Summary: Let’s not be like those who first welcomed, then turned against the only Savior, Jesus Christ.
LEARNING FROM THE JERUSALEM CROWD
Palm Sunday 2006
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
Read Mark 11: 1-11.
Now here’s rest of the story of this week and the following 40 days .
1. He cleared the Temple.
2. He cursed the barren fig tree.
3. He silenced the Sanhedrin with their trick questions.
4. He taught about the end of the age, both in parables and straight out.
5. He identified himself from Old Testament Scripture.
6. The woman at Bethany anointed him for burial. This triggered Judas’ betrayal of him to the Sanhedrin.
7. He shared the “Last Supper” with the twelve, reminding them that he was going to die for them and the world. He prophesied Peter’s denial of knowing him.
8. He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane.
9. He was arrested and tried in a way that broke great numbers of Jewish laws.
10. He was, scourged, crucified, died, and was buried.
11. He rose from the dead on the third day and was seen by many people over the next 40 days.
12. He ascended into the air before the disciples, and was swallowed up into the Glory Cloud of God.
We know that by many infallible proofs, this same Jesus, whom the rulers rejected; this same Jesus, who fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah who would be the suffering servant, the Lamb of God, and the sin bearer for us all, is alive forever and is Lord of all.
Today, our nation is doing a slow motion version of what the people of Judah did during the week that led up to the crucifixion. George Barna’s research team confirms that during the eleven years from 1990 to 2001, the % of American adults who consider themselves to be atheists rose from 5.9 to 11%. This is a doubling in a mere 11 years, and it is alarming. Just as alarming is this: during the same period, the % of those who consider themselves to be “born again” stayed about the same as before, but among those very people, those who have a truly Biblical worldview, concerning the important things of life, such as how people can get into Heaven and what marriage vows mean, has shrunk dramatically.
In some ways, like Judas, many who identify with Jesus Christ in polls, are turning against Him in how they think about life.
In order to guard against the fuzzy thinking that causes a person to claim to know Jesus Christ, but to also believe that there are many paths to God, I strongly suggest the following. Let’s not fill our minds, on average, with more than 20 hours per week of the half baked fluff and ungodly philosophies of this era’s entertainment on TV, the radio, and such. Instead, as believers in Jesus Christ let’s build up our faith by feeding our minds excellent materials which build a Christian World View that is both strong and complete.
The average believer in America today is spiritually lazy and half-asleep. We have better materials to be equipped with, than ever before, but on average, we use them for less than earlier generations used what they had. Let’s break out of that with a mighty effect! Here are a few recommendations of some great books to help you with this.
Read I Peter 1:13.
1. Jesus Among Other gods: Ravi Zacharias.
2. How Now Shall we Live: Chuck Colson.
3. Understanding the Times: David A. Noebel.
4. Why I Believe: Dr D. James Kennedy.
5. The Move of the Holy Spirit in the 10/40 Window. Luis Bush and Beverly Pegues.
6. Know Why You Believe: Dr Paul E. Little
7. Mere Christianity: C.S. Lewis.
8. The Kingdom of the Cults: Dr Walter Martin.
9. More than a Carpenter: Josh McDowell
10. Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Josh McDowell
This is no exhaustive list. Some of these are also available in video and/or audio formats.
This book list is, of course, in addition to spending some time in the Bible itself daily, and getting alone with God, at least for a few minutes of prayer and communing with your Heavenly Father, also daily.
Let it never be said in Heaven, that the people of Hosanna church were part of the problem of the drift away from the Lordship of Jesus Christ among professing believers in our society. Let it never be said that you, personally, through indolence, through going with the flow of popular culture, or because of failing to equip yourself in critical Biblically sound thinking skills, were part of this problem.
When we stand before the Lord on the Day of Judgment, let’s hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!”