The Power of the Empty Cross

Monday through Friday, April 22-26, 2019

Part 1

A few years ago a very prominent pastor was asked why there was no cross hanging anywhere in his church. His response was, “I find it difficult to reduce Christianity down to just one symbol or icon.” I was dumbfounded at that statement. I don’t find it difficult to recognize one symbol that represents Christianity at all, do you? The cross is what the Easter celebration is all about. Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday. This is the day that gives us all great hope. Because of the cross, we look forward to Jesus’ second coming.

 

I saw a pastor’s post on Face Book that questioned why so many pastors got all excited about Easter, and why they called it the biggest Sunday of the year. He wondered why all 52 Sundays weren’t equal. The truth of the matter is this: If it wasn’t for the resurrection, friends, no one would care about the other 51 Sundays – they would simply have no meaning.

Three days ago, we had a Good Friday (Tenebrae) Service. Good Friday is a look at the crucifixion of Christ. It’s the sad or sober part of Easter. But yesterday was Resurrection Sunday. Jesus is no longer on the cross! He is alive and well and living in the presence of His Father and in the hearts of His followers! In either case, the cross is the most recognizable symbol of Christianity in the world. We believe in the cross and all that it symbolizes. Though Easter is about the cross, it’s really about the empty cross. That is the most celebrated image we have in all of Christianity.

1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” The cross is the power of God. It is God’s sign to the world that death, hell and the grave cannot limit His power. God has the ability and the power to raise us from the dead. That is the essence of the Good News.  

Hebrews 2:14 “Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil…” We have a message to share with the world, and that is that they can be set free from the one who holds the power of death – the devil.

 

Jesus saw/knew that we were made up of flesh and blood so He took part of the same. In other words the Word of God became flesh and blood and dwelt among us. That’s the Christmas story - but that is not the sum total of the Good News. The Good News is not just that Jesus came to live with man, but rather, through His death and resurrection, we can now be set free from our sins and the fear of death. 

 

Hebrews 2:15 “… and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Jesus came to destroy the one who held the power of death and to free those who, all their lives have been held in slavery to that fear. That is our message! The very fact that Christ was resurrected by the power of God from death means that God accepted His offering for our sins and has allowed Him back into His presence.

 

That is the Good News! Jesus was resurrected, which means that His offering for our sins is satisfactory to God and anyone applying His sacrifice to their own lives means their sins are forgiven and that they have been set free from the one who had the power of death.  

 

Continued tomorrow

The Power of the empty cross, part 2

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Let’s consider some things about the devil. He was the first sinner, and the first tempter to sin, and sin was the procuring cause of death. The Devil uses sin to put the fear of death in us. So, in that sense, he is said to have the power of death. As Satan draws men into sin, and we know that the wages of sin are death, he then terrifies the consciences of men with the fear of death, and being the “accuser of the brethren,” he brings our sin before our God, there to receive our doom. So we see that satan first starts off as our tempter and then becomes our tormentor.

 

It’s a dirty game Satan plays. He first entices us with the pleasures of sin and then when we give into those temptations he holds it over our heads in constant condemnation. (He’s worse than a politician!)

He may have had the power of death, but, as the Bible says, Christ has destroyed him who had the power of death. Satan can no longer keep anyone who has the Spirit of Christ in them under the power of spiritual death, nor can he force them into sin (the procuring cause of death), nor demand the soul of any born-again man, or execute a sentence upon any, except for those who choose and continue to be his willing slaves. 

The empty cross sets us free from the bewildering fears about death and eternity. Christ became man and died to deliver us from those perplexities of the soul, letting us know that death is not only a conquered enemy, but now a reconciled friend. Death is thus not sent to hurt the soul, or separate it from the love of God, but to put an end to all our earthly grievances and complaints, and to give us a passage to eternal life and blessedness. So now to us, death is not in the hand of Satan, but in the hand of Christ. Christ's servant does not have hell following her/him, but heaven. We no longer fear death; it has become our friend. 

There are only two reasons for me to continue living: I have a family that I love and I have a God that I love, and I want to spend as much time as I can serving both of them. But when death comes, it will be welcomed because Jesus has removed any fear of death – having washed my sins away. By that, I don’t mean I laugh in the face of death. If a bad guy is coming after me, he’s going to have to catch me. I’ll try to live as long as I can - but when death comes, praise God, I (we) have nothing to fear! (see Philippians 1:19-26).

There is something interesting thing about death; the only way to become free from the fear of it is to give into it. Matthew 26:40-41 states, “Then Jesus returned to His disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” He asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” We are very familiar with this setting. While Jesus was praying in the Garden just before His capture, He goes back to His disciples and finds them sleeping.  Then He says in essence, “You need to pray so that you don’t fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing to follow God but the body is weak.” 

