On Palm Sunday -How Will You Receive Jesus?

This week is Palm Sunday, and though we cannot be certain that we are celebrating on an exact date, or even as some question whether we should have a special holiday; it is a good time to reflect. On what we refer to as Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, so that we would not be afraid to receive Him as King. But, no matter how He came, not everyone was ready to accept Jesus. How are you going to receive Him today?

The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.” John 12:12-15 NLT
  1. Some received Him with joy and gratitude and followed Him to the cross

Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. John 19:25-27

Jesus gave these people a special job to do

2) Some Received Him With Joy – but they ran to hide in fear

Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there teaching every day. But this is all happening to fulfill the words of the prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.” At that point, all the disciples deserted him and fled. Matthew 26:55-56 NLT

Jesus came looking for these people and said, “Do not be afraid!” – And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Luke 24:36 NLT

3) Some Did Not Receive Him at All and they nailed Him to a cross

 When the Roman officer overseeing the execution saw what had happened, he worshiped God and said, “Surely this man was innocent. Luke 23:47 NLT

Jesus prayed for those people – Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. Lk 23:34

But no matter which of these people you are today, we are really not so different. 

We all need to receive Him for ourselves and believe that He is the Son of God
We all need the cross of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins  
We all need the resurrection morning that will give us eternal life!

How Will You Receive Jesus Christ Today?

Word Wednesday-Turning the other Cheek

To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Luke 6:29 ESV

From my days in Bible college I still remember a message from Costa Deir, who was one of the more popular professors among us guys. Maybe we liked him because Costa had been a young professional boxer and grew up in the Middle East. His stories which both both intrigued and challenged us but were also sprinkled with a bit of humor. One day he related that after becoming a Christian he soon led another young boxer to faith in Jesus Christ. The story went that when their friends and fellow fighters heard of this they ridiculed them, especially about today’s verse. The day came when one of the others slapped him hard on one side of his face just to see how he would react. Quietly the young man turned his face just in time for a second blow to land. Then stepping back the newly converted boxer put his fists up and said in a calm voice, “I have no further instructions!”

Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant by this command or how to put it into practice? I sure have! And while I won’t pretend to have all the answers, I believe we might begin by how we respond to being provoked on social media. There are some things being slung around on the news, talk shows and even football games for crying out loud that really irritate me! I have become more patient as I have grown older but scratch the surface just a bit and I want to assume that boxer’s stance myself and shout, “I have no further instructions!” It’s a good thing for all of us that Jesus did not. When this manly young carpenter, was blindfolded and bound and soldiers were striking Him on the face, He stood strong and took our punishment as silently as a lamb. He knew something that His enemies did not. He knew that by laying down His life He would not only find it again but that He would be able to give life to anyone even a dying thief, if they would put their trust in Him!

Are We Listening?

In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Matthew 26:12 ESV

Many years ago, as we sat through an average Sunday service, our pastor began to preach about the cross. First, he described the terrible beating that Jesus received and how the crown of thorns was pressed down on his head. “Next they took the nails” our pastor went on, “And they drove them through His hands….” he was suddenly interrupted by a tiny voice that pierced the silence of our congregation. “EEEW!” a little girl in the back cried out. The rest of us heard the message that morning, but I believe that in God’s eyes, she was the only person actually listening!

In our scripture passage today, it seems that just like that little girl; only Mary seemed to be listening. Jesus had told them many times that He was going to Jerusalem to die. But only Mary, understood that Jesus would not be with them much longer. Only Mary, who chose to sit at Jesus’ feet listening, did something to give Him her blessing while she still had time. Other people were celebrating and relaxing at the supper, but Mary poured out her alabaster box of perfumed oil on the Master’s feet. Everybody listens to someone. Who are you listening to today? If we want to fill the room with the fragrance of the presence of Christ, it all depends on listening at His feet and then acting on the words we hear!

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