Palm Sunday message

A lot is going on, do we need a hero? Do we believe our hero has already come? Do we believe that we need a Savior? Look around the world, turn on the news, pick up a Newspaper or go to an internet news site. Things do not look to good to me. Looks like there are a lot of injustices going on.

Do any of you ever wonder, “Where is God?”

Today we look at a passage where the King enters Jerusalem and He is hailed as King. This next week we celebrate the victory of the cross, but sometimes we have to wonder, “Where is God?”

I do not want to let you stew on that too long. I believe that I can honestly say that God is with us in every tragedy and everything we face, yet God will come and make things right. We look at passages like today’s, we remember Palm Sunday, yet, honestly, we usually only focus on Jesus entering Jerusalem at that time. But Jesus is coming back.

Today, we are going to look at a passage in which it is prophesied that Jesus will enter Jerusalem humbly, riding on a donkey. But do not forget the second part of the passage. There is a double prophesy in this passage. Jesus is coming again.

I want us to look at Zechariah 9:9-10 where it is prophesied that Jesus will humbly enter Jerusalem. I want to look at Matthew 21:1-11 where this passage is fulfilled.

The Application:

Surrender and share.

Read with me Matthew 21:1-11:

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Now, let’s read Zechariah 9:9-10:

 

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

 

  1. First, notice this passage prophesies that the King will come and the King has come. We see this in verse 9 and we see it’s fulfillment in Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; John 21:4-9; Luke 19:29-38
    1. Let me summarize the first eight verses of this passage. It is important that we do not divorce the passage from the context.
    2. In the beginning of this chapter there are prophesies against the nations surrounding Jerusalem. Notice verse 8 says that God will protect His house. That is my summary, but the point is that God will protect Jerusalem. Zechariah was likely written around 520 B.C. to Israel, post exilic Israel. This was after they had come back from being exiled to Babylon. But they still were under Persian rule.
    3. You ask, what happened with these prophesies of judgment on the surrounding nations? I am glad you asked. Alexander the Great carried out the fulfillment of these prophesies. God used Alexander the Great to carry out the judgment. This was after the battle of Isus in 333 B.C. “He went into Syria and knocked off Syria, came over to the coastline and took Phoenicia which amounted to Tyre and Sidon…moved south and took care of Philistia, all of the cities of Philistia that are named in verse 5, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron. But amazingly enough, after destroying the nations, he saved…whom? Israel. And he spared them. And he absolutely to the tee, fulfilled the prophecy penned hundreds of years before the man was ever born, a prophecy written in a book he never saw. It was God’s way of saying, “When you see Alexander do this, know that just as that part came to pass, so will part two. And if I can use a pagan human being to judge nations and to save My people, wait and see what I’ll do with the God-Man, Jesus Christ in the end of the age.”[1]
    4. That is what is going in the first few verses in this passage. We then come to verse 9, which is the verse concerning Jesus.
    5. The passage says, “Rejoice.” The passage says to “rejoice, greatly.”
    6. Why? Your King is coming to you.
    7. Now that is something to be excited about, right?
    8. But the next verse might be a downer. Imagine, we are in a war situation and the King is coming in to save us. How do you want the King to arrive? Do you want the King to come in a tank, or a Volkswagen? I would choose the tank any day and twice on Sunday.
    9. But the passage says that the King will come Humble and riding on a donkey, really?
    10. Now, that is something to motivate the troops.
    11. Now early in Israel’s history, very early, it was respectable to ride around on a donkey. But by Solomon’s time, it wasn’t. See, Solomon brought into Israel horses. He had literally…some say 30,000 horses in his private group of horses. He introduced the horse. And from that time on, nobles and soldiers and important people rode horses and the donkey lost its dignity. You were really admitting your poverty by putting around on a donkey.
    12. But the passage acknowledges Jesus humility.
    13. Could we miss King Jesus because He came in humility?
    14. I think we certainly could.

How the “Horse Whisperer” Trains Wild Horses

Long before the “dog whisperer,” Cesar Milan, there was the “horse whisperer.”

Monty Roberts was raised in the horse business. He learned there was one way to train horses: by “breaking” them. Through domination and force, which at times included striking the horse with whips or even tying and suspending the horse’s feet and legs, a trainer would impose his will upon the animal until it reached the conclusion that total submission was the only way to survive.

In his early teen years Roberts began to study the behavior and communication patterns of wild mustangs in the badlands of Nevada. He took note of the nonverbal communication among the horses …. Drawing on this observation and his firsthand experience with horses, Roberts developed a breakthrough training technique he first called “hooking on” as opposed to “breaking down” the horse’s will. This new training method was based on a cornerstone concept he eventually trademarked called JoinUp®. Join-Up not only stopped the “breaking” norms of traditional horse training, it showcased how to cooperate with the horse’s own spirit, innate ways, and means of communicating as a member of the herd.

