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April 5, 2020

Today Our Focus is on Celebrating HOPE!  

Q: “In What or Whom do You Place Your Hope?”  What Are Your Eyes Focused on During the Coronavirus?  Do You Have the Peace that Only God Provides?   

On the first Palm Sunday…When Jesus Came into Jerusalem It is Clear That Jesus had a Very Different Vision of Hope than the People Did!  People Celebrated Hope as they saw Jesus ride into Jerusalem.  But their Praise Stopped…Because Jesus Vision of Hope was NOT What They Hoped For.

The People Envisioned an Earthly King…But Gods Plan Was Much Bigger…God Envisioned an Eternal Heavenly Home where We Would Enjoy Him Forever.

The Great Triumphal Procession Begins with Two Disciples, sent by Jesus, to get a Donkey to Ride into Jerusalem.  This is a Key Point of the Story because…Nobody would Expect a Powerful, Messianic King to Bounce into Jerusalem on the Back of a Donkey. 

Mark 11 “As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’” 4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”  10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”  “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Mark 15 12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13 “Crucify Him!” they Shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify Him!” 15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified”.

Why this Dramatic Change in the Attitude of the People a Few Days Later?

Our First Hint:  On the day we know as Palm Sunday, JESUS comes in Humbly Not Arrogantly, in the Name of the Lord…This was a Highly Symbolic and Deliberately Provocative Decision Which Challenged Other Political Processions. Jesus Rode a Donkey because Pilate [A Victorious Leader] Would Have Rode a War Horse. But Jesus Rode a Donkey to Provide an Alternate Reality of His Mission.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus Presented a Different Vision of Power. Not One of Force or Fear…Rather He Came as A Servant and Sacrifice for You and Me!

Expecting a King to Rule…People spread their coats on the ground in front of Him…Some Waved Branches of Palm Trees, a Sign of Victory…The People Shouted, Hosanna!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. They Expected a King of Israel to Free them from Roman Rule…But

Jesus Came as a Servant! And with That…The People Changed Too!

2 DIFFERENT VISIONS OF HOPE…The People Wanted An Earthy King to Break the Rule of the Romans…The People Expected their Messiah to be a Great Political and Military Leader who would Free them from the Tyranny of the Roman Empire.  BUT…Christ Came to Provide Them an Eternal Savior…His Kingdom is Not of This World…

What Do We Learn from Palm Sunday? How Do We Apply the Truth of Palm Sunday to Our Lives?

To Answer That We Need to Ask Ourselves Why Am I Following Jesus?

Matt. 4:23-25 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, healing all manner of sickness among the people. “And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.”

The Bible says that Multitudes followed Jesus for Different Reasons…The Same is True Today.

There’s 2 Groups of People that Follow Jesus: The 1st Goup follow Jesus for What He Can Do For Them:

John 6:26 “Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”

  • There focus is for God to Meet Their Needs rather than to Obediently do what He ask them to do, to Love God First, to Love others second and to put themselves last!
  • They Want God to Bless Them Without accepting They are Saved Unto Good Works (Eph. 2:10)

Others in this Group followed Him out of Curiosity- They had heard the stories of Jesus healing the sick and raising the dead and they came to see for themselves.

  • Back then as well as Today…There are those who Follow Jesus Out of Curiosity… “Itchy Ears” But Have No Desire to Commit Themselves to Gods Word!

2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths”.

The Second Group Understands that Jesus is the Son of God, He Came to Save Us from Our Sin and They Humble Themselves and Follow Jesus as “True” Disciples.

They Accept What Christ said In Different Scriptures when He asked the Tough Questions for All True Disciples:

Luke 9: 23-24 “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

John 6:66-69 “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Like Peter…Jesus is asking Us to Put Our Hope in Him Alone…Not for What Jesus Can do for Us in This Life…Rather it is about What He Did on the Cross when He Died for Our Sins and Then 3 Days Later was Raised to Life and Broke the Hold of Death so that we can Enjoy Him Forever.

I want to Challenge each of us to become 1 Corinthians 15:58 Christians“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, Stand Firm. Let Nothing Move You. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

POINT: MY ONLY HOPE RESTS IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!