Jesus in Jerusalem: In like a Lion; Out like a Lamb

BLCF: Jesus-Picture-With-Lion-And-Lamb

Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship – BLCF Church Message for Sunday:

‘Jesus in Jerusalem: In like a Lion; Out like a Lamb’

© March 29, 2015 by Steve Mickelson

BLCF Bulletin March 29, 2015

BLCF:1holy_week

Announcements & Call to Worship: Responsive Reading # 625:                          

’The Triumphal Entry’ (Mark11; Matthew 21); Opening Prayer

Opening Hymn #131: All Glory, Laud and Honor                                                  

Tithing and Prayers; Hymn #572: Praise God from Whom All Blessings; Prayer Requests

Today’s Scriptures: Zechariah 9:9, John 12:12-19, John 13:1-35

BLCF: Lion-or-Lamb-Which-Do-You-Need

Let us pray…

Good morning and the blessings Holy Spirit and the grace of our Saviour flow upon all of you, on this Palm Sunday morning. Our lesson today will focus on the challenge of understanding God’s plan and how He reveals the glory of that plan, through His son, Jesus.

But first, let me ask you this question: “Have you ever gone to a place, or an event, or met someone and find out what you see was totally different, from what you expected?” That is to say, what you experienced was radically different from anything that you anticipated?

I must admit that my answer to the question is: “Yes, not just once, but on many occasions.”

A perfect example would be the first time that I entered through the front doors of Bloor Lansdowne Christian Fellowship. Based on the front façade, what initially looked like a small size church building of modest dimensions, turned out to be many times larger than I had expected. There have been occasions when I first meet someone, with whom I previously only spoke to by the phone, only to be surprised that their appearance is radically different from what  I expected, based upon their voice. Many silent movie era actors could not transition to talkies, because their voice did not match the expectations based solely upon their screen image.

For those baseball fans old enough to remember, the intimidating stare that pitcher Dave Stewart gave from the mound during the years that he pitched for Toronto and Oakland. But Stewart, who now manages for Arizona, had a high, friendly voice and manner of speaking that was in stark contrast to his demeanor on the mound.

BLCF: dave-stewart

Dave Stewart

This is what happened to Jesus, when the Lord arrived to Jerusalem. Based on their words and actions, the expectation of those who came to the city to participate in Feast of Passover and then gathered just outside the city to receive Jesus were quite different from both the prophecy in the Scriptures and the manner by which the Lord arrived at Jerusalem. While the crowd treated the Lords arrival in the manner of a bold king or lion, the manner of his arrival and surrender to the cross could best be described as a humble lamb. A sacrificial lamb.

To understand this discrepancy, let us review today’s Scripture verses. The first is Zechariah 9:9 (ESV), which gives a prediction of the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem:

        The Coming King of Zion

BLCF: king arrives on a donkey

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!     

Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Behold, your king is coming to you;     

righteous and having salvation is he,

humble and mounted on a donkey,     

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

This single verse gives us a description of the arrival of a righteous king who brings salvation. The king will arrive riding upon a donkey. The prophecy of Jesus’ arrival that is described in Zechariah 9:9, is “fleshed out” in the account of the event stated in John 12:12-19 (ESV):

The Triumphal Entry

BLCF: Hosanna_hosanna_hosanna_in_the_highest

12 The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;

behold, your king is coming,     

sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. 17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

The crowds called out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” Other accounts in the Scripture record that the crowds placed palm fronds in front of the donkey that Christ rode to Jerusalem, hence the reason we call today Palm Sunday.

But what did the crowd mean when they shouted “Hosanna” to the Lord? For a better understanding, let us look at our Wikibits for the term “hosanna”:

Wikipedia Definition: hosanna

BLCF: hosanna-psalm-sunday_

The word hosanna (Latin osanna, Greek ὡσαννά, hōsanná) is from Hebrew הושיעה־נא, הושיעה נא hôshia-nā’ which is short for hôšî‘â-nā’ from Aramaic הושע נא meaning “save, rescue, savior”.[1]

In the Hebrew Bible it is used only in verses such as “help” or “save, I pray” (Psalms 118:25).

It is applied in numerous verses of the New Testament including “Hosanna; blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (Mark 11.9), “hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11.10); “hosanna to the Son of David” (Matt 21:9). The old interpretation “Save, now!”,[2] based on Psalm 118:25, does not fully explain the occurrence of the word in the Gospels as a shout of jubilation, and this has given rise to complex discussions.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosanna

We get a clearer understanding of the meaning if hosanna from gotquestions.org:

Question: “What is the meaning of hosanna?”

