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Palm Sunday

April 15, 2019

 

Palm Sunday

 

How is everyone doing today?  Hope you had a great week.  How did you like this past week? You could be at the beach on Monday and Tuesday, watch it snow on Wednesday, and thank God no accumulation, and then rain apocalypse on Thursday.  I was itching to get the patio set up in the beginning of the week, and then hibernate at the end. 

 

Next week is our Easter Service; we have some cards to take if you like to give to friends or family to invite them here.  As we all know, Easter is a big “come to church day” because of the Holy day, and we would like to love on some people with the love of Jesus next week. Amen!

 

But moving into my message this morning, the past month or so we have been in the Book of Acts, but I would like to switch gears and move to focus more on Jesus.  We have been focusing on the Holy Spirit, but it is Palm Sunday today.  As Pastor Milt and I was talking yesterday, the modern church, or post modern has at times made this day and Easter almost like any other day.  When today and Easter has so much significance in all of Christendom.  For Jew and Gentile alike. 

 

Prophecy unfolding from 1500 years out for the Jews in Jesus time, walking up to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the King of Kings, the Lord of Glory. 

 

These days are not just another day.  For me, even of more significant then Christmas where we celebrate Jesus birth.

 

Today I want to reflect on Jesus, reflect on His humanity, but focus on His humility.  He is our example as the perfect man.  Without spot or blemish.  No sin, perfect as we were supposed to be perfect.  Like Adam once was.

 

Jesus an example of a man having total and complete humility towards His Father, having complete obedience to His Father, to the point of death.  A man of unending love not only for His Father, but also toward all mankind. 

 

Jesus is known on this day, as the one riding into Jerusalem, knowing that He was going to die for all mankind.  He did not ride in to Jerusalem like a king on a horse, but as a humble loving servant of the people, and a servant of His Father, riding on a lowly donkey colt as the righteous Lamb of God. 

 

Jesus represented peace, and love, and mercy, and freedom from the things of this world.  He offered it all. His Kingdom was a Kingdom of life in the power of the Holy Spirit a life that would definitely have a profound affect on the physical one. 

 

He did not ride in to Jerusalem to rip control of a nation out of the hands of the men who currently ruled it. He came in to die, to rip the control of all mankind out of the grip of Satan whose only thought is to seek and destroy.

 

Jesus was not riding in to be a type of King David the warrior, as the people may have wanted, but as the humble one of God.  I wonder if the people out in the crowd when Jesus rode in knew of Zechariah 9:9?

 

“9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

 

In this scripture it says this King is righteous, and humble, and He will bring salvation to God’s people.  You wonder if they had that in mind, with Jesus riding in with a humble loving demeanor.

 

This scripture goes along with Isaiah 9:6 about Jesus being the “Prince of Peace”.  The people would find out a week later all about His peace, as He would die as a criminal who did no wrong who would say nothing in His defense, with them only hearing Him say on the Cross, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

 

As we have said here much, Jesus came to set the captive free, what He referenced in Luke 4:18, from Isaiah 61.  With that in mind, here is Jesus riding in on that colt with the knowledge that with His death, and coming resurrection, the whole earth would be able to experience the truth of this prophecy from Isaiah. 

 

Our hearts would be healed, we who mourn would be comforted, we would have beauty for the ashes in our lives, and our hearts would not be heavy anymore because of the constraints of this life.  He would encounter us with freedom and carry us away it states in the Greek.  We would be totally free if we believed.

 

Those that believed in what He said and showed them, would see the reality of Isaiah 9:7, “Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.” In the Greek this verse is read that in the “Greatness of His Empire” there would be no end, and the greatness of this empire that would be expressed through His family, those who believe in His name who would subdue the earth for His glory and honor reconciling the humanity back to God.

 

It would all come from His nature as, “the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father.”

 

The reality of this great kingdom that Jesus proclaimed was at hand that would be fully realized when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost on His people.  God in us!

 

When you read of the steps of Jesus from His baptism to this point of Him riding into Jerusalem on the colt, you can see the magnitude of this entry. 

 

Jesus the Son of God, riding in for the final expression all of His teaching, all of the manifestations of the Spirit through His healing and the casting out of evil spirits, and the raising of the dead while He was on earth, to be fully expressed through us in the days to come. 

 

It would be a full and final expression of the love of His Father, and Himself to all creation, something that we desperately needed, a promise fulfilled that would never end. 

 

It is a love that comes out of eternity.  A love that has only one strength. Being complete and full. Nothing being held back.  An undeniable love that is totally unconditional.  A John 3:16 moment, where God’s love would be completely poured out a week later, when the body of His Son would be willfully ravaged, then hung on a Cross so that He would bleed out and die for all mankind and all of creation.  All to restore creation back to God.

 

When I was reading Luke 19 starting with verse 28, many Bibles caption this scripture of Jesus riding into Jerusalem s the “The Triumphal Entry” or some wording like that.  My thoughts were why?  Lets look at Luke 19:35,

 

“Then they brought him to Jesus. (the colt) And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

 

Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying:“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 

When reading that, I wondering, did the people get it? “Blessed is the king that comes in the name of the Lord!”  That is from Psalms 118:26.  Did they have the full understanding who that man was riding on the colt?

 

 

When you read Psalms 118, you see Jesus all over it.  Lets look at Psalms 118 starting with verse 19.

 

19 “Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 23 This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD. 27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar! 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. 29 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”

 

Jesus, the cornerstone who was rejected, who became the chief cornerstone, the foundation of the New Covenant.  I thought about that, Jesus riding in on the colt, soon to be rejected totally, to hang on a cross, but to rise again so that something marvelous would happen.

 

God said in Jeremiah 31.

