Summary: As we see the return of Christ fast approaching our job as a church is coming down to the wire.
April 5, 2009
Text: Luke 19:10
Subject: The Last Week of Jesus’ Life
Title: Down to the Wire
Life is full of deadlines to be met. There are bills due on a certain date. There are car payments, house payments, utility bills… How many of you have ever been at the point where you just didn’t know where the money was going to come from or how you were going to get the bills paid? I would like to share a story with you about George Mueller. George lived and ministered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a great man of faith who ran orphanages all across Europe.
One morning the plates and cups and bowls on the table were empty. There was no food in the larder, and no money to buy food. The children were standing waiting for their morning meal, when Mueller said, "Children, you know we must be in time for school." Lifting his hand he said, "Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat." There was a knock on the door. The baker stood there, and said, "Mr. Mueller, I couldn’t sleep last night. Somehow I felt you didn’t have bread for breakfast and the Lord wanted me to send you some. So I got up at 2 a.m. and baked some fresh bread, and have brought it." Mueller thanked the man. No sooner had this transpired when there was a second knock at the door. It was the milkman. He announced that his milk cart had broken down right in front of the Orphanage, and he would like to give the children his cans of fresh milk so he could empty his wagon and repair it. No wonder, years later, when Mueller was to travel the world as an evangelist, he would be heralded as "the man who gets things from God!"
I want to share with you today from the lives of the disciples of Jesus. They had expected, like many of their contemporaries, that the Messiah would be a political figure and would restore Israel to world prominence. Now over three years into Jesus’ ministry, all they had heard of was how Jesus was going to suffer and die. It looked as though the bottom was falling out of everything they had hoped for. Quickly, I want to take you on a trip through the last week of Jesus’ life and show you that God is never early or late even though it looks as though life is going down to the wire.
Luke 19:10, for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the spirit is saying to the church.
I. MONDAY, THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY. Luke 19:35-38, 35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. A warrior King would have ridden a white horse into Jerusalem. But this time Jesus comes as the Prince of Peace. Zechariah 9:9, Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Jesus is your peace. He is the only one who can offer the peace of reconciliation to the Father. Today someone needs that Peace in their life. If that is you would you just get up and come to one of the pews in the front.
II. TUESDAY, THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE. Mark 11:15-17, 15On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, 16and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. 17And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’ . But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” Jesus began His ministry with a cleansing in the temple (John 2:13-16) and He ended it the same way. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. Ephesians 5:25-27, 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing£ her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Today someone needs that cleansing in their life. There is junk I your life that you just need to get rid of. 1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If that is you would you just get up and come to one of the front pews?