The Beginning of the End

Today was a great day for the kick off for Holy Week. I actually helped with the prayer team at the end of all three services today at Timberline Church. However, I did have one couple pray for me! My friend John, thought it was time for me to break free to my “walker dependency.”

With the spring weather, I was able to get some work done outside. Cleaning out the strawberry patch, deep root watering trees and trimming a few rose bushes. Leaves are beginning to sprout on the trees and some flowers are beginning to bloom as the life of spring after the dead of winter is beginning to show.

 BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “When he came near Jerusalem, at the place where the road went down the Mount of Olives, the large crowd of his disciples began to thank God and praise him in loud voices for all the great things that they had seen:  “God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God!”       Luke 19:37-38

Today is Palm Sunday; the beginning of Holy Week. This past Wednesday at Timberline Church Pastor Brent Cunningham reviewed the events of Holy Week and challenged us to give special consideration to the events of this crucial and epic week in the life of Jesus and human history.

Jesus was a “man on a mission.” We see it early in his life at the age of twelve. After being lost in the crowed, his parents found him in the Temple, debating with the Teachers of the Law. When they reprimanded Him, He asked, “… Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)

In the height of Jesus earthly ministry, after the Transfiguration and telling His disciples about what laid ahead for him, scripture records, As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken up to heaven, he made up his mind and set out on his way to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51) Some translations use the words, “he set his face toward Jerusalem.” In our modern day vernacular, “Jesus had His game face on!” This is not tourism, this is destiny. This is what He had “been born for.” He knew His purpose and was focused on fulfilling it.

Jesus comes down the road from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem. The recent miracles of Lazarus being raised from the dead and blind eyes opened are still fresh on people’s minds. Hopes are high, excitement is in the air as the Jewish pilgrims come to Jerusalem for Passover.

Jesus is welcomed to the city in a “ticker tape parade.” People welcome Jesus, paving the way with palm branches and their strewn clothes, forming an ancient “red carpet” of honor. They are shouting words of rejoicing and pleas of  “Hosanna” (save us!) and “glory to God.” The praises of the people echo the song of the Angels some 33 years earlier on the hills outside of Bethlehem as the birth of Jesus is announced.

But Jesus was well aware of what the coming days would hold. He knew how fickle people are and how quickly they change when their expectations don’t match with God’s plan. How quickly a week can change life. I can reflect on times when I shook someone’s hand as they were leaving a worship service on Sunday only to find myself standing at their casket before the week was done. Such it would be for Jesus. Crowned on Sunday, condemned as a criminal by Friday.

But today was a time to recognize and honor Jesus the King. He came to Jerusalem like King David of old on a donkey. After all He was a “Son of David.” Even little children joined in the songs and shouts of worship. The religious leaders thought they were out of control and wanted Jesus to stop them. But he simply replied, “if they were silent the very rocks would cry out.” (Luke 19:40)

As Jesus enters the city the rejoicing and joy of the people, turns to weeping for Jesus. He came closer to the city, and when he saw it, he wept over it, saying, “If you only knew today what is needed for peace! But now you cannot see it!”  (Luke 19:41-42)  Jesus goes on an tells of time when judgment will come to the city and turmoil will reign. “…not a single stone will they leave in its place, because you did not recognize the time when God came to save you!” (Luke 19:44)

As we begin our journey through Holy Week, do you know what is needed for peace? Will you miss it? The people thought they knew what they needed. But as Dick Forth said today in his message at Timberline Church, “the people thought Jesus came for revolution, but instead He came for revelation.”  He came to be the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He came to bring inner peace to human hearts, not a forced outward peace from a position of political power. He comes as Savior-King, worthy of our worship and the surrender of our lives. He comes so that we can accomplish His purpose, not to fulfill our plans or purpose we have for Him.

Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, being hailed as King. We often call it the “triumphal entry.” But the concept of “triumph” in Jesus day was a victory parade for a conquering King. That day….is still ahead. It is one John saw in a vision on the Isle of Patmos.

“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war…. on his head were many crowns….and his title was the Word of God….On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.” (Revelation 19:11-16)

Allow the revelation of who Jesus Christ is from Palm Sunday two thousand years ago, to today, to what will be one day, to grip your heart during this Holy Week.