Faithlife Sermons

Lamb of God


On Jesus way to Jerusalem (to die), He had to pass through the same desert in which He was tempted. Maybe Satan's temptations rang in His ears..."maybe there's another way..." Jesus last words to His disciples before coming this way was "we need to confront the gates of Hell."

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, it was "lamb selection day." Throngs of people would have been crowding the city streets. According to Exodus, the Sunday before Passover people would begin their celebration. On this day, each family would pick the lamb that would die the following Friday. Jesus, the Lamb of God, chose to enter the city on this day. Like He was saying, "do you know who I am?"

Passover season was the season of freedom -- liberation from bondage in Egypt. Josephus records incidents when people would claim to be the Messiah and come into the city during Passover. Tradition says the Temple door was left open that day just in case the Messiah would come. But Josephus records that when someone would claim to be the Messiah, the Roman soldiers would come from their garrison and stop it -- even if it meant a slaughter.

Luke 19 says that the disciples began to celebrate loudly as Jesus entered Jerusalem. This was risky, because it could cause an incident with the Romans. Maybe they would normally be quiet as to avoid any trouble. They were shouting, "hosanna!" This was a political statement -- basically a battle cry for freedom. They also waved palm branches, which was a nationalistic symbol (what the hasmoneans used as a symbol). Was like the stars and stripes for an American.

Jesus cried. Two times the Bible records Jesus crying, both in the same area. First was when Lazarus died. The word for weeping used here was to "sob quietly without a sound." He could feel the anguish and pain of the people there. (There was a custom in Israel to pass around a bottle at funerals and every person would put a tear in the bottle. Then the bottle was put into the tomb so that in the afterlife God could see how much people mourned.)

But here in Luke 19 Jesus wept aloud. He said, "the day is coming when your enemies will come and destroy you." He was probably crying because He knew that if people were looking for peace in that way (through violence), then they would be destroyed. Which is exactly what happened.

How does Jesus cry for you? If you hurt and He's your friend, then He cries with you. But if you don't know Him, then He cries because He knows you are on your way to destruction.

Could you accept a King who came as a Lamb? Jesus was saying, "Yes, I am the King, but my Kingdom will come through me being a servant, as I just told you down the road there." If we hope to be those who implement the Kingdom of Jesus in the culture we live in, then there's the method.

Source: Ray Vanderlaan, Faith Lessons vol. 4

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