We all know that the body is weak. We all know that we are subject to temptation. Jesus says prayer can help us during times of temptation. Or basically He says, “If you will pray a lot you will curb temptations grip on you.”

 

So here is the problem. Our flesh wants to sin. Our carnal nature is just that – carnal. And if you continually give in to it, it will control you. It’s our carnal nature that causes us to fear death. It’s because people typically want to sin that we fear standing before God.

 

So how do we get over this dilemma? Jesus says it is a spiritual issue. He suggests that we spend lots of time in His presence. The more time we spend in the presence of God the more we understand grace because even in our weaknesses we can still enter into His presence as born-again believers. Subsequently, we begin to understand that we cannot earn favor with Him. Favor is granted through the death and resurrection of Christ, and as children of the promise, we can come boldly before the throne of God asking what we will. 

 

Continued tomorrow   

Walking to the Cross #3
"A Big Crowd Meets a King"

Monday through Friday, April 15-19, 2019

Part 1

I don’t know about you, but I like watching movie bloopers. There’s something funny about watching other people mess up. Many times these bloopers manage to sneak through the final cuts and show up on the screen.  

  • In a movie starring Jack Nicholson, he walks past an automatic teller machine; the only problem is, the setting of the movie is in 1948, decades before ATMs were even invented!  

  • In the movie, Days of Thunder, Tom Cruise suffers a racing injury with an interesting symptom. When he first goes to the hospital he has a red ring around his right eye. Later, the circle is seen around the left and then it moves back to the right eye. 

  • And in another movie, the characters take a ferry ride from Detroit to Racine, Wisconsin. The trouble with this is, no such ferry exists. And even if it did, you would have to be one incredible boat captain to navigate the Detroit River into an across Lake Huron and then into and across Lake Michigan!

I think some of the people in the crowd, on that first Palm Sunday thought they were witnessing a blooper. This wasn’t exactly how they thought it was going to work out. In their minds, the script wasn’t followed the way they thought it should have been. As we will see, however, Jesus followed the script perfectly.

Let me summarize where we’ve been so far in this series, as we’re “Walking to the Cross,” with Jesus. Two weeks ago we were introduced to Bartimaeus, the blind man, who was sitting alongside the road as Jesus approached Jericho. Bartimaeus went through four stages in his spiritual journey:
         His blindness… He knew… he was physically and spiritually blind
         His belief…  He knew… Jesus was the Son of God
         His boldness…­ He was not afraid… to put his desire to be healed into words
         His blessing… He was blessed… in order to bless others

Last week, we focused on what happened as Jesus made His way through Jericho, and in the process, He encountered a little man named Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus went through four similar, yet different steps, in his own faith development:
         He was curious…­ he wanted to get to know… who Jesus was
         He considered… he investigated… the claims of Jesus
         He was converted…­ The Searching Savior… saved him and forgave his sins
         He was changed…­ Zacchaeus’ life was radically redirected… after his conversion.  

And so, Jesus is headed up to Jerusalem. Luke makes it very clear that there is nothing that will get in His way. Even though He has stopped and ministered to people; Jesus has never lost sight of His final goal. In order to understand what is about to take place in our passage today; it’s important to grasp at least three background details.

First, everyone in Israel knew that the Messiah would be enthroned as King in Jerusalem. The Old Testament makes it very clear that the coming King would do His main work in the city of David, that is to say Jerusalem. Since the Garden of Eden, all of heaven and earth have been waiting for that moment when Messiah would enter Jerusalem, for the last time. The scarlet thread of redemption weaves its way throughout Scripture and will culminate, on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Second, the Passover feast was just about to begin. This celebration brought many spiritual pilgrims to Jerusalem and fueled the fires of spiritual and messianic expectations. Historians tell us that it was not unusual to have as many as 2 to 3 million people in Jerusalem for the Passover.

On the Passover, the paschal lamb is slain; just as it was at the beginning of the Exodus. This yearly reminder, well, it was to serve to help the Israelites never forget that it was the “blood of the lamb” that provided their deliverance. Now Jesus, “the Lamb of God” …is about to be slain, once-for-all, for the remission of sins.

Third, Jesus had recently performed a number of spectacular miracles and these miracles attracted the crowds and further fueled their messianic enthusiasm. In particular, when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead: John 11:45-46 tells us that, “many of the Jews put their faith in Jesus. But some of them went away and told the Pharisees what Jesus did.”The growing popularity of Jesus alarmed the religious leaders made them angry. They met together after Lazarus was raised from the dead and from that day on, the Apostle John tells us, they were intent on killing Jesus. In fact, they were also planning to kill Lazarus.  

