John 12:12-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Triumphal Entry
12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
“Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!”
14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; 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 were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.
18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign.
19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”
I will never forget walking the Palm Sunday path Jesus took, from Bethany to Jerusalem over the Mount of Olives - with our thoughts on Jesus. In His steps.
--Savoring Scriptures. Building beliefs, in Him.
Jesus had no doubt of His beliefs, or what He faced.
--As God He, for 3 1/2 years, demonstrated He's Messiah.
--Previously, Jesus entered Jerusalem quietly.
--Palm Sunday He comes with great acclaim, as it begins Holy Week! Teachings. Good Friday. Easter!
--Recorded in all four Gospels; fills Zechariah 9:9.
--He comes as King. Cleanses the temple, atones sin.
--Assured of His mission, He's ready to face it all.
Multitudes met the Master, "took branches of palm trees .. cried, 'Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord'" (John 12:12).
--So many were jubilant. The awaited Messiah is come!
--Knowing their hearts and seeing the city, our Lord "wept over the city" (Luke 19:41). God wept!
--Weeps over sin. Unbelief. Of what awaits sinners.
Right believing is so important. Look at Mark 9.
--A broken-hearted father brought his son - mentally and physically ill from birth - to Jesus for help.
--He prayed, "If You can do anything have compassion on us, and help us" (v 22). Both were suffering.
--Jesus replied, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." Do you believe?
The man said, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief."
--Many like that; believe a little, doubt a lot.
--What do we really believe? That will save? Help?
Do we believe God's Word? God's Son? Salvation?
--The lesson of Palm Sunday fortifies our faith.
Some say, "It matters not what you believe if you're sincere." This sounds nice, but just isn't true.
--One can be totally sincere and be totally wrong.
--Terrorists who took down the New York Twin Towers, were sincere - but they believed dead wrong.
--Right believing, experience and qualifications, are necessary for all tasks - especially, spiritually.
--We are not born believing - we have to be taught.
--That Palm Sunday Jesus teaches what we must believe, if we would have forgiveness, and sure of heaven!
I. LET'S BELIEVE IN A SACRED BOOK, THE WORD OF GOD.
--The Bible is the best place to begin to know God.
--It is our foundation. For faith. Life. Service.
--The Bible has no equal to cleanse, comfort, guide.
--Growing up, we took a stand for God, church, Sunday School - with Bible reading in the home.
This Sacred Book leads one to Jesus. He is central.
--Tells why He came. How He came. What He came for.
--What all He did. Promised and produced His coming!
--Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life..and have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
--Do you and I want life? Eternal and abundant here?
--Just follow the Good Book as it tells of Jesus.
Forgiveness, heaven, salvation has God-given rules we are to follow, for admission to God's presence.
--One summer we had our children and grandchildren to join us for a little reunion in Williamsburg, VA.
--To celebrate all the birthdays we reserved a dinner room in the Williamsburg Inn - a famous place.
--The grandsons came nicely dressed, but no coat.
--Were stopped, "Sorry, but they cannot come in!"
--I said, "Sir, we have reservations for all of us."
--"Yes, I know, but the Inn rules require a jacket."
--What would we do? They remembered jackets were in a suitcase in the car - so the boys retrieved them.
Even in our tolerant culture, there are rules to obey.
--God had His qualifications for blessing and heaven!
--Jesus, that Holy day and week, teaches us this.
--That's why God gave the world a Bible, so we know!
Some things we must believe, and do, for salvation.
It has been a joy to lead many tours to Israel.
--Most often we have had Tony Gafni as our fine Guide.
--Superb in his knowledge of Old and New Testaments.
--An excellent, knowledgeable Guide of all the sites.
--We met his wife, and family for a luncheon.
--Tony said, "The Bible is true! It is authentic and accurate in all that it says."
--He once disbelieved it, until he studied the Bible!
--Now he is a believer, and enthusiastic witness!
The more we read, and know this Book, the more we will love it, and the Lord. To become more like Him.
--I admire Henry Ford, inventor of the auto, who gave the nation Greenfield Village of early Americans.
--Is visited by millions, with great enjoyment.
--We often visited there, taking family and friends.
--Henry Ford said, "All I know of good, truth, honesty or idealism, I have learned from the Bible. In School, I listened each morning as a chapter was read by the teacher before our classes started. It was then I came to know and respect the Holy Book. If I had my way, a chapter would be read every single morning in every school in this country..."
--No wonder the Lord blessed Henry Ford so.
There is harmony and order in the Word of God.
--In Creation..all through to Revelation.
--Of God's dealings with all kinds of people He loves.
--Jesus said, "..My words will by no means pass away."
--People try to remove it, doubt it, destroy it; but the Bible stands, the best seller, year after year.
--Jesus came Palm Sunday to fulfill the Scriptures!
II. WE BELIEVE IN A SAVIOR-GOD, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.
--From Genesis 3:15 on, the Bible is about Jesus.
--The whole Word of God centers on the Savior-Messiah.
--"God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself" (II Cor. 5:19). You want to know God?
--Jesus said, "he who has seen Me has seen the Father. I and My Father are One." Jesus proves He is God!
--How? Multiple miracles! Crucified! Risen! Seen!
--My friend, no other person has ever done all that!
Contrary to all of us, Jesus' life was lived as God.
--He is called God (John 1:1; 10:33; 20-28;, etc.).
--Part of the Holy Trinity, He's called so by the Father Himself, angels, disciples, and demons. Holy!
Jesus is God, part of the Trinity; Father, Son, Holy Spirit. One true God. In Unity. Each is needed.
--He said, "If I tell you the truth, why do you not believe Me"(John 8:46). "I am the Messiah" (John 4:12). He is "the way, the truth, the life."
--Lots of religions of all kinds. Which is right?
--Only one did what Jesus did; for us, as God.
--If Jesus were only a good man He could not save!
--Let's not be a cause for Jesus to "weep over" us as well as our cities, for unbelief - ours, or others.
III. WE BELIEVE IN A SECOND-BIRTH, BY FAITH IN JESUS.
--If a world could be saved some other way, without a God coming in person to sacrifice and suffer, don't you think an all-wise God would have done so?
--Jesus prayed, "If it be possible," there was none!
--The Law was good and animal sacrifices, but friend they could not save. It takes God Himself!
--Christ's own she blood, as "The Lamb of God ..."
Forgiveness, heaven, salvation is not by good works.
--Not by baptism or church membership, though good.
--It is by the supernatural "new birth" of John 3.
--Jesus declares this to Nicodemus, a religious man, "a ruler of the Jews" who came to Him by night.
--Jesus said, "You must be born again." We "must."
--I realized that one day, and fully trusted Jesus.
That is what Jesus that Palm Sunday wants all to do.
--How about you, my friend? Are you "born again"?
Billy Graham was in Los Angeles for weeks winning so many in his Crusade, with many praying for others.
--Stuart Hamblen was a hard-drinking, gambling, star of cowboy films, with a radio show. Needed Jesus.
--People invited him, and family, night after night.
--Stuart Hamblen finally came to receive Jesus.
--His life changed, he wrote the popular song - over 200 others - "It is no secret what God can do .. What He's done for others, He'll do for you..."
Doesn't this call you to love the Lord? Trust Him?
--Daily, want to live for Him? Witness for Him?
--What a difference right believing can make for us!
Dr. Wilbert D. Gough ThD., DD. 663