Sunday Morning 3-24-2013

Posted by Sherry


WHY DO THEY CALL IT “PALM SUNDAY”?
Matthew 21:1-11
CBC 3/24/13 Palm Sunday SM

INTRO
  • b/c they greeted the Messiah waving palm branches (custom & tradition.. a long-standing symbol of Jewish nationalism) when He entered Jerusalem thinking He was there to deliver them from the Roman occupation.
  • When they found out His plan was to deliver them from their sin instead...they crucified Him.
    • Do we do the same thing?
    • Do we have presuppositions when we are introduced to Jesus?
    • Are we disappointed when we find out His agenda is not the same as ours?
    • Do we crucify him (fig.) by ignoring, denouncing, or denying His existence?
    • Are we self-centered or Christ-centered?

Why Did The Cheering Stop? 
  • Jesus, 
    • the son of a carpenter, 
    • educated in Nazareth, 
    • one who gained favor with men, 
    • one who was cheered and praised, 
    • would soon be mocked, 
    • scorned, 
    • and cast aside by the same ones who did the cheering.
  • Jesus was aware:
    • of the conditions surrounding the people
      • Roman oppression
      • heavy taxes
      • restrictions
      • numerous executions by crucifixion
    • of the condition of the people’s heart
      • Jews searching for someone
      • a king
      • a conqueror
      • someone to set them free
      • they had witnessed the works of Jesus
        • sight to blind
        • healing the lame
        • feed the multitude w/ little boy’s lunch w/ leftovers
        • raising Lazarus from the dead
        • taught w/ authority
        • w/ power like that overthrowing the Romans would be a snap
  • Timing was right
    • Passover feast - deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage

  • Roman Soldiers were aware:
    • the meaning of Passover
    • tradition of skirmishes and violent reactions
    • Theodus previously rode into town & launched a revolt
    • He ended up w/ his head on a stick on the garrison wall

  • Jesus rode into Jerusalem
    • the crowds waved palm branches
    • They shouted, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.”
    • Cheering, praising, exalting…but then something happened. 
    • The cheering stopped.
  • Jesus didn’t gather any troops. 
    • He didn’t lead a revolt. 
    • He didn’t do what they expected. 
    • He drove the moneychangers out of the temple. 
    • He paid tribute to Caesar. 
    • He taught that giving out of poverty is worth more than giving out of abundance.
    • He taught that in order to be great, you must be a servant. 
    • Jesus did everything the people didn’t want, and so the cheering stopped.
  • when Jesus rises to our cause; 
    • it’s easy to cheer. 
    • what about when He doesn’t? 
    • What happens when we face oppression? 
    • What happens when we experience troubles? 
    • Too often, the cheering comes to a stop. 
    • Words of adoration and praise quickly fade when we face life as it really is.
  • Sometimes God does give us what we want,
    • He always gives us what we need. 
    • sometimes we experience a little problem. 
    • Often our wants and desires blur our vision to our real needs. 
    • The same thing happened to the crowds that lined the Streets to cheer Jesus.
    • There were some things that they didn’t see, but Jesus did. 
    • Luke19:41-44.

“And when He was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, “If thou hadst even known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee; that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

 “Why did the cheering stop?”

First, because they did not recognize His purpose. 
  • v 44, “because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” 
    • visitation-someone visiting to bring relief or deliverance. 
    • they failed to see their opportunity for true relief.
    • people were looking for the kingdom of God and 
    • Jesus had already told them that the kingdom is already in their presence, 
    • aware of His claims to be the Son of God. 
    • witness to His miracle working power. 
    • Jesus even told them once that they could look at the sky to discern the weather, but they could not discern the time in which they were living. 
    • They could not see Jesus’ purpose because they had their eyes on their immediate circumstances instead of their current condition.
  • We are the same way today. 
    • When we experience trials or certain hardships, and 
    • we suffer through various difficulties, and 
    • we get our eyes on our circumstances; 
    • we focus is on everything around us that is wrong, 
    • then something happens. 
    • our prayer starts to change. 
    • our prayer shifts from one place to another, and 
    • it becomes, “Lord, deliver me, help me, fight for me, uplift me,” 
    • instead of, “Lord, mold me, use me, grow me through these things, change me, and get glory for yourself.” 
    • Too often the desire is for God to change the circumstances, instead of God changing the person in those circumstances. 
    • sadly, it has an effect. 
    • In time the cheering stops. 
    • we loose sight of Him and His purpose, and 
    • we diminish in our worship of Him. 
    • we go through the motions of service, and 
    • we praise Him for what we want Him to do, 
    • instead of praising Him for who He is.
  • people desired deliverance from oppression. 
    • Jesus came to deliver them from the bigger problem of sin. 
    • In their desire to escape their immediate circumstances to have their brand of peace, 
    • they missed the fact that they walked in the very presence of the Prince of Peace. 
    • Don’t let that be what causes your cheering for Him to stop. 
    • Don’t loose sight of the fact that through any circumstance, you are in the presence of the Prince of Peace. 
    • John 16: 33 “These things have I spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” 
    • It’s hard to get peace from the world when it is clear that it is full of tribulation.
    • With Jesus, we can have peace, even in the middle of tribulation.