The personality and full potential of the horse emerge through loving freedom and desire rather than domination …. The Join-Up technique invites an untamed horse that has never been ridden to willingly accept the saddle, bridle, and rider. It is a thing of beauty to watch. Monty Roberts enters a round pen with a wild horse. In as little as half an hour, he’ll be riding the horse.

Roberts creates an atmosphere of mutual respect that communicates, “I’m not going to hurt you, and you don’t have to follow me if you don’t want to.” After a brief period of introducing himself and interacting with the horse … Roberts turns his back to the animal and walks away.

At this point the horse trains her eyes on Monty with all-out intensity and attention. She is asking herself, “Where is he going?” and “Do I want to stay by myself?” The horse must choose: “I want to be with you. I want to join up and follow you on the way.” She quickly decides, “My safe place is with you.” Dropping her head (equine language for “I submit to you”) and trotting to Roberts’s side, the horse says, “I choose to follow. I want to be with you.”

I believe at this point, Jesus wants us to choose Him. But Jesus is coming again.

  1. Second, in verse 10, this passage prophesies judgment, this is still to come.
    1. Jesus is coming as the judge. Verse 10: I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
      and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
      and the battle bow will be broken.
      He will proclaim peace to the nations.
      His rule will extend from sea to sea
      and from the River to the ends of the earth.
    2. If you turn to Revelation 14:14, it says: I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.
    3. This is about Jesus coming as judge. We see this also in: Luke 21:27; Phil. 2:9-11
    4. See also 2 Peter 3:9-10: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
    5. You see verses 9-10 of Zechariah are a double prophesy. They were fulfilled in Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey, but they will be fulfilled when Jesus comes again as judge and literal King.
    6. We could even look at Zechariah 9:1-10 as a triple prophesy since Alexander the Great fulfilled part of the passage.

Close:

 

Do you ever get discouraged when you turn on the news, or read the paper? It makes sense if you do. Be encouraged today that Jesus will come and make things right. Judgment will come. Justice will come. Why is Jesus waiting? He is waiting so that more people can choose to follow Him. Truth is, some of us want justice and that makes sense, but true justice would send us all to hell. Instead, Jesus came humbly on a donkey and surrendered to the cross so that we can be saved.

The application is to “surrender and share.”

So, today, surrender to Jesus. He is our rightful King. He is the only King.

Share Jesus. Judgment is coming and we need to be covered with the blood of the Lamb. Our friends, family and co-workers need to know Jesus.

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/2165/the-saga-of-two-conquerers-part-2

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Today’s sermon: Isaiah 53:12: Jesus is exalted, Bow both knees to Him

Introduction:

We have been talking about the prophesies from Isaiah 53. Today we come to our last sermon on Isaiah 53. Next week we will look at a prophesy regarding the triumphal entry.

Many times I catch myself knowing that I cannot earn my way into Heaven but almost living as if I can. In other words, I pride myself in living the right life. That is good, but for what purpose? I must live the right and pure life for Jesus, not for me. Do I want my righteousness, which will not get me anywhere? Or, do I want Christ’s righteousness, which is free? I cannot have both. Mercedes is three years old. She wants both apple juice and chocolate milk in the morning. In fact she wants many things. She will think critically of many things. In fact, I do as well. I will weigh things critically in my head. I am not good at quick thinking. But this ought to be a “no brainer.” I need and ought to desire Jesus’ righteousness. Jesus freely gives me right standing with God.

Before we move on, listen to something I read from Ravi Zacharias regarding the cross:

Apologetics Study Bible:

Ravi Zacharius:

I often think back with nostalgia to growing up in India and the late-night conversations we would have about a Hindu play or some event that featured Hindu thought. Now, through the lens of Jesus Christ, I have learned to see how deep-seated culture and religion can be and how only the power of the Holy Spirit can reveal the error of an ingrained way of thinking. Consequently, whenever we speak with someone from another faith, it is essential to remember that we must not attempt to tear down another’s belief system but rather to reveal the hungers of the human heart and the unique way in which Christ addresses them.

