Entering Jerusalem

Luke 19.28-48

Jesus enters Jerusalem, and His final week of ministry is underway. Some gladly accept Him as their King while others complain and reject Him as an imposter. The fig tree is about to be cut down.

None of the events of this final week will catch Jesus by surprise. Not one. He is in control of His destiny. He will lay down His life as a willing sacrifice. He’s not a victim. He’s not a bystander. He’s not “along for the ride.” He is the King. And He is in control. But have you given the King control of your life? Does He have final say over your relationships, your finances, your time…? Does He call the shots, or do you? Who is the King in your life? And what kind of kingdom do they bring?

I love the OT story of Joseph.Though things start out well for Joseph…his dad loves him and gives him a great coat…they take a turn when his brothers turn on him and sell him into slavery. It seems that every time he gets ahead, he gets knocked back down again until of course he is promoted to the second position in the kingdom. Joseph has an opportunity to confront his brothers who are the catalyst for the grief in his life…how does he respond to them? “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Who says that? Somehow Joseph recognized God’s fingerprints all over his experiences. He trusted God all along the way to guide his steps.

In my own life, when I’ve allowed God control, amazing things have happened that I can’t explain any other way. When I’ve tried to take the reins…well the consequences are predictable. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lead on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Do we believe that? Do you believe that your heavenly Father wants to direct your steps, or do you think He purposely keeps His desires for your life a mystery that you have to bump around in the dark to discover? Our impatience and lack of faith causes us to take matters in our hands, but I am convinced that we cannot experience the fullness of life that Jesus promised unless we stop trying to be our own king and allow Him to be our King.

Some accept Jesus as King…those who don’t will know Him as Judge. If you have not yet trusted in Jesus, don’t wait. He is still giving you a chance to respond. Recognize your need for repentance, believe that Jesus can save you and trust Him to do so. Then you too will know Jesus as your King.

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on a sermon from our series in the book of Luke. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @ccclancaster

Who Is This?

Matthew 21.1-17

So the King enters triumphantly into the city, but not on a warhorse as the crowds might have expected…but on a donkey (picture of humility…coming to die). In the ancient world  when a king rode a horse it symbolized war, but when he rode a donkey it symbolized peace…a strong statement of why Jesus is here.

Jesus wanted the crowds to recognize the peace He came to establish on the earth…peace with God and peace among men. And that peace could only be accomplished through His death and resurrection, which would occur a few days later.

The people had no category for suffering and arrest … they had no use for a King who would die. The people expected rebellion against Rome, but when that didn’t happen then “Hosanna!” turned to “Crucify Him

What false expectations or misconceptions have you had of Jesus? We all like to be on the winning side, but what about when winning doesn’t look like winning, but losing. In other words, what happens when the path God has you on brings unexpected suffering or hardship? Do you still shout “Hosanna!”? Do you still want the kingdom brings?

Those in Jerusalem ask, “Who is this?” A pivotal question in this episode and an indication that Jerusalem does not know Jesus…just the Prophet from Nazareth or the Son of David?

There are two responses to Jesus’ actions in cleansing the Temple and healing the blind and lame…the children say “Hosanna to the Son of David!” They accept Jesus as Messiah. The Jewish leaders however become indignant…they reject Him.

Who is this? Both crowds coming to Jerusalem and children answer…Son of David, the Messianic King

Jesus has a way of upsetting the proud and self-righteous, the entitled. He welcomes the outcast and the broken, the humble who recognize their need for Him. Which are you? And how would you answer, “Who is this Jesus?” Is He your King who has authority over your life? Or is He just that Trouble-maker from Nazareth?

Until next time…stay salty.

This post is based on our Genesis series. Download the podcast at: Central Christian Church Main Service, or follow us on twitter: @ccclancaster

Easter Devotional – March 23

Matthew 21:1-17

The Triumphal Entry

21 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

Say to the daughter of Zion,
Behold your King is coming to you,
Gentle, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!”

10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Cleansing the Temple

12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbersden.”

14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus *said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” 17 And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

You’ll hear more about this passage on Sunday, but for now, just a few thoughts. Jesus has arrived at the holy city, Jerusalem. What Jesus sees at the temple is less than pleasing. His reaction shows us His love and zeal for His Father’s house of prayer. The state of the temple symbolizes that Israel was determined to do things on their own way. Sound familiar?

Jesus goes on to heal the lame and the blind. In Samuel we read that the lame and the blind were not welcome in the temple. Matthew tells us that Jesus is the new Temple – which is still free from the lame and the blind, but only because Jesus heals them. What a great picture of the difference between what the world has to offer as opposed to what Jesus offers…a temple that keeps people out as opposed to a Temple that accepts all and makes all people equally clean.

Prayer: Lord, as You dwell in me, challenge me when I distort Your plans and Your promises for me.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)