Summary: Synopsis for Palm Sunday: Celebration to Condemnation.
How This Savior Works
March 20, 2005
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” Mt. 21:9
Is there ever a time that you don’t need a Savior, a Deliverer? Isn’t it part of your experience that daily you need someone or some thing to deliver you or save you from the moment? It may be a moment of stress, or of fear, or of your own sin and misbehavior, or the hate and evil of another, but don’t you need a savior?
When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that day we now call Palm Sunday, he came riding, humbly, not just on a donkey, but on the high hopes and praises of the crowds of people. They needed a savior, a deliverer and that’s why they were shouting “Hosanna” or “Save us.” Their high hopes was that Jesus would be the one to set them free from the oppression of Roman rule and to restore them to their ‘God-given”, rightful place in their promised land.
FROM CELEBRATION TO CONDEMNATION
As we all know, the celebration of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem quickly turned to the condemnation of the Cross. Why? Very quickly after Jesus came to Jerusalem he dashed everyone’s hopes. Instead of attacking the Roman occupation, he used the whip of righteous indignation to cleanse the Temple. Instead of raising an army he confronted the Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin. Instead of leading the rebellion he attacked Judaic status quo.
Jesus was not willing to be their kind of savior. He was only willing to God’s kind of Savior.
WHAT IS THE SALVATION THIS SAVIOR BRINGS?
There is the salvation Jesus Christ brings and there is the salvation we want.
The Whip or the Cross?
The salvation we want comes from the whip that Christ used to cleanse the Temple. Why can’t this Savior use that whip on all the situations we want different? We want God to change everybody else. We want God to change our situations and the circumstances of our life. We want God to change the hardship and difficulty of life.
The salvation God offers is very different, but infinitely more effective. In Jesus Christ, God has provided a way of escape from the eternal punishment that awaits sinners. God has provided a way that our relationship with Him can be restored. And God has promised a way to change us in spite of our circumstances.
Read of Moses, Israel and the snakes in Numbers 21.
Do you want a Savior who will come and fix the situations and the circumstances of your life? Or are you willing for another kind of savior? Are you willing to have a savior “who, being in very nature God, … emptied himself…. And became obedient to death – even death on a Cross!” for you and for me? Philippians 2:5-11
Even though He certainly had the power and the authority to use that whip, He chose instead to humbly and powerfully accept death on a cross that His act of love might break our hearts of stone and heal them as hearts of flesh.
Jesus didn’t use a whip of cords to punish us and changes us. He used the Cross, His act of love to break our hearts of stone.