Faithlife Sermons

God Save Us!

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HOOK

Today is Palm Sunday— it is the Sunday before easter which ushers us to the “Holy Week”
This narrative appeared in all of the four synoptic gospels— It must be very important
Why was it called Palm Sunday?— It was because the people who cheered for Jesus when He came to Jerusalem as King, laid Palm Branches [other than their cloaks] on the roads as Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey— it is their homage for the Messiah, whom for the first time had publicly adhered to peoples’ acknowledgement of Him as the King— as the Messiah— the Son of David [messianic title]
Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! — People were chanting! Hosanna! — a Hebrew shout of praise that means Save us! Save us! — I’m pretty sure! We wanna shout that loud too!— I bet we are right now shouting in the privacy of our hearts!
I’m pretty sure! We wanna shout that loud too!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! — this is bold recognition of Jesus being the true Messiah— the Son of David! — the Son of Man!— the Son of God!— the Prince of Peace!— the Author of our Faith! — the Redeemer!— the Life Giving Spirit!— the Last Adam! — 100% Human 100% God! — the Master!— the Lamb of God!— the Incarnated Word of God! — the King of the Jews!— the Light of the World!
Hosanna in the highest heavens!
This narrative appeared in all of the four synoptic gospels— It must be very important
The atmosphere during which these came to happen was— that people felt oppressed by Roman Empire— they’ve been longing for someone that can liberate them from the agony under the Roman rule
Today our oppression came in the different form— though we live in a country that is democratic— we have rights and we responsibly exercise them
Our situation may be different compared to the time of the very first Palm Sunday— however, what is common “then and now”— we need a Savior from this pandemic— we need a liberator— we need someone to pull us through to the other side— we needed someone to bring us hope to be able to keep it together!— we need a light to guide us through this darkness!
152 countries are suffering the same plight— come to think of it for a second— what’s happening right now is beyond imagination— we never thought this could be even possible— we were into other forms of crises before but this one is unparalleled— we haven’t seen anything like this— at least in my lifetime!
This crisis is unprecedented— that not even the greatest country on the face of earth was ready for it— ventilators & face masks are back to back articles that you’ll keep hearing the mainstream media reporting about! We don’t have this— we don’t have that! PPE! People are dying— nurses taking their own lives! Politicians making themselves relevant for public office! — this is outright horrible!
Why was it called Palm Sunday?— It was because the people who cheered for Jesus when He comes to Jerusalem as King, laid Palm Branches [other than their cloaks] on the roads as Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey— it is their homage for the Messiah, whom for the first time had publicly adhered to peoples’ acknowledgement of Him as the King— as the Messiah— the Son of David [messianic title]
Negativity and reality are two different things— we have to face our realities— and to do that, we have to look through our eyes of “faith”, not through the lens of “fear”— this reminds me of my sermon two Sundays ago— about the 12 spies— lessons we got from that is that”
The majority is not always necessarily right— Joshua & Caleb stood as minority but they stood strong in the grace of God— they saw things through their eyes of faith— unlike the the rest of the spies, they saw things through their lens of fear
We are hunkered down in our homes not because we fear, but because we care— I could have insisted for our church to meet in person on weekends, but I did not because I care— a Pastor got arrested in Florida for convening his mega church despite the government’s “stay at home” order
I didn’t do that not because I fear— but because I care!— besides, if we only pay attention to what God has behind this pandemic, we will see 4 things that He’s doing to His church:
He is building the church to TRUST AND WORSHIP GOD
He is building the church to LOVE AND CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER
WE ARE BEING BUILT TO LOVE AND CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER
He is building the church to SERVE AND MINISTER TO OTHERS
WE ARE BEING BUILT TO SERVE AND MINISTER TO OTHERS
He is building the church to TO ADOPT CHANGES IN THE WAY WE DO CHURCH
WE ARE BEING BUILT TO ADOPT CHANGES IN THE WAY WE DO CHURCH
There’s always two sides of a coin— we don’t have to toss the coin to determine to direction of this pandemic— we don’t have to toss the coin to determine our future— we only have to pay careful attention to God and see through our eyes of faith and not through the lens of fear— worshipping over worrying!
Let me take you back to the very first Palm Sunday— what was going on at that time— what was the emotional atmosphere? Who are the people involved? When and where did it actually happened? Why did Jesus went to Jerusalem?— He’s been to Jerusalem many times prior— but why did He go their on that particular Sunday?— asking the right questions is key to understanding the scriptures
RAPA— Read & Record | Ask the Right Questions | Pull out the “Timeless” Principles | Apply those principles in your life
When: towards the end of Jesus’ ministry here on earth— after raising Lazarus from the dead— after restoring the sight of two blind men sitting by the roadside enroute to Jerusalem!— The Sunday before passover.
Where: Coming out of Jericho— they came to Bethphage— a village on the Mount of Olives— adjacent to Jerusalem— it has been identified as the modern Kefr-et-Tur today.
Who: Jesus with His disciples— a very large crowd— pilgrims & locals
Why did Jesus went Jerusalem on that particular Sunday— How did this triumphant procession played out?— Take listen!