 

Continued tomorrow

Walking to the Cross #3
"A Big Crowd Meets a King" part 2

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

It’s difficult for us, some 2000 years removed from this event, to really grasp the mood of that time. The people were looking for the Messiah and Jesus was a very likely candidate. The moment was perfectly right as He headed to the capital city. The people were overwhelmingly excited. They couldn’t wait for a King to come and free them from Roman rule. In contrast, the religious leaders were intent on putting Jesus to death because He threatened their “position.” So they were just waiting for the right opportunity.

 

With all that in mind let’s go ahead and read our Bible passage for this week.

Luke 19:28-44 “And when He had said these things, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as He rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.

37 As He was drawing near — already on the way down the Mount of Olives — the whole multitude of His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

41 And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation’” ESV. 

Even as we read this passage, I see four ways in which we can welcome the King.
         Welcome Him with Obedience (verses 28-35a)
         Welcome Him with Gifts (verses 35b-36)
         Welcome Him with Praise (verses 37-40)
         Welcome Him with Faith (verses 41-44)
 

Welcome Him with Obedience

I want you to notice in verse 28 that it says, “…He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.” I picture Jesus walking ahead of the disciples, more determined now than ever to enter the city of David. This is why He had come. It’s almost as if He couldn’t wait to complete His job. The disciples may have been following rather reluctantly; perhaps they were even dragging their heels a bit. They knew very well that their Master was already under a sentence of death by the Jewish leaders.

Verse 29 tells us that Jesus and His disciples arrived at Bethany, which was just two miles east of Jerusalem. John 12:1 indicates that He was there six days before Passover, which would have been on a Sabbath. According to my harmony of the Gospels, after sunset He was invited to the home of Simon the leper where He met with the risen Lazarus and was served a meal by his sisters. After supper Mary anointed His feet with expensive burial oil.

The next day was Sunday and Jesus began His final walk to Jerusalem. At the hill called the Mount of Olives, He called on two of His disciples to do a special assignment for Him.

 

The Mount of Olives is a place of great significance. According to Zechariah 14:4, the Messiah will one day again appear on this mountain. And during His last week, before His crucifixion, it is very likely Jesus spent His nights there. It’s also where Jesus gave the “Olivet Discourse,” where He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and from where He ascended into heaven (see Acts 1:12).  

 

Continued tomorrow

Walking to the Cross #3
"A Big Crowd Meets a King" part 3

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

In verses 30-31, the two disciples are told, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” And then verses 32-34 tell us what happened when they went. (Jesus had spelled it out for them very specifically. Somehow, He knew all about the colt that would be tied up.) Matthew tells us that the colt was a donkey and that it was with its mother and there the disciples are instructed to bring both of them, perhaps to help the colt not be so wild.

These animals were quite expensive and, we see in VS 32, that there were at least two people who had gone in together to retrieve these donkeys. In our culture today, it would be like someone coming up to a bright red convertible Porsche, opening the door, starting the car and driving away. When the owner comes running outside you would just say, “The Lord needs it.”

Some cultural background may be helpful at this point. According to a custom called Angaria, a dignitary could procure use of property for personal reasons. It would be like a president coming up to you (or one of his people) and saying you that he needed to use your car.

Another important point to make here is this; when the disciples were sent to get the colt, Jesus was fulfilling yet one more very specific prophecy concerning who He was. In Zechariah 9:9, which was written some five hundred years earlier, we read, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

Now keep in mind that many of the followers of Jesus were hoping that the Messiah would come with power and overthrow, the “rotten,” Roman government. The one who raised Lazarus from the dead could certainly defeat the Romans. As they bowed down to Rome, they longed for a warrior king, one who would come on a great white horse, like King David did a thousand years earlier, when he wiped out the Philistines. You can imagine the confusion in their minds when the people saw their Messiah ask for a donkey colt.

Jesus was about to enter the city of David, not as a warrior Messiah who would physically conquer the Roman army but as the prophetic Prince of Peace, who would seek to conquer the spiritual hearts of people. Many in the crowd that day would have understood the message behind the symbolism.
 

While the disciples obeyed without asking any questions, I have to wonder what was really going through their minds. They could have been amazed, once again, that everything was just as Jesus said it would be. Or they could have been wondering what went wrong with the script. You may recall that shortly before this the disciples were arguing about who was going to be the greatest in the Kingdom.  They were hoping Jesus was going to set up His cabinet and begin His reign in Jerusalem. But, instead of ruling, the disciples find themselves running errands and saddling donkeys and not marching in places of honor. Nevertheless, they obeyed.