 

 Jeremiah 31:33, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

 

God would put Himself in them.  The Holy Spirit.  By grace we would be saved through faith, not by the works of laws.

 

Ezekiel 36:26-28, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.”

 

Our Jesus opened the door for this with His Blood.

 

It says in Luke a multitude of disciples cried out to Jesus the King as He rode in that day.  The people received him with open arms giving Him the glory He deserved.  They were worshipping Him.  Psalms 118:21, “I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.”  Jesus was the people’s salvation.  They wanted a Savior, and they needed a Savior and not just to save them from the physical world they lived in at the time.  They needed eternal salvation.

For many Jews who had seen Jesus do what he did and heard His words, their spiritual eyes were so closed. They could not discern what was going on in front of them that day.  Since the time of Moses, they had been re-enacting this day, and the days to come to the end of the next week.

 

Jesus came to Jerusalem for Passover, knowing that He would be the Passover Lamb.  The Passover lamb that His own people had sacrificed over and over again for ~ 1500 years.  The day He rode in was significant.

 

In John 12:1, “Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany,” 

 

On the Jewish calendar, that is the 9-day of their month of Nisan. Jesus rides in to Jerusalem on the 10th.

 

John 12:12,”On the next day, (the 10th day of Nisan) when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, a great crowd who had come to the Feast 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him.

 

So Jesus the human Lamb of God rides into Jerusalem, on the 10th of Nisan.  If we go back to the Passover Feast that was laid out by God to Moses in Exodus 12, we read of God laying out the feast.

 

Exodus 12, “3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them each man a lamb, a lamb for a house.  5 The lamb shall be without spot or blemish. 6 You shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month.”

 

So Jesus rides in to Jerusalem on the same day as the Passover Lamb was to be gathered. Jesus was coming to be the unblemished lamb for the whole House of Israel.  Jesus who was viewed for 5 days by the people just as the lamb was to be viewed.

 

Did the people even notice the similarities?  We can perceive they did not.  If they did, especially the rulers of the people, they may not have killed Jesus all for the wrong reasons.

 

We know teachers of the law could not see the truth, they were blinded to it.  They were blinded in their own man made religious rules and regulations.  How could they see with any spiritual discernment?  They did not know God, they only knew their rules of how things should be. 

 

It is surprising that the religious rulers of Jesus day knew of His teachings, they heard them, and knew of the miracles He did, and they probably saw them too, but could not put two and two together.  They were blind to the truth.

They could not see out of a box they created for themselves.  God was on the outside, but they could not see Him, nor could they see the God of Heaven in Jesus.

 

Today that same religious thought is prevalent and Jesus is performing the same miracles in our midst and there are people who even profess His name cannot see it.   The same religious spirit is in the air today and it must be broken.

 

Lets get back to Jesus’ Triumphal Entry. He knew that He was going to fulfill the Word of God.  His life on this earth was coming to an end. He was going to be able to go back to be with His Father in Heaven and the New Covenant between God and man was going to become real.

 

All that had been said about Jesus from the beginning of the Word of God from the time of Adam to what Jesus even said about Himself that He would rise in three days, everything was now coming to a head, and upon His resurrection from the dead, a new movement was going to be created. Cultures would change. It would be like a life bomb being detonated through out the earth.

 

People would rise up after God’s own heart, who would know Him as the loving Father just because of Jesus.  Yes they were going to be thrust upon the whole earth and in time, the whole earth would see His glory.

 

That is triumph.  If only the people truly knew who was on that colt. A few did, but in weeks to come, many would experience the revelatory power by an outpoured Holy Spirit, and they would truly see the Man riding the Colt as the Savior of the world, the King of Glory.

 

And as we read on in Luke 20 and 21 about the rest of the week after Jesus’ ride in, we read that He is preparing His Disciples for His departure. As a good leader, He is making sure that they will be prepared for the next chapter of their lives after He is gone.  If they only knew what was truly ahead for them.

 

But thinking about us, we have the risen Christ.  We have His Word.  We have His Revelation. So what are we doing about it now? 

 

For some of us, we have seen His miracles, we have seen the lame walk, and blind eyes see; we have seen mighty works through the faith of His Followers in His Name.  Are we like those who sing out Hosanna to the King, and believe, and because of knowledge of the truth of His Word, and revelation to our hearts we live strive to live in the fullness of the hope of His love? 

 

Or are we stale, and hardened, and fearful like the religious crowd? 

 

Is Jesus truly our foundation?  Do we live in His truth?

As we are in this Easter Season, it is time again to reflect on our lives.  It is time to see the humble Savior of the world riding on a colt who had purpose.  Knowing His purpose.  It was His love of the Father and His love for us that He laid His life down for us.  All so we could have life and have it more abundantly, and I am not saying everyday would be peachy.  We know better, but better is to have Jesus in the not so peachy days, then not have Him at all doing it alone. Jesus gives peace through the trial.

 

 For some of us it time we made covenant with Him.   We may have broke it, but Jesus is always there to restore it.   It may be our first time to surrender totally to Him.  But He is waiting at the door that we must open.

 

But as we reflect on Jesus the man, let us reflect on Jesus the Lord God almighty who sits at the right hand of the Father.  The Apostle John saw Jesus as a man riding on a colt, and also as the Lord God Almighty.  Revelation 1:12-17.

 

“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.”

 

That is Jesus whom we serve, and nothing is impossible for Him in our lives.  Today as they did 2000 years ago or so, we worship Him, we bow down to Him, our Lord, our Savior, and our God.

 

We are going to worship Him again, and if you need to say again, “Lord, I am yours.”  I come back into covenant with you again with my whole heart.”  Lets do this life again in the fullness of your love and your mercy, amen!”

 

 

 

 

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