1. Hello listening friends, we are delighted that you tuned in.
2. We are delighted to tell you that we are bringing you a series of messages on the cross.
3. And then we are going to talk about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. And this is exactly like a chain, so I hope you are not going to miss any of it.
5. And we are going to begin with Palm Sunday.
6. Because the days from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday are called the eight days that changed the world.
7. And that particular week was looked upon by the early Christian fathers to be the holiest of weeks.
8. It was so important that the first three gospel writers devoted one third of their precious little space in describing its events.
9. John gave half of his pages to this week.
10. This fact alone should be very telling of how central that the acts of this week are to the Christian faith.
11. Someone said that Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday form a three legged stool upon which the Christian faith rests.
12. The other days of that holy week are like spindles running from one leg to another supporting and reinforcing them.
13. If you remove any of these three legs the whole stool will collapse.
14. They stand together or they fall together.
15. Good Friday did not happen in a vacuum.
16. Palm Sunday led to Good Friday.
17. Good Friday led to Easter.
18. Palm Sunday has been described as the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, but in reality it was a sad entry.
19. It is a picture of great sadness merging into gladness.
20. It is a picture of an inferable sorrow preparing the way for an unutterable and final joy.
21. What we call Palm Sunday was a day on which the sacrificial lamb for the Passover was secluded.
22. A day when the sacrificial lamb was chosen and set aside.
23. A day when the sacrificial lamb was prepared for slaughter.
24. This is an incredible imagery here.
25. On that first Palm Sunday, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world was marching toward his slaughter.
26. Luke 9:51 tells us that Jesus had set his face toward Jerusalem.
27. That means that he had made up his mind to go there because he had an important business to do.
28. Nothing was going to deter him from going into Jerusalem.
29. Your salvation and mine and the salvation of the rest of the world depended on this fateful journey.
30. Listening friends, please try to use your imagination here.
31. Jerusalem was a small city and during that week it was wall to wall with people.
32. Josephus the historian sets the number of people during that week in Jerusalem at 3 million.
33. Imagine 3 million people in this ancient city all wanted to be there for the Jewish Passover.
34. The fame of Jesus had of course spread throughout the countryside.
35. The three years of public ministry had made him a household name.
36. His miracles and above all his authoritative word had made him prominent.
37. Many people made the pilgrimage that year with the hope that they might catch a glimpse of Jesus.
38. Especially after the news of raising Lazarus from the dead.
39. But the remarkable thing about Palm Sunday is that Jesus chose to enter Jerusalem publicly and deliberately.
40. There were many times when he went quietly to gatherings and to feasts.
41. There were many times when he avoided publicity.
42. There were many times when he told people after performing a miracle, not to talk about it.
43. In order to avoid misunderstanding.
44. He wanted to avoid people following him for the wrong motives and the wrong reasons.
45. He did not want them to misunderstand his real mission.
46. But now, now it is different.
47. He is entering Jerusalem as God’s Messiah.
48. He is entering Jerusalem surrounded with his disciples and with a vast crowd of Galileens.
49. I need to explain something to you.
50. The Galileens were always more friendly to Jesus than those from Judea.
51. The Galileens were thought to have come under the Gentile influence and they were treated with contempt by those who are from Judea.
52. The people were full of expectations, at least finally someone is going to do something instead of just talking.
53. Of course there were plenty of mischief makers who would love to see an insurrection or a revolt against the Romans.
54. There was a revolutionary man in prison already, and his first name was Jesus, and his last name was Barabbas, which means the son of the father.
55. While this revolutionary Jesus Barabbas waited in prison, Jesus the real Son of the Father was riding into town proclaiming the coming Kingdom.
56. The shout of praise, the waving of palm branches, and the soaring hopes of people have deeply touched Jesus.
57. But not in the role that the crowd wanted to give him.
58. People often like to manipulate their leaders to get them to do what they want them to do.
59. When the leaders do not do what the people want they get disappointed.
60. Luke tells us that when Jesus arrived at the outskirts of the city he did something unbelievable for a king on his coronation day.
