon.
12When he was in distress, he entreated the LORD his God and humbled
himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
13When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his
supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then
Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.
14Now after this he built the outer wall of the city of David on the west
side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance of the Fish Gate; and he
encircled the Ophel with it and made it very high. Then he put army
commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah.
15He also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the LORD,
as well as all the altars which he had built on the mountain of the house
of the LORD and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city.
16He set up the altar of the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings and thank
offerings on it; and he ordered Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.
17Nevertheless the people still sacrificed in the high places, although
only to the LORD their God.
18Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh even his prayer to his God, and the
words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD God of Israel,
behold, they are among the records of the kings of Israel.
19His prayer also and how God was entreated by him, and all his sin, his
unfaithfulness, and the sites on which he built high places and erected the
Asherim and the carved images, before he humbled himself, behold, they are
written in the records of the Hozai.
20So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house.
And Amon his son became king in his place.
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be to you from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 452:1-2 O Perfect Life of Love
O perfect life of love!
All, all, is finished now,
All that He left His throne above
To do for us below.

No work is left undone
Of all the Father willed;
His toil, His sorrows, one by one,
The Scriptures have fulfilled.


A. During this Lenten season, we have considered the good kings of Judah.
1. Week after week we saw that their reigns have been superseded by the
glorious reign of Jesus Christ, the Son of David.
2. Each of those kings was a sinner, but insofar as they ruled with justice
and led the people in righteousness, our great King, Jesus Christ, is their
perfect fulfillment.
1. Manasseh was the WORST king of Judah.
A. Tonight, we will not consider one of the good kings of Judah.
1. Instead, we turn our attention to King Manasseh, the WORST. KING. EVER.
2. Most of the kings in Chronicles are described as either following in the
ways of David or abandoning them.
B. For example, there was King Jehoram, who was said to have followed the
ways of wicked Ahab, his father-in-law.
C. However, Manasseh gets special treatment:
2 Chronicles 33:2–3 (NASB95)
2He did evil in the sight of the LORD according to the abominations of the
nations whom the LORD dispossessed before the sons of Israel.
3For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down;
he also erected altars for the Baals and made Asherim, and worshiped all
the host of heaven and served them.
1. His deeds are not compared to David or Solomon.
2. They are not even compared to the evil kings of Israel.
3. Manasseh is compared to the pagan Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites,
Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites (cf Joshua 3:10).
4. Judah under Manasseh returned to the state of wickedness, which
prevailed before the conquest of Joshua and the planting of Israel in the
Promised Land.
5. And he compares poorly:
2 Chronicles 33:9 (NASB95)
9Thus Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more
evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the sons of Israel.
2. He shed innocent blood and destroyed the kingdom.
A. For most of his fifty-five years as king, Manasseh gave the ultimate
example of unrighteousness.
1. Manasseh’s greatest hits include erecting altars to the Baals and
Asheroth, which Hezekiah had torn down.
2. He worshiped the host of heaven—the sun, moon, and stars.
3. He defiled the temple, which Hezekiah had cleansed, erecting altars to
the heavenly hosts even in the temple.
4. Yes, in the very place where the Lord’s name was to be worshiped were
pagan altars.
5. He consulted sorcerers and necromancers.
6. He even offered up his own children as burnt offerings.
7. In 2 Kings, it is written that:
2 Kings 21:16 (NASB95)
16Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled
Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah
sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD.
8. What more could Manasseh have done to provoke the Lord God of Israel to
B. Therefore the army of the Assyrians was brought to capture Manasseh.
1. They put a fish hook in his nose and led him away bound in chains.
2. That is, he was treated like a wild animal that needed to be subdued.
3. He was wounded and humiliated by foreigners.
4. King Manasseh lost everything, even as the kingdom was about to collapse.
3. But when Manasseh repented, God’s great mercy moved him to forgive.
A. At this lowest point, far away in Babylon, the king of Judah humbled
himself before the God of his fathers.
1. In a foreign land, he finally prayed to the God of Israel for help.
2. Manasseh repented of his sins and sought the Lord’s favor.
