Summary: With so many religious options available, why worship Jesus? Why look to Him only? A message for Palm Sunday.
April 8, 2001
What a spectacle it must have been. A grown man on a donkey is treated to the reception of a king.
That’s how Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Surrounded by a crowd who shouted Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. They wanted to elevate Jesus and see him lifted high!
But Matthew’s Gospel tells us many people in the city asked those in the crowd, “Who is this?”
In other words, “Why carry on like this? Or even, “Why worship this guy? Who is he?”
Today we live in a land of ever-increasing diversity. Our country is a mixture of nationalities, cultures, political persuasions, tastes and ideals. With this diversity comes a variety of religious beliefs. We have Eastern mysticism, the occult, a host of world religions, as well as the blend of ingredients comprising the New Age belief system. Spirituality is very popular and widely believed to be a vital component to a healthy life. But while these are certainly religious times, they are not necessarily Christian times.
Today a person may rightly wonder…
With so many religious options before us, why worship Jesus? Why look to Him only?
Around 60th year A.D., the young Christians in the city of Colossae were wondering this too.
Some popular teachers in their city held the view that Jesus was just one of many spirit beings who bridges the space between God and humans. Many Christians were beginning to think they needed help from these other spirits too.
Paul wrote this church a letter. His approach was very much a Palm Sunday kind of thing. Paul’s approach was to once again elevate Jesus. To lift him high! He presents a rather convincing case for why Jesus is qualified to be our God.
Why Worship Jesus? Well, listen to this…
TRANSITION: Why worship Jesus? Well, for one…
1. He is unique (v. 15a)
Illus – Take a short trip to the B’Hai Temple in Wilmette you’ll find a variety of pictures on the walls. Pictures of Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Mohammed and others. The message of the B’Hai faith is this: Jesus is just one of many prophets.
It’s increasingly popular to think that today, even among many who label themselves as Christians.
However, the Bible won’t let us look at Jesus that way.
“He is the image of the invisible God.”
When we look at Jesus we see God.
That’s affirmed by other Scriptures…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. (Hebrews 1:3)
Jesus doesn’t simply point to God, He is God!
He’s the Real Thing! So we should accept no substitutes.
Many are unsure of God’s love for them – Jesus shows unconditional love – therefore, so does God.
Many people see God like some angry Father – Jesus isn’t angry Father – so neither is God
Many people see God as old and out of touch – Jesus is as fresh and relevant today as ever – so is God.
Jesus is qualified to be our God because He is God.
TRANSITION: Why worship Jesus? The Bible goes on to say…
2. He created everything (v. 15b-16)
He is the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…all things were created by him and for him.
We sometimes shrug off idol worship as a practice of unenlightened primitive people groups. What do we have to do with things like Golden Calves, or superstitious rituals?
Maybe more than we might like to think. We might occasionally turn to some created things to give us that little edge instead of turning first to Jesus.
ILLUS - A few years ago a friend of mine was trying to sell his house. It had been on the market awhile with no takers. Someone suggested to him that he should bury a statue of Joseph upside down in the back yard because that will make a house sell faster. I said, “You didn’t do it did you?” He said, “Yeah. And it worked! My house sold!” Who will we trust, Jesus or a statue of his earthly father?
Ever read your horoscope and hope something like what it says might come true? Who will we trust to bring about the desired results? Jesus or the stars He made and put in place?
What about these little crystals? Some people believe they give off energy needed for a well-balanced life. Who will we trust? A rock or the Rock – Jesus Christ?