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Summary: Preached Palm Sunday 2010. Many religious people of Jesus' day thought they were winning by killing Jesus. They, like many today inside and outside the church let their isn and pride stand in the way of a true relationship with Christ and lost the race. T

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Luke 19vv25-48 The Wrong Horse

Two Kentucky farmers who owned racing stables had developed a keen rivalry. One spring, each of them entered a horse in a local steeplechase. Thinking that a professional rider might help him outdo his friend, one of the farmers engaged a crack jockey. The two horses were leading the race at the last fence, but it proved too tough for them. Both horses fell, unseating their riders. But this calamity did not stop the professional jockey. He quickly remounted and won the race.

Returning triumphant to the paddock, the jockey found the farmer who had hired him fuming with rage. "What's the matter?" the jockey asked. "I won, didn't I?"

"Oh, yes," roared the farmer. "You won all right, but you still don't know, do you?"

"Know what?" asked the jockey.

"You won the race on the wrong horse!"

While this situation does not occur often at horse races, it happens in every human life. Each of us, trying hard to win the race, tends to climb on the wrong horse from time to time. If we don’t discover our error, we cross the finish line a triumphant failure.

Today is Palm Sunday. In Scripture it’s Jesus’ last week alive on earth. 2000 years ago, By Thursday of this week Jesus will have been arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane; His faithful followers desert Him, and within a few hours after that the Son of God, Creator God, Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End was subjected to inexplicable humiliation, ridicule, torture to the point of death, and ultimately death on the cross.

It was a race between good and evil. God obviously knew what He was doing but evil jumped on the wrong horse. When evil crossed the finish line, Jesus said, “It is finished”

Physically, emotionally and Spiritually, it was a terrible time for Jesus. But Jesus knew something no other person knew. The writer of Hebrews said: NS

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. NS

Jesus knew the race for Him and His followers would end in victory. He also knew that His victory would forever seal the fate of all who reject His plan for life and salvation.

I’ve read the passage many times but this time what stood out to me this time was two groups of people. I saw those who were surrendered and obedient and those who were religious but lost.

Then I saw what happened when Jesus came to town. The surrendered and obedient went through a period of transformation to dedicated service while the religious but lost continued on a path of complete destruction. As Jesus is led to the slaughter the obedient are rocked to the core but then firmly planted on that rock. And to those who led Jesus to the slaughter, they are crushed by this rock.

NS Romans 9:33 “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense, and whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

For years the religious people hid their sins behind a self-righteous masquerade. When Jesus exposed them in the light of His truth they tried to cover it up but instead their sins were fully revealed. NS 1 Peter 2

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “ The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” 8 and “ A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” NS

When God shows up the truth comes out, there’s nowhere to hide. The crucifixion of Jesus was supposed to put an end to God’s control over the planet and everything in it but instead the crucifixion exposed the hideous gruesome sin nature of humans. We can dress it up, cover it up anyway we want but when we face the Son of God, he will expose everything.

I washed my truck Friday. It hasn’t been that long since I gave it a good washing. December I believe. The need arose because we are blessed to have a few precious little birds who love the purple berry bush next to the driveway. Those purple berry droppings stand out on a white truck. So I took the hose and rinsed off the bird shots and the truck looked fairly descent. But when I took the sponge and wiped it across the hood I was amazed at the difference between the pearly white paint and the coat of pollution on top. My truck still looked white, but next to the clean spot it looked filthy.

You can see the same thing if you take a white peppermint and hold it next to your teeth. Your teeth next to your skin may look fairly descent, but they won’t next to a white peppermint.

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