61. With deep sadness and tears streaming down his cheeks, he said the following.
62. If you even had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes.
63. He wept for people because they were so blind.
64. They wanted a military leader and a conquering hero, but Jesus brought no waving swords or charging calvary.
65. He brought only himself and the authority of his word.
66. For the kingdom of Jesus needs only one person, Jesus himself.
67. I wonder how many times Jesus still cries over those who are confused.
68. Over those who take his love and forgiveness for granted.
69. Over those who interpret his grace to be license for carnality.
70. Over those who interpret his dying on the cross to be an excuse for not carrying their cross.
71. Over those who interpret his compassion and long-suffering as indifference and uncaring.
72. Oh how must he still weep over his church’s lack of discernment.
73. Oh how he must still weep over those who play politics with his church.
74. Oh how he must still weep for their wanting a Christ who fits their political, social, and cultural agendas.
75. Back to Palm Sunday again.
76. The Jews were screaming, Hosanna, which is a combination of two words.
77. Meaning, save now.
78. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel.
79. The shouting Hosanna, was an appeal for Jesus to save them.
80. Save now, save now they were saying.
81. And Jesus has heard their cry and Jesus answered their plea.
82. Oh but the method is unexpected.
83. Oh but the root was puzzling.
84. Oh but the way he is going to save is perplexing to human minds.
85. But he knew that their Hosannas soon would dissolve into crucify him crucify him.
86. Their cry for salvation imagined the glitter of the coronation ceremony.
87. But Jesus knew that their salvation would mean the shedding of his blood on the cross.
88. Their cry for salvation imagined the establishment of a throne.
89. But he perceived the nails and the thorns.
90. Their cry for salvation imagined the breaking of the Roman yoke and political freedom.
91. He knew that their and our most desperate need is a breaking of the yoke of sin.
92. You cannot have Hosanna without crucify.
93. Therefore, while they were saying, Hosanna, save now, they unknowingly were crying, crucify, crucify.
94. For there can be no salvation without the cross.
95. You may not like the idea that someone dying on the cross 2000 years ago can be your only salvation.
96. You may refuse to see the logic of the cross.
97. You may say, it is not fair for a sinless man to die for my sin.
98. You may refuse to accept the historical evidence of the cross.
99. But all of that does not contradict the historical evidence.
1. All of your protesting will not exempt you from the responsibility of responding to his love.
2. What you do with the cross is your choice.
3. But you must understand that there are consequences to your decision.
4. Eternal consequences,
5. Will you respond to the cross today?
6. Will you say, Lord, Jesus, you the perfect died for my sin forgive me?
7. Jesus promised to forgive all repentant sinners.
8. In going to Jerusalem, the words of Zechariah the prophet written hundreds of years earlier before, were ringing in his ears.
9. Zechariah 9:9 says, rejoice greatly, oh daughter of Zion.
10. Shout oh daughter of Jerusalem.
11. See your King comes to you, righteous, and having salvation.
12. Gentle and riding on a donkey.
13. On a colt, the foal of a donkey.
14. This was a far cry from their image of a conquering hero who would sweep into Jerusalem by a chariot pulled by two white horses.
15. Oh, but remember, he rides the clouds for your help.
16. This was a far cry from the plots and the planning of the zealot revolutionary party.
17. But his liberating was for eternity.
18. You see Jesus conquering would take place on the battle fields of the minds and hearts and not in the streets of Jerusalem.
19. Jesus’ victory would last for eternity instead of falling within the century and buried in the history books.
20. On that first Palm Sunday when Jesus rode to Jerusalem God was ready to present his peace plan to humanity.
21. There would be no compromise.
22. The final skirmish took place on Good Friday but people did not realize that the battle was already won by Jesus coming to Jerusalem.
23. Palm Sunday is a day when Jesus proclaimed his victory over the hostile forces over him.
24. And God is still seeking to let everyone know that the battle is over and Christ has won.
25. And Jesus’ life itself was a treaty.
26. Will you respond to him and receive eternal life?
27. You can be assured of eternal life here and now.
28. If that is your desire, I want to pray with you.
29. Heavenly Father,
30. I thank you for Jesus.
31. I thank you that he died on the cross for me.
32. I thank you that I can receive forgiveness from his hand.
33. And I thank you that I can be assured of heaven here and now.
34. In his name I pray.