Saturday, March 24, 2018

PALM SUNDAY - A STUDY IN TWO SIGNIFICANT CONTRASTS

6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, 7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. 8 Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. 9 The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:6-9)
The Events of the Final Week of the Lord Jesus Christ, in earthly form, during Passover week of 33 AD is a huge comparison in contrasts. There could not be a bigger display of the thinking of man versus the Incredible Mind of God.

CONTRAST 1:

The people were looking for freedom from the brutal Romans and a king, or strongman leader, who would free them from this evil oppression from the Caesars; his criminal governors and their soldiers.

Jesus WAS that leader and King, however, His Kingdom was not one of flesh and blood run by sinful men. He came with the message of personal deliverance and freedom from bondage, but they would not listen. His "Freedom Agenda" was freedom from sin, death, and hell. Many saw His miracles of healing and even ate His loaves and fishes. BUT even though they followed Him and believe in WHAT He was doing, they ignored their own Scriptures and turned from Him.

66 As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 
These words of John 6:66-68 tells the story many then and especially today. Jesus had just finished laying down the "rules of the road" in John 6 and the crowds, realizing that a personal decision had to be made, turned away like many have and will, today and in the future. 

Every Easter, more so than Christmas, many like those who turned away when the rubber hit the road, will pack our churches; dressed to the nines and tens with spectacular Easter clothing.....only to go back to their lifestyles and lives, the Monday after Resurrection (Easter) Sunday. Nothing has really changed.

CONTRAST 2:
Unlike those whose contrasting shouts of joy went from "Hosanna, blessed is He Who cometh in the Name of the Lord" (which actually means "please save and deliver us"....in the Name of the Lord) to "CRUCIFY HIM" four days later, Jesus had the long view of His Purpose and time briefly on the Earth.  Like our Heavenly Father, Jesus sees the end from the beginning. The adoring crowds with palms waving as Jesus rode the fresh colt into Jerusalem, (in fulfillment of Zechariah's prophesy) had no idea He was heading to His Death on the Cross, for that same deliverance and salvation they were chanting about. 

The main difference is that Jesus' purpose was divinely ordained by God, while the temporal needs of the flesh called out for something else. This is so significant, as witnessed by so many in the "Christian world" not living in victory or even sure of their position in Christ. 

We are called, in these critical times, to highlight the contrast between those who profess with their mouths and lifestyles to be of the Lord and those whose hearts are actually changed by Him, to the point of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are called to highlight this NOT to criticize and tell people they are going to hell, but to show them the REAL way - the Way of Truth. Love without Truth is deception. The Genuine Love of the Christian towards a lost and dying world is contrasting fake belief with the knowledge of our sinful condition and God's transforming power in Christ. This Genuine Love should then spur us to love like never before, by asking the misguided to search their hearts, acknowledge their sins and turned to the Savior Who will still respond, with your palms upraised to Hosanna!! 

On Palm Sunday, Jesus came gently and peaceful riding on a young donkey to show the humble, loving Savior He still is, 2000 years later. One day, Jesus, Who has always existed from Eternity Past, and will always exist as God, will return as He truly is - fearsome and majestic - riding as the Warrior Commander in Chief of Heaven's Armies on a white horse. There will be no palms or joyful chanting welcoming the Fury and Fire of the Lord Jesus. There will just be the Final Battle.  Let us do our best to make sure that we reach many with the saving Gospel of the Christ, so that many will come to repentance and Faith in Him. It is to their eternal benefit to make this right now, rather than being in line for destruction by the Armies of Heaven. This is something we should run with, this and every Palm Sunday. Amen.
Post a Comment