Summary: For once, Jesus is worshiped appropriately and publicly for who He actually was. Authentic worship results in our obeying Jesus completely, loving others impartially and praising Him wholeheartedly, and when we do, the world asks, Who is This?
Eyewitness to the Messiah
Worship—as It Was Meant to Be
In this fallen world, we all experience some good news, and then some bad news. Sometimes they good news and the bad news comes at the same time. Here are a few examples of what can happen for pastors.
Good News: The Women’s Group voted to send you a get-well card. Bad News: The vote passed by 11-10.
Good News: The Elder Board accepted your job description the way you wrote it. Bad News: They were so inspired by it, they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.
Good News: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons. Bad News: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the "Beavis and Butthead" and the "Texas Chain Saw Massacre."
Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks. Bad News: You were on vacation.
Good News: Your deacons want to send you to the Holy Land. Bad News: They are waiting until the next war.
Brothers and sisters, these good news/bad news situation don’t just happen to preachers, they happen to everybody! No one is immune from both good and bad in life. And the same was true for our Lord Jesus Christ. This morning, we begin the review of the final week of His life, with some very good news, and a very good day, just before he would experience some very bad news and some very bad days.
It is Palm Sunday, March 30th, 33 A.D. in the holy city, Jerusalem. It's the beginning of the Passover Festival in Jerusalem. It was one of the three feasts in Jerusalem each year which every Jewish male over 20 years of age was required to attend. Pilgrims were jamming the city—it's estimated that between 2 and 2.5 million Jewish pilgrims had travelled to Jerusalem to commemorate the great deliverance of Israel from Egypt, when the Passover Lambs were sacrificed as a ransom to save the first-born of Israel from the fate of the first-born of Egypt. It was the final plague among the 10 that broke Pharaoh and Egypt and allowed the Son of Israel to exit Egypt for the Promised Land. On this Passover about 200,000 to 250,000 lambs would be sacrificed in commemoration of that first Passover, but there was one Lamb, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world, who was on His way to Jerusalem to participate in His own sacrifice, a sacrifice that would change the world, and eternity, and has changed many of our lives this morning.
Of course, I'm speaking of Jesus of Nazareth, Israel's Messiah, the Son of David, the only begotten Son of God. And Palm Sunday was a good day, a great day in His ministry, because it was perhaps the only day in His entire earthly ministry that He received the wide-spread public acclaim and worship that He was so worthy of—He was worshiped as the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of David, God in the flesh. And so I've entitled this message this morning as Worship—as it was meant to be. "Worship—as it was Meant to be." I want you to imagine this morning, what our church would be like, what any church would be like, if we really worshiped Jesus in the way we were meant to worship Him. In the way that would please Him, in Spirit and in Truth, in every respect. What kind of difference would it make in our lives? What kind of difference would it make in our fellowship, our church? What kind of difference would it make in our community, our world?