Summary: Palm Sunday Message. We can be saved from the wrath that we so muc deserve.
Today, Palm Sunday, we observe Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We remember what the people cried out that day:
Matthew 21:9 (NKJV) Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
They were welcoming Jesus as a king, but people are fickle. So by that Friday, less than 5 days later, many of the same people were crying out something different:
Luke 23:20–21 (NKJV) Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
And so we are as well. You see the Bible paints a pretty dim view of every individual before coming to Christ. The fact is, and contrary to popular belief, people are not basically good.
But we compare ourselves to others by saying, “At least I’m not a bad as so and so.” What we do not realize is how high and holy God is.
Say we were to make a comparison between the most foul, unrepentant and worst axe murder on death row and place him on one side of this stage and place a good a righteous man like Billy Graham place him on the other side of the stage. Would you agree that most of us would fall somewhere in between? Then, in comparison, where would we place the holiness and goodness of God?
God would not only be on the other side of Billy Graham, but extended far out of the room, we would have to place His holiness, in comparison, outside of city, and on out of the country and across the ocean in comparison. That kind of makes the difference between us and the axe murderer as insignificant, in comparison to the holiness of God. In comparison to the holiness of God, there is not much difference between me and that murderer on death row. We both deserve condemnation. My best before God does not rate.
Isaiah 64:6a (NKJV) But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
An so we are, deserving of death, deserving of God’s wrath, just like that murderer on death row.
Romans 6:23a (NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, . . .
As a rebellious sinner, we are subject to the judgment and wrath of God. Jesus’ substitutional death on that Roman cross makes possible our reconciliation to God. This is the whole reason for Easter.
We tend to gloss over what Jesus did for us on the cross. “Jesus died for my sins” has become the standard Sunday School phrase that we have heard time and time again. We offen take that little phrase for granted. But what does it really mean?
Romans 5:6 (NKJV) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
This verse clearly tells us we were weak and ungodly. Without strength meant that we had no power within ourselves to saves ourselves from the wrath that is to come. We could not escape God’s wrath. We were powerless to save ourselves. We had no ability to make it right with God and the wages of sins is death.
And we were ungodly. We had no virtue that God would desire, no excellence to commend us to God. There was nothing in us that would rate God owing us a pardon.
But when the time was right, “in due time” Jesus died for us.
Galatians 4:4 (NKJV) But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
It was no accident in history. Jesus came at just the right time. Born in humbles means, lived and taught about the Kingdom of God, then to go to the cross for us. It was at just the right time in history, and as we explored before, there was no other time like it, before or since.
And Jesus did not just died. He died, “for the ungodly.” Let’s do a quick word study of the little word “for,” “hyper” in the Greek. It means “on behalf of” or in context it means “in the place of.” Jesus died in my place. He died when it should have been me on that cross because my sins have greatly offended a high and holy God.
Romans 5:7 (NKJV) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
We look at righteous and good men, those that are righteous and good in our eyes. A righteous man is man we can respect, but I would not want to die for a man I merely respect.