For the Hindu, karma—the moral law of cause-and-effect—is a life-defining concept. Life carries its moral bills, and they are paid in the cyclical pattern of rebirth until all dues are paid in full. Hinduism here conveys an inherited sense of wrong, which is lived out in the next life, in vegetable, animal, or human form. This doctrine is nonnegotiable in Hindu philosophy. Repercussions of fatalism (that is, whatever happens will happen) and the indifference to the plight of others are inescapable but are dismissed by philosophical platitudes that do not weigh out the consequences of such reasoning. Thus it is key to bear in mind that although karma is seen as a way of paying back, this payback is never complete; hence life is lived out paying back a debt that one cannot know in total but that must be paid in total. That is why the cross of Christ is so definitive and so complete. It offers forgiveness without minimizing the debt. When we truly understand that forgiveness, we develop a loving heart of gratitude. There is a full restoration—in this life and for eternity.

The Christian should also understand the attraction of pantheism, the Hindu view of seeing the divine in everything. It superficially appears more compatible with scientific theorizing because it presents no definitive theory of origins. Life is cyclical, without a first cause. Pantheism also gives one a moral reasoning, through karmic fatalism, that one is trapped in the cycle until one escapes, without the need to invoke God. But in the final analysis, it is without answers when one needs to talk about the deepest struggles of the soul. Hindu scholars even admit this in their creation of a path of bhakti (love, devotion) to satisfy the inescapable human hunger for worship.

It is here that a keen understanding is needed. Krishna’s coming to earth as an avatar—that is, one of the incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu—in a way brings “God to man.” But a huge chasm still remains. How does one bring man to God? For this, there is only one way—the way of the cross. A profound and studied presentation of the cross, and what it means, is still the most distinctive aspect of the Christian faith. Even Gandhi said it was the most unexplainable thing to him and was unparalleled. For the Christian, the cross of Jesus Christ is the message “first to the Jew, and also to the Greek” (Rm 2:9)—to the moralist and the pantheist, to the religious and the irreligious. We can communicate this message with a Hindu acquaintance or friend only through a loving relationship. The love of Christ, a patient listening and friendship, and the message of forgiveness provide the path to evangelism.

Let’s talk more about the cross. Let me tell you my theme and the key application:

Great Idea, theme:

Jesus Paid it all, so He is Lifted up. Jesus is exalted.

 

I hope we are all convicted by this passage. I recently heard that if I am reading the Bible and I do not find something I do not agree with, then I am reading it wrong, then I am lacking understanding. In other words, if when I am reading the Bible I do not come upon a passage where I stop and think: “hmmm, I don’t like that.” Then I am not really understanding what I am reading. The person who shared this was not meaning that I notice errors in the Bible, there are none. What he was talking about is that as I read God’s Word I must be convicted. This was a heavy convicting truth to me. As I read the Bible I must look for God to speak words of conviction into my life.[1]

So, application in this passage:

We all must bow our knee to King Jesus. (Eph. 3:14; Phil. 2:6-11)

Let me now put the Theme and application together:

Theme:

Jesus Paid it all, so He is Lifted up. Jesus is exalted.

Application:

We all must bow our knee to King Jesus. (Eph. 3:14; Phil. 2:6-11)

Read with me Isaiah 53:11-12:

After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

  1. Jesus paid it all.
    1. How did Jesus pay it all?
    2. Jesus took my place and your place on the cross.
    3. If you look in your Bibles you will notice that verse ten is in the past tense. But then verse eleven is in the future tense. In fact, from chapter fifty-two verse fourteen through fifty-three verse ten the passage is in the past tense. In that section God is looking down on our salvation as done. But now it changes. Now, all the verbs are in the perfect tense and the pronouns are plural. The verbs are the imperfect tense.
    4. Why is that significant? This is showing that Jesus is continuously making intercession for us.
    5. Verse 12 at the very end of the verse says that He bore the sin of many and made intercession for us. “Intercession” is an imperfect verb. Jesus is continually interceding for us. 1 Timothy 2:5 says that Jesus is our one Mediator.
    6. Hebrews 7:25 and Romans 8:34 are important:
    7. Hebrews 7:25:Therefore he is able to savecompletely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 
    8. Romans 8:34: Who then is the one who condemns?No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
    9. Jesus paid our sin debt. Jesus intercedes for us. Amen!
    10. In death we have hope.

Death: Our Enemy and Teacher

In Christ and the Meaning of Life, German theologian Helmut Thielicke tells the story of a young [soldier] who reached out to pick a bouquet of lilacs and uncovered the half-decayed body of [another] soldier beneath the bush: “He drew back in horror, not because he had never seen a dead man before—he drew back because of the screaming contradiction between the dead man and the flowering bush.”

Thielicke notes that the soldier’s reaction would have been different if the man had come upon a dead and faded lilac bush instead: “A blooming lilac bush will one day become a withered lilac bush—this is really nothing more than the operation of the rhythm of life—but that a man should be lying there in a decayed condition, this was something that simply did not fit, and that’s why he winced at the sight of it.”