BOOK

Matthew 21:1–2 NIV
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.
Matthew 21:1–3 NIV
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
Why donkey? Why not a horse?— or an Elephant maybe?— Why donkey?— Donkey— Represents humility [gentleness and peace]
Matthew 21:3 NIV
3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
Matthew 21:1–5 NIV
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
He can rightfully demand at anytime— He don’t not need permission from anyone! — because He is God!— God don’t need anyone’s permission for what is going on right now!— It is not what we feel about it! It is what God wants to accomplish through it! — and I’m telling you, He’s accomplishing it!— and until He’s done— this won’t be over! — How long this would take?— no one knows!
Everyone wants to be at the other side of this— but God won’t let that happen until we listen!— look!
What’s going on right now
Deuteronomy 28:1–2 NIV
1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
Matthew 21:1–11 NIV
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Deuterno
Clearly!— we are to trust & worship God! love & care one another! serve & minister to others! Adopt to changes in the way we do church!
Instead of being fixated to where you want to be— focus on God and enjoy the journey!
Matthew 21:4–5 NIV
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”
Matthew 21:4-5
Daughter of Zion refers to Jerusalem and its inhabitants
Some 520 years prior to the very first Palm Sunday— Zechariah prophesied of what was to happen— He said..
Zechariah 9:9 NIV
9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Matthew 21:1–11 NIV
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Though the disciples are not aware of this only until after
In the parallel writing of Mark, he said that those donkeys were never ridden before— appropriate symbolism for his purity and holiness
That put sense to why there was two animals— the donkey and her colt [foal]— it would be natural for the mother to come along if her colt had never previously been ridden
The recognize the messianic implications but seem not to grasp the full significance of the donkey that represents humility [gentleness & peace]
Matthew 21:6–9 NIV
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Matthew 21:6–7 NIV
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.
The plan goes without a hitch as the two disciples did what they’ve been told
They placed their cloaks on the animals while the crowd paves the road with theirs, adding branches from the trees— Matthew did not mention specifically what kind of tree, but in the parallel writing of John— he clearly said, “Palm Branches”
John 12:13 NIV
13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”
The Palm Tree— Symbolizes victory!
Jericho — the City of Palms
The scene conveys celebration and honor— reminiscent of the victory parades with which triumphant kings and generals in OT are welcomed
2 Kings 9:13 NIV
13 They quickly took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
The crowds acclaim Jesus as Messiah with regal, Davidic terminology— “Son of David”
They also echoed the blind men’s cry— Hosanna! which meant “God save us”
Matthew 21:10–11 NIV
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The Stirred City— Depicts uncertainty
The whole procession has a powerful impact on the inhabitants of Jerusalem— even though they are used to huge crowds of festival pilgrims
Stirred— in other words “thrown into commotion.” — people where put into action!— take note that it was the “passover”— of the biggest Jewish religious gathering celebrated to this day— so there were mixed crowds— the locals and the pilgrims coming down to Jerusalem from different directions
And we must also take note that though many in this crowd have heard the miracles performed by Jesus— still do not know about Him— just like today!
People asked, “who is this?” [referring to Jesus]— this question does not imply that the people have never seen Jesus before or do not know his name, though many in town from outside of Israel many not have encountered him previously
The predominantly Galilean crowd replies truthfully but inadequately— “this is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Inadequate because they did not say the “Son of God”— the “Messiah”— they just said, the “Prophet”
That crowd still represents the crowd of this day— they believe Jesus as the prophet and not the true Son of God
What can we learn from Palm Sunday?
We can pull out three “timeless” principles from the narrative of the very first Palm Sunday

LOOK

He can rightfully demand at anytime
Donkey represents humility, gentleness and peace
The Stirred City— Depicts uncertainty
The Stirred City— Depicts uncertainty
The Donkey— Represents humility [gentleness and peace]
The Stirred City— Depicts uncertainty
The Palm Tree— Symbolizes victory
The Palm Tree— Symbolizes victory

TOOK

IN THIS TIME OF GREAT UNCERTAINTY, GOD IS MY SECURITY
Paul told Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith”
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called— Never rely on things that doesn’t last!— heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away [Matthew 24:35]
Even Bill Gates [named as the richest man in the world by Forbes' annual list of the world's billionaires. This was the 16th time that the founder of Microsoft claimed the top spot]— said back in 2015 after Ebola— we are not ready for a global pandemic— Listen to his TED Talks
Never rely on things that doesn’t last—
Do not set your hopes on the the uncertainty of riches
1 Timothy 6:17 ESV
17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
1 Timot
Haughty— in other words be proud
GOD WILL LIFT ME BECAUSE OF MY HUMILITY
When Peter taught about humility he said— God opposes the proud but show favor the the humble
1 Peter 5:6–7 NIV
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
VICTORY BELONGS TO ME
1 John 5:4–5 NIV
4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:4-5
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God
And everyone who loves the father loves his child as well— we know that we love the children of God by loving God and carrying out his commands
In fact the love for God is to keep his commands— and his commands is not burdensome
1 John 5:4–5 NIV
4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

APPEAL

Who is this?— Only means that still, there’s a lot of people out there that doesn’t really know who Jesus is— it’s not that hey have not heard about His name— very likely they have— but like the crowd of the very first Palm Sunday— many of them have not encountered Him
Everybody needs Jesus— Jesus I Need You by Jada

PRAY

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