Friend, are you and I as quick to obey as the disciples were, even when we don’t understand everything that’s going on? When we discover clear commands in the Bible, do we follow? or do we falter? Do you need to own up for any deliberate deeds of disobedience right now? If so, do it before you close your eyes for the day. Determine to welcome the King, with an obedient heart. John 14:15 reminds us that if we say we love Jesus, then we will obey everything He commands.
 

Welcome the King with Gifts

The first way we can welcome Jesus this Palm Sunday is by our obedience. The second way is by welcoming the King with our gifts.

There were at least three gifts given that day. The first one was the colt. The owners didn’t question the disciples after they were told the colt was for Jesus. Maybe they had heard of Jesus before and were happy to give their possession away. They gladly gave Him what rightfully belonged to Him anyway. As the Creator, Jesus has every right to possess what is ultimately His. Someone has suggested that the owners may have been laughing to themselves because they knew that this little colt had never been ridden before and would give the rider quite a ride!

Not only did Zechariah prophecy about the Messiah riding a colt the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, it also brought back memories of King Solomon’s procession to Gihon in 1 Kings 1:38-39 “…they put Solomon on King David’s mule the priest anointed Solomon then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted…”  

 

Continued tomorrow

Walking to the Cross #3
"A Big Crowd Meets a King" part 4

Thursday, April 18, 2019      

Verse 35 tells us about the second gift that was given to Jesus. The disciples put their cloaks on the colt as a saddle for Him and helped Him get on. Verse 36 says that, “As He went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.” They willingly took off their outer garments, laying some of them on the colt and others were laid on the road in front of Jesus.

Can you imagine what all this commotion would have done to the colt? Remember, it had never been ridden before and now Jesus was on its back, the crowd was shouting, and cloaks and palm branches were being waved and laid in front of it as it walked down the hill toward Jerusalem.  

The laying of cloaks on the road would be like rolling out the red carpet for someone today. In 2 Kings 9:13, people spread cloaks under King Jehu as he walked on the bare stairs. The people recognized Jesus as royalty and gave Him the honor afforded a King.

That leads to the third gift, the laying of palm branches on the road. Luke doesn’t mention this detail, but, Matthew 21:8 tells us, “…others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.” This was a common way to welcome a victorious King when he returned home from battle. These palm branches were also a symbol of joy and victory and were placed on graves as a sign of eternal life. Since they often grew out in the desert near water, palm trees were a sign that life-giving activity was near. By laying palm branches on the road the people were signifying that Jesus was the victorious King, who gives eternal life to those out wandering in the desert of life.

The gifts of the colt, the cloaks, and the branches all point to who Jesus is. What started out as a Jewish feast, is now turning into a celebration of the Messiah. The colt was expensive, the cloaks were essential, and the branches were an expression of joy. 

 

What can you or I give to welcome the King today? Is He asking you to give something that is expensive? Is He longing for you to give something that you consider essential? Or, have you been holding out on an expression of joy? If you want to welcome the King, you can do so with your gifts. And while there is nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven, or nothing we can give to impress Jesus, our giving does demonstrate our love, devotion, and worship.
 

Welcome Him with Praise

The followers of the King welcomed Him with obedience and with their gifts. We see next that they welcomed the King with their praise. If they started with preparation, they now break out into celebration. In verse 37, we read: “As He was drawing near — already on the way down the Mount of Olives — the whole multitude of His disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen…” The language here suggests that it was many more than just the 12 disciples who were praising God. At this point, there were many followers of Christ and as they move down the mountain, across the valley, the city of Jerusalem comes into view, causing them to get even more excited.

The people broke out into a spontaneous outpouring of praise. Sadly, some of these same voices which praised God for the Messiah’s entry would be used just a few days later to scream, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” But for now, they shout out in verse 38, “Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

 

This is a quotation from Psalm 118. The phrase, “comes in the Name of the Lord,” means that Jesus is coming according to the promise of God. This Psalm speaks of the coming Messiah and was sung out loud during the Passover meal. By singing this Psalm, the followers of Jesus are declaring that He is the sent King, who comes with the very authority of God. Matthew 21:9 tells us that they included the word, “Hosanna” which means “save now.” There was a feeling of celebration, exaltation, and adoration for what they were anticipating would come to pass.

As the crowd is praising God loudly, the religious leaders come up to Jesus, in verse 39, and say, “…Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!” They knew that the crowd was declaring Jesus as the Messiah and so they tell Jesus to reject that claim and to rebuke His followers. These claims are offensive to the religious leaders.