We can only understand the mystery of death if we see it through the lens of Adam’s rebellion against God. We are pilgrims who traverse an “empire of ruins” with death as our fellow traveler. Unable to rid ourselves of this cheerless companion, we attempt to rehabilitate it instead, treating death as if it were a neighbor and not a trespasser.

We clothe it in our best dress and apply make-up to its waxen features. Laid out before us in stiff repose, death looks as if it were merely asleep and if we do not look too carefully, we can almost convince ourselves that it has a beating heart within its breast and warm blood pulsing through its veins. We whisper to ourselves that it is not as alien as it first appeared. But this fool’s dream vanishes the minute we attempt to embrace death, finding that it repays our kiss with only sorrow and loss.

Death is not a natural stage in the cycle of human development. Death is a curse. The presence of death is an intrusion. It is “natural” only to the extent that nature itself suffers from the stroke that fell upon Adam as a consequence for his sin. Nature endures death but not willingly. It groans in protest, loathing the bondage to decay which death has brought upon it and yearning for “the glorious freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). Death is “the last enemy,” a tyrant who acts on sin’s behalf and whose sway over us was finally broken at the cross but will only be fully realized at the resurrection (Romans 5:211 Corinthians 15:26).

Death is our enemy but, like the law, it is also a schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. Death’s hard lesson exposes the true nature of sin. Indeed, the law and death are strange allies in this mysterious work. In the hands of God both act as a goad, puncturing our denial and prodding us to turn to Christ for relief from death’s sting.[2]

  1. This brings me to the next point. In death Jesus is exalted.
  1. Jesus is lifted up.
    1. Verse 12 in the Isaiah passage begins with “Therefore.” This means that because of Jesus’ sacrifice Jesus is given a portion with the great. This is meaning a few things but I only want to focus on one and that is Jesus’ exaltation.
    2. The whole focus of the passage we have been studying is in Phil 2:6-11. This is called “the Christ Hymn.”
    3. 2:6-11:

Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father. [3]

  1. Every knee should bow, now let’s apply this.
  • Bow our knees, both of them. (Eph. 3:14)
    1. When I was a child I would go to my brother’s baseball games and I loved the concession stand. I still do. There was a candy called “now or laters.” They were sweat and took forever to chew up. Question: Are you going to “bow now or later”? Am I going to bow, “Now or later”? I prefer to bow now. I must bow both knees now.
    2. Sometimes we only bow one knee. My pun is intended. I must surrender my life to Jesus as Lord. I must live Luke 9:23. I must deny myself and take up my cross and follow Jesus.
    3. This means that Jesus is not in my passenger seat, He is driving my life. Then I cannot be in the passenger seat because I may try to give Him directions or steer my life. I also cannot be in the back seat because I will end up as a back seat driver. No, I must be in the trunk or maybe a trailer behind the car of my life. I must let Jesus run my life. I must surrender to Him.
    4. I surrender to Him in worship and I surrender to Him in my daily living.
    5. I must bow my knees, both of them. Jesus is exalted, He is Lord.
    6. He must be Lord of my finances.
    7. He must be Lord of my eating.
    8. He must be Lord of my pride, transforming that to humility.
    9. He must be Lord of my church involvement.
    10. He must be Lord of my thought life.
    11. He must be Lord of my television viewing.
    12. He must be Lord of my reading.
    13. He must be Lord of my listening habits.
    14. He must be Lord of my relationships.
    15. He must be Lord of my occupation.
    16. He must be Lord of my hobbies.
    17. He must be Lord of my rest.
    18. He must be Lord of my driving.
    19. He must be Lord of my learning.
    20. He must be Lord of my talking.
    21. He must be Lord of my, you finish it.

Close:

What More Can God Do to Show He Loves Us?

Author and speaker Brennan Manning has an amazing story about how he got the name “Brennan.” While growing up, his best friend was Ray. The two of them did everything together: bought a car together as teenagers, double-dated together, went to school together and so forth. They even enlisted in the Army together, went to boot camp together and fought on the frontlines together. One night while sitting in a foxhole, Brennan was reminiscing about the old days in Brooklyn while Ray listened and ate a chocolate bar. Suddenly a live grenade came into the foxhole. Ray looked at Brennan, smiled, dropped his chocolate bar and threw himself on the live grenade. It exploded, killing Ray, but Brennan’s life was spared.