Second, they refused to accept His terms. 
  • v 42, Jesus said, “If you had known the things which make for peace.” 
    • look at the word know, 
    • realize that it is not used in the sense of being aware of something, 
    • or to have knowledge of something. 
    • It is used in a different sense. 
    • It’s use is one that is common in Scriptures such as 
    • Matthew 7:23 when Jesus said, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” 
    • Certainly He knows everything there is to know about you. 
    • What is meant in that passage is that He never approved of you
    • (lit.), “Even though I know you, and am aware of every little detail about you, you must depart from me because I do not approve of you.” 
    • same as in v 42. “If you had APPROVED the things which make for peace”
  • Jesus’ terms clearly spelled out. 
    • Luke 14 they involved a cross
    • “Take up your cross and follow Him.” 
    • The terms involved careful consideration
    • “Count the cost.” 
    • The terms involved submission
    • As two kings prepared for battle, the weaker would send an ambassador to request the terms of peace from the stronger army. 
    • It was then up to the weaker king to submit to those terms if he desired peace.
  • Jews desired peace, 
    • but wanted it to come through conflict. 
    • Jesus was offering them peace in conflict. 
    • And Jesus said of Jerusalem in Luke 13:34, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!” 
    • And the city of Jerusalem, who’s name means founded peaceful, refused Jesus’ terms. 
    • Why? 
    • b/c they wanted to set the terms of peace.
  • How often do we as Christians do the same thing? 
    • We want peace, and 
    • we want blessings, but 
    • at the same time, we want to do things our way in order to get them. 
    • attitude is, “God, I want peace and blessings, and I’m going to do this, and that, and the other, because that’s how I want to handle it. And Lord, your job it to just bless me in my actions. 
  • How about the one who has not accepted Christ as their savior? 
    • There are many who want to set the terms themselves. 
    • “Oh, I’m going to get to Heaven one day, but I’ll get there on my own terms.”
    • Jesus was clear when He said, ‘I am the way, and no man comes to the Father but by Him.” 
    • But, time and time again we have refused His terms. 
    • There is a way that seems right to man, but the end of it is destruction. 
    • Why? 
    • b/c we refuse to accept His terms. 
    • Jesus is the only way; 
    • the only provision for salvation has already been made. 
    • The blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary is the only means whereby you can be forgiven of sin, and 
    • it is the righteousness of Christ that must be applied to you if you desire to be in Heaven for eternity.
Thirdly, they did not realize that it would bring judgment. 
v 42-44, “but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave one stone upon another.”
  • Jesus describes the future judgment of Jerusalem. 
    • They had been warned, 
    • they knew the terms, 
    • they knew who Jesus was, 
    • but they refused to accept these things, and 
    • so it brought judgment.

  • In 70A.D, a Roman general named Titus, 
    • set siege against Jerusalem because they did finally revolt. 
    • The people did it their way. 
    • They went according to their purpose, 
    • they acted upon their terms, and 
    • it brought about judgment.
  • According to the historian, Josephus, 
    • over one million Jews were killed. 
    • He recorded that the blood flowed down the steps leading up to the temple, just like water. 
    • The temple was destroyed.
  • Things happened just as Jesus said they would. 
    • It was because they would not recognize His purpose, 
    • they refused to accept His terms, 
    • so, they were judged. 
    • It was God who said, “you are done.” 
    • end of v 42, “but now they are hid from thine eyes.” 
    • They knew His claim, 
    • they knew His terms, 
    • but they would have no more opportunity to accept them. 
    • They wanted it to be their way, and 
    • so the cheering stopped with one more silencing blow…judgment.
  • How does that apply to us? 
    • We cannot approach God on your own terms; 
    • We must come through Jesus. 
    • We cannot come to Him in your own time; 
    • No man comes to Me unless the Father draw them. 
    • When we come to Him we must accept His claims; 
    • Jesus IS the Son of God, 
    • the sacrifice for sin, 
    • the Lord and Savior. 
    • If we refuse these things, 
    • we may nail the coffin of our opportunity shut, and 
    • all that will be left for us to hear is, “it’s too late.” 
    • Our cheering will stop. 
    • All that will be left is destruction
    • for the unsaved... in a place called Hell. 
    • It is a place of eternal judgment. 
    • There is a “too late” in dealing with God.
  • Maybe our desires have been self-centered instead of God-centered. 
    • You are saved, but perhaps you have never accepted His terms of service to Him, and 
    • you have been doing things on your own, 
    • and in your own strength. 
    • Shouldn’t you accept what He would have you do, 
    • and serve how He would have you serve?

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