3. By what can only be called a miracle of God worked in his pagan captors,
he was returned to Judah.
4. He restored God’s altar.
5. However, for the people of Judah, it was much too late.
6. The wicked influences on them had been too strong for too long.
7. We read in the next chapter (2 Chronicles 34) that the judgment of God
will not depart from Judah:
2 Chronicles 34:24–25 (NASB95)
24thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am bringing evil on this place and on its
inhabitants, even all the curses written in the book which they have read
in the presence of the king of Judah.
25“Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods,
that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands;
therefore My wrath will be poured out on this place and it shall not be
quenched.” ’
8. Jerusalem and the temple will be destroyed.
B. But what about King Manasseh?
1. God was moved by his prayer!
2. What could move God so?
3. Was it his beautifully constructed prayer or earnest words?
4. Perhaps Manasseh promised to God something extraordinary to make up for
his sins? Of course not.
5. There’s nothing that could make up for the great sins of Manasseh.
6. The mercy of God simply flows freely for the repentant.
7. No matter what the sin, no matter when the repentance, the mercy of God
is very great.
8. This mercy flowed equally for both David and Manasseh at the ends of
their reigns.
4. For even the most grievous sins are forgiven in the Son of Manasseh.
A. Yet satisfaction must be made.
1. Only one perfect sacrifice would atone for the sins of Manasseh.
2. Manasseh had nothing of that caliber to bring to God.
3. There weren’t enough bulls or goats in all of Judah or even the world to
pay for his iniquities.
B. Indeed, only a perfect sacrifice would atone for our sins.
1. Perhaps our sins are not as public as Manasseh’s, but there is nothing
we can offer to God either to atone for our sins.
2. None of the blood of beasts could wash away the stain of our sin.
3. The prayer of Manasseh is not our hope.
C. Instead, we look only to Jesus, for:
1. The Son of Manasseh Shed Innocent Blood for Our Sins.
D. The Son of Manasseh offered that perfect sacrifice, not for his sins,
but ours.
1. He was the one true Innocent.
2. Yes, the Son of God was tempted, as all men are, but did not sin.
3. Still, the sin of the world was put on his shoulders—great sin which
weighs us down and brings us low.
E. The Son of Manasseh shed his blood to pay for the sin of the world.
1. For children offered up to Baal or the sun god.
2. For the blood of children killed in warfare.
3. For children’s lives who were snuffed out before birth for our
4. For children who starve because of our indifference.
F. The precious blood of Jesus was spilled for innocent Jewish blood shed
by Manasseh.
1. For Jewish blood spilled by Hitler and the German Nazis.
2. For the many wicked anti-Semites throughout history.
G. The blood of Christ poured out for the thief on the cross.
1. For white-collar thieves of millions of dollars from unsuspecting folks.
2. For common thieves who cheat on taxes or timecards.
H. The blood of God was sprinkled on idols that were set up in the temple
of the Almighty.
1. For pagans who worship earth and heaven rather than the Creator.
2. For idolaters who worship money and success and forget about the Giver
of all good things.
I. The Son of David rode into Jerusalem with great expectation.
1. But soon he was bound and led into the headquarters of a foreign
2. There the King of the Jews was mocked and bled from wounds on that
sacred head.
3. Though he sought relief from his Father, praying earnestly that the cup
be taken from him, it was the will of God that he suffer for the sins of
Manasseh and us.
4. It was the right time for the sin of the world to be taken away.
5. The hour had come for the Son of Man to be lifted up and glorified.
6. Jesus now would bear the title “King of the Jews” while hanging on a
5. Jesus is the BEST king and established the kingdom.
A. After the sacrifice of his Son, God restored the temple.
1. The temple in Jerusalem has been permanently removed, both the temple of
Solomon and Herod’s temple.
2. But the temple of Jesus’ body is alive and well.
3. In that temple, Jesus continues to offer us forgiveness through his body
and blood as found in His holy supper.
4. And we continue to worship in the name of Jesus our Lord.


A. The Son of Manasseh is the BEST. KING. EVER.
1. Not only does he lead his people in righteousness, but he accomplished
righteousness for us.
2. Whatever our sins,
3. however long we’ve been distant from his body,
4. however close we are to death,
A. Jesus’ sacrifice has moved God to mercy.
B. The King of Judah has established an eternal kingdom of righteousness
through the forgiveness of sins.
B. On this holy day, let us pray to our Father through the great King Jesus
Christ, confidently believing that he is moved with mercy by the
sacrificial death of the Son of Manasseh, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
C. Let us pray:
LSB 452:6-7 O Perfect life of love
In ev’ry time of need,
Before the judgment throne,
Thy work, O Lamb of God, I’ll plead,
Thy merits, not mine own.

Yet work, O Lord, in me
As Thou for me hast wrought;
And let my love the answer be
To grace Thy love has brought.
Text: Public domain
D. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
E. In the Name of the Father…Amen.