Summary: Palm Sunday message that talks about the dangers of following Jesus from a distant
The road to the cross
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday.
A day that we look at the final week of Jesus ministry before He goes to the cross and then the celebration of the empty tomb.
To race to the cross and the resurrection without seeing the final week would be like getting to the end of a movie or a book and not seeing how it turns out.
Holy week is a time of reflection. Every one of us needs to remember what Jesus has done for us.
They were looking forward to what He was going to do and we are remembering what He has already done.
The gospels all record the account of Jesus coming into Jerusalem and the final week of Jesus ministry here on earth.
“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel.”
Jesus knew that that same crowd was going to condemn him and turn against him.
He knew that they had the wrong idea of who he was and why he was there.
He predicts his death and explains his intentions.
“The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
The conspiracy against Jesus had been building for years. They attempted to arrest him early, they tried to kill him before he gets to the cross, and they lied, conspired to use him as a political tool to the people, but they could not stop His plan of redemption for mankind.
Religiously, He was a big threat to several sects of people. The Pharisees did not know what to do with him because the people claimed him to be more than a man and Jesus never denied it. He openly claimed to be the Son of God.
He upset the business world by going after the moneychangers for corrupt business practices.
He called the religious big shots vipers, white-wash tombs, and won debates on the Word of God.
Some loved him, some hated him, and when the ones that loved him understood that he did not come to destroy the evil Romans, they went after him too.
Let me tell you something, if Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday are only stories you read about, you have not meet the man and God Christ Jesus, you have no celebration!
A lot of people know about the cross and about Jesus Christ, but few have experienced the cross and have allowed Jesus Christ to change their life forever!
I am concerned at specialized holidays of the Christian calendar. Because we think we know the story so well that we tune out the fact that every time Jesus wants to speak to us and challenge us.
We are so prone to listening to the so called experts of this world that we forget that the words of Jesus need no higher authority. (pastor Tony)
I preach as though Christ was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today, and is coming back tomorrow.
We forget that this rag-tag group of disciples that Jesus put together was as dysfunctional, confused, scared, and disorganized as the church people today. Christians today say that it would be easier to serve God if we could see Him, If He made Himself more real in our lives. It was not true then and it is not true today. Most every one of us sitting here has had some sort of an encounter with God where He made Himself real to us. We have decided or we are still deciding wither we are going to respond to that encounter with Him.
The Bible is full of examples of the apostles falling short, having doubt, and making bad choices. That gives me hope! He did not give up on them and He will not give up on us.
Peter was always getting ahead of Jesus and putting his foot in his mouth and doing things that he said he would never do….
“Lord, where are you going? Jesus replied, where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later. Peter asked, Lord, why can’t I follow now, I will lay down my life for you. Then Jesus answered, will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”