Answer: Hosanna is a word used in some songs of praise, particularly on Palm Sunday. It is of Hebrew origin and was part of the shout of the multitudes as Jesus entered Jerusalem: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9).

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25, which says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!” The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

So, as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, the crowds were perfectly right to shout “Hosanna!” They were acknowledging Jesus as their Messiah, as shown in their address “Son of David.” Theirs was a cry for salvation and a recognition that Jesus is able to save. Later that day, Jesus was in the temple, and the children present were again shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:15).

The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were displeased: “‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. ‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, “From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise”’?” (Matthew 21:16).

In saying, “Hosanna!” the people were crying out for salvation, and that’s exactly why Jesus had come. Within a week Jesus would be hanging on a cross.

http://www.gotquestions.org/hosanna.html

While in truth, Jesus did come to fulfill the Scriptures, as the Christ, the long awaited Messiah, to deliver Israel. But is the rest of the prophecy was forgotten by both the crowd and even the disciples, was the manner by which the Lord would fulfill the prophecy of their deliverance. It seems that they expected Christ to deliver the People of Israel, in much the same way as had Moses and Joshua. There was the expectation of a leader who would wield the power and might of God to defeat Rome, the Scribes and Pharisees, and all others who threatened the faith of the People of Israel.

Jesus did come to defeat the greatest enemy of not only the People of Israel, but all believers in the one true God. This enemy was not a Pharaoh, or an Emperor, or King, or an army, or a kingdom. To defeat this enemy did not require leading a might army, to marc through open seas, to tear down the walls of a mighty city. For the enemy that the Lord defeated was the world’s judgement for our sins. Not just the sins of those people and of that day, but the sins of all people, for all time.

But the lesson that Christ taught came after Palm Sunday and before day of his execution. The lesson that Christ taught the disciples, was like the sacrifice that he made, for all disciples, for all time, as we read in John 13:1-35 (ESV):

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

BLCF: Jesus washes desciples feet

13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[a] but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[c] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled,[d] ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

One of You Will Betray Me

BLCF: Jesus-Passover-Lamb

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side,[e] 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus[f] of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

A New Commandment

BLCF: love_glimpse_of_heaven

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Footnotes: a. John 13:10 Some manuscripts omit except for his feet b.John 13:10 The Greek c. words for you in this verse are plural d. John 13:16 Greek bondservant f. John 13:18 Greek But in order that the Scripture may be fulfilled g. John 13:23 Greek in the bosom of Jesus h. John 13:24 Greek lacks Jesus

In this passage of Scripture, the Lord sought to demonstrate the need for a humble perspective with respect to their relationship with God, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

The message of the Gospel of Christ should be delivered to others with the same humility as a servant washing their master’s feet. This would be the same humility that the Lord demonstrated by travelling to Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, not riding a mighty steed or being on chauffeured on a chariot. It was through humble self-sacrifice, that Jesus allowed himself to be crucified in place of all sinners. He died for our sins that we may live through him. The disciples did not understand this as we read in John 12:16:

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.

When the Perter ask the Lord “Why did he wash his feet, we see the reply in John 13:7:

 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”

And just as the Passover celebrates God’s judgement of death passing over the faithful, making them innocent of that judgement, this last supper was the first communion to celebrate the fact that through the Lord’s sacrifice on our behalf, God’s judgement for our sins passes over us, to His glory. Christ gave the first bread to Judas Iscariot, who was taken over by the spirit of Satan and then betray our Lord. Then our Lord instructed the remaining disciples to observe communion in remembrance of his sacrifice, until the day that he returns.

The glorification of our Lord did not occur at the time of his crucifixion, or at his resurrection, or even when he ascended to heaven. The glorification of Jesus took place in the Upper Room, immediately after Judas left to betray the Lord.

For it was after Judas Iscariot leaves the Upper room, to betray the Lord that a chain of events is put into effect resulting in the arrest, condemnation and death of Jesus. This marks the glorification, of both: God, the father and his son, Jesus, Who with the Spirit are one, as we read in John 13, beginning with verse 31:

A New Commandment

BLCF: faith hope and love

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

As followers of Jesus, along with the disciples, we are instructed to love others in the same manner that the Lord loved us: sacrificially and humbly, so that we may demonstrate our confidence to his reply to our cry of hosanna!

Let us pray…

BLCF: happypalmsunday

Hymn #63: All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name 

Benediction (Philippians 4:23): The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

BLCF: Palm Sunday

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