Summary: In light of having a NY firefighter, the Iraqi war, and Palm Sunday, this sermon talks about the liberation Jesus brought not only to Jerusalem, but also to us today through the forgiveness of sin (based on Ron Lavin’s Book “I Believe, Help My Unbelief: A
“I Believe in Forgiveness of Sins”
I Believe, Help My Unbelief Series ~ Luke 19:28-40
April 13, 2003 ~ Palm Sunday
Purpose: In light of having a NY firefighter, the Iraqi war, and Palm Sunday, this sermon talks about the liberation Jesus brought not only to Jerusalem, but also to us today through the forgiveness of sin (based on Ron Lavin’s Book “I Believe, Help My Unbelief: Another Look At the Apostle’s Creed).
I. On September 11, 2001 – Evil seemed to be everywhere. Planes were falling from the skies,
buildings and the people within them found themselves under attack, things looked hopeless.
But someone did something about it. First responders (fire, police, emt) came rushing to the scene as everyone else was rushing away from it. Many made it out of harms way due to their efforts.
But the evil did not win. Although many did lose their lives, it did not quench the American spirit as the high-jackers had hoped. New York is being rebuilt and its stronger than ever.
II. On our televisions over these past years – Evil seemed to be everywhere. The people of Iraq found themselves under a evil dictator. He put his image on pedestals. He starved his people while he lived in palaces. He built up his armies and invaded neighboring countries.
But someone did something about it. The men and women of the coalition forces rolled into Bahgdad this week and people cheered. The image on pedestals came down. Food and water began arriving, and the palaces, which represented the extravagances of a ruthless ruler, were stripped.
Evil has not won nor will it. Saddam has been removed and the people of Iraq are being liberated for the first time in decades.
III. In Jesus’ time, he came to Jerusalem when evil seemed to be everywhere. A puppet ruler by the name of Pontious Pilate served under direct orders from another puppet king, called Herod, who answered to the Roman emperor. The people were oppressed. The finest food, clothing, riches were always sent to Rome, and Pilate and Herod took their cut as the items made their journey westward.
But something happened in Jerusalem just before the Passover. Somebody, namely the carpenter’s son from Nazareth turned prophet and rabbi, was coming. To the people this mean true liberation. Pilate and Herod would be overthrown. The Roman Empire would be challenged and prosperity would once again return to Jerusalem and its surround areas.
“Hosanna!” was their cry. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” They wanted liberation, and Jesus was going to be their liberator. But that’s not quite how it happened.
Unlike the first responders of 9/11 and the coalition forces who brought and are bringing freedom from circumstances and dictators, Jesus was bringing a different liberation.
It was not a liberation just for the people of Jerusalem.
It was not a liberation just for the people of the kingdom.
It was not a liberation just for the people of the empire.
It’s a liberation that extends beyond New York and beyond the Middle East.
This liberation would be something much greater than anyone had realized. In fact, through the