I love the answer Jesus gives in verse 40, “I tell you… if these were silent the very stones would cry out.” If His followers do not praise Him, creation will. Just as Jesus calmed the wild colt, so too, He can command an inanimate object like a rock to praise Him because He is the creator of all things. Instead of rebuking the disciples, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees, by implying that the rocks know more about what is taking place than they do!  

 

Continued tomorrow

Walking to the Cross #3
"A Big Crowd Meets a King" part 5

Friday, April 19, 2019

How are you doing at welcoming the King with praise? Do you have moments in your schedule where you stop and break out into adoration? Do you start and end your day with praise and worship? When you come to church on Sundays to worship collectively with others, is it the culmination of a week of personal worship experiences, or is it your only time of praise? Friends, God can make the stones cry out, but He’d rather have men and women and boys and girls – you and me - who worship Him in spirit and in truth spontaneously, loudly, and regularly!
 

Welcome Him with Faith

Jesus is longing for people to welcome Him with obedience, with gifts, with praise, and finally, with faith. As Jesus makes His way down the mountain He sees the entire city of Jerusalem, in a panoramic view, just across the valley. The city was stunning in its beauty, with shining white buildings, and the gleaming gold, of Herod’s temple. But Jesus saw it with a different vision: He was coming, not be respected, but to be rejected.

As we try to put ourselves back in that day we see that the disciples’ preparation led to celebration. Now, sadly, the mood shifts to one of lamentation.  Look again at verse 41, “And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it…” (We may be tempted to rejoice in Jesus’ victory over the Pharisees. But Jesus doesn’t gloat, He weeps. His interest is not in winning arguments, but in winning people.)

 

The word “wept” here, means; “to burst into tears, to weep out loud, to sob deeply.” This was more than just a tear streaming down His cheek. This same word is used in Mark 5:38 to describe how family members were crying over the death of a young daughter when it says they were “crying and wailing loudly.” While everyone else was shouting joyfully, Jesus was crying because of the hard hearts of people.

Jesus was not weeping because He was going to suffer and die. No, He was weeping for the lost. He wants people to exhibit faith and trust Him as their Lord and Savior. He wants this so much that He breaks out into loud wailing when people choose to go their own way.

On three separate occasions, the Bible speaks of Jesus crying:

  • At the death of Lazarus in John 11:35. These were tears of sympathy.
  • At the sight of Jerusalem in our passage today. These were tears of sorrow.
  • In the Garden of Gethsemane in Hebrews 5:7. These were tears of anguish.

As Jesus looks over the valley at Jerusalem, with His deep sobbing and wailing, almost choking Him up, He cries out rather abruptly, in verses 42-44 “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’”

Jesus had offered salvation to the people, but, they rejected it. As a result, they have lost out on real peace. In these verses, Jesus is looking into the future and sees some really bad things in store for the City of David. His chilling prophecy became reality, in 70 A.D, when Titus and his Roman legion surrounded Jerusalem, built embankments around it, so no one could escape, and then besieged the city for 143 days, before turning it into a pile of rocks. Over 600,000 adults and children were slaughtered. The temple was totally destroyed and then set on fire. 

All this took place because they “did not recognize God’s coming.” Friends, can I talk straight with you in this moment? There is a very clear principle here in these words, that are dripping with the tears of Jesus. If you and I do not recognize God’s coming, in the form of Jesus, and put our faith in Him, we will be exposed to judgment. If you reject Jesus, you will pay the consequences. And please understand, that is not a threat, by me, or by God; it is simply a warning of reality.

This does not bring Jesus any pleasure. It breaks Him up. It brings Him pain.  He is deeply moved and choked up when He thinks about you, or me, not responding to Him in faith. Ezekiel 33:11 reveals God’s heart toward you: “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?”

I’m told that there is Rembrandt painting of the face of Christ that is very captivating. It is said, “If you cover one of Christ’s eyes His face has a sparkle of joy and hope. But if you cover the other eye, He looks like He is about to cry. And if you try to look at both eyes at the same time, you will see both emotions: first one, then the other, then mingled in a beautiful, yet tragic, expression.” 

Friends, that is the face of Jesus on Palm Sunday. In one eye we see the sparkle: “I am the one who has come in the name of the Lord. Hosanna.” But in the other eye we see a tear: “There will be no peace and only the terror of my holy judgment for those who miss the day of my visitation.”

Do you know what the biggest blooper of all time is? The biggest blooper takes place when individuals decide to not put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Friend, don’t put off the decision any longer. Welcome the King into your life today.  END