Triumph, Tragedy and Truth [Palm Sunday]

Matthew 21 / Malachi 3

I am sure it must seem strange to some that, we as Christians, make a big deal out of the day that Jesus ascended to Jerusalem that He might descend to the grave.  There is a far greater tragedy than the death of Jesus which is tied to this event. Jesus died as the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. He rose on the third day and ascended to the Right Hand of the Father. It was what He came to do!

Romans 8:3-4  For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,  4  that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Triumph, Tragedy & Truth – SERMON AUDIO

The Death of Christ was the point of His human existence. That was the Triumph, not the Tragedy! The tragedy was the response of the Jewish leaders when He arrived.

Matthew 21:6-15  So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.  7  They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.  8  And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  9  Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”  10  And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”  11  So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”  12  Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.  13  And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ‘DEN OF THIEVES.'”  14  Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.  15  But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant

Like all of us, they had certain ideas about what they expected from God. 1) They expected His wholehearted blessing on their halfhearted worship. 2) They expected immediate, temporal blessings when He had promised eternal blessings that would come in the fullness of time.  They would have been happy to receive a tract of land and the place of political superiority over the nations. God had a bigger plan!

Genesis 12:1-3  Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.  2  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.  3  I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Jesus did not come into Jerusalem to reign over a single nation. The tragedy of His rejection, however was the blessing of the whole world!

Romans 11:30-36  For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,  31  even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.  32  For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.  33  Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  34  “FOR WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD? OR WHO HAS BECOME HIS COUNSELOR?”  35  “OR WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM AND IT SHALL BE REPAID TO HIM?”  36  For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Many people don’t like God’s power, yet His working is all tied to His promise to Abraham all the way back in Genesis 12. God is saving people because He said He would. He is blessing His enemies (you and me!) because He is good and promised the blessing. God has the big picture in mind.

We need to make sure that we are trusting Him to be who He actually is and to do what He has actually promised to do. Though God was certain that He would be rejected by the Jews and that by their rejection, Christ would redeem the whole world, we need to make sure that we do not fall into the same trap that they did. They were believing God for less than He had promised and wanted it sooner than He had promised.

We tend to want His temporal blessings and not be willing to wait for His timing and His true, eternal blessings. When we don’t get what we want, we disbelieve, just like the Jews.  Study the Word of God. See the Promises as they are given. Trust God to be the Eternal, Omnipotent God who does all things according to His will. When Jesus returns and come on a White Steed rather than a donkey, the Apostle John says that His name is “Faithful and True!” (Revelation 19:11). A physical dominion is coming, but it will not be an earthly nation. God will bless every family (people group) of the earth!

Revelation 5:9  And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Don’t be shortsighted and impatient. It is not the way to blessing, but the way to miss the blessings that God has for those who will trust in Him! Listen to the audio for the whole thing…

Triumph, Tragedy & Truth – SERMON AUDIO

In Christ!

Kevin

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