When Brennan became a priest he was instructed to take on the name of a saint. He thought of his friend, Ray Brennan. So he took on the name “Brennan.” Years later he went to visit Ray’s mother in Brooklyn. They sat up late one night having tea when Brennan asked her, “Do you think Ray loved me?” Mrs. Brennan got up off the couch, shook her finger in front of Brennan’s face and shouted, “What more could he have done for you?” Brennan said that at that moment he experienced an epiphany. He imagined himself standing before the cross of Jesus wondering, Does God really love me? And Jesus’ mother Mary pointing to her son, saying, “What more could he have done for you?”

The cross of Jesus is God’s way of doing all he could do for us. And yet we often wonder, Does God really love me? Am I important to God? Does God care about me?[4]

Jesus loves us. Jesus died for us, Jesus rose again, Jesus is exalted. Be encouraged by those Truths. Accept those Truths. Let’s bow our knees to Him.

Do you know Jesus?

 

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] Rev. Dr. Russell Moore shared this at Cedarville University’s Chapel on February 26, 2015

[2] John Koessler, “Death: Our Enemy and Teacher,” on his blogA Stranger in the House of God (6-30-10)

[3] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Php 2:6–11.

[4] Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; source: adapted from James Bryan Smith, The Good and Beautiful God (IVP, 2009), p. 142

sermon from today

Peace Child

In 1962, missionaries named Don and Carol Richardson went to New Guinea to bring the Good News of Christ to a group of people known as the Sawi. The Sawi was a headhunting, cannibalistic tribe who used the skulls of their victims as pillows. He wrote a book about his experience called Peace Child. He began his work among the Sawi by reading through the Gospel of Matthew. But to his consternation when he got to the part of Judas betraying Christ, everyone cheered. He did not realize that their culture was one built around treachery.

The one who was the most devious was the one who had the most respect in their tribe. The missionary searched for every possible means to explain the greatness of God’s gift of truth and pure love to a people whose values were based on deceit. Then one day, he witnessed a solemn ceremony between two warring tribes. One of the chiefs walked over to the other and handed him a child. In fact, it was the chief’s own son. Their custom had been that peace could come between two tribes only if the chief of one of the tribes would give his son over to the people of the other tribe. He was called the “peace child.” The chief would place his own son in the hands of a people who hated him and had been his enemies. It was the only way to bring peace between them. Richardson saw in this act the perfect bridge to help these people understand what God had done.

God had given his “peace child” into the hands of a hostile world in order to bring the hostility between us to an end. The angels said at his birth: “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”
(From a sermon by William D. Brown, “CHRISTMAS” 7/31/2008)

That is humble, isn’t it? But that is the Gospel.

As we continue in Isaiah 53 we come to verse 9. We see a passage where our Savior was willing to be identified with criminals. More than that, our Savior was not a criminal. Our Savior was and is pure and spotless. He was and is sinless. In the story I just read, it is one thing to hand your child over to the enemy. It is another thing to do so when your child is sinless. Your child is perfect. Your child has done no wrong at all.

 

Turn with me to three passages, the first is a prophesy fulfilled in Jesus:

Isaiah 53:9:

He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 

Mark 15:27:

They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. 

 

John 19:38:

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away.

 

Let’s talk about these.

My Theme:

Jesus was humiliated in death by being crucified as a common criminal. This was in the crucifixion and in the expected normal burial of someone crucified.

 

Applications:

Ask yourself, how far will you go in humility for Jesus? (Phil. 2:3-4 and Jesus’ example in verses 6-11)

We’ll unpack that.

 

  1. Jesus was crucified with criminals and assigned a grave with the wicked.
    1. This is because as crucified He would not be entitled to a grave. He would be left on the cross to rot and then thrown in the valley of Hinnom. Listen to what MacArthur says[1]:

 

Jesus was crucified between two criminals, Luke 23:33Matthew 27:38.  And here would be the normal disposition.  They would die on the cross of asphyxiation, and they would leave Him there.  Leave Him there dead and rotting, leave Him there for the birds to pluck out their faces.  And they would leave them there like road kill for animals that could climb up the cross to chew their flesh.  They would leave them there for the purpose of warning everybody who was watching of what happens to people who violate the Roman power and the Roman law.  That’s what was planned for Him.  Eventually they would have taken the rotted corpses down and thrown them in a dump. 

The Jerusalem city dump was in the Valley of Hinnom; you can go there today.  It’s not the dump anymore but the Valley of Hinnom on the southeast side of Jerusalem was the city dump, and it was a fire that never went out, a constant fire there.  It is a very interesting place, historically.  It was the place where apostate Jews and followers of Baal and other Canaanite gods burned their children to the god Molech.  You find that back in 2 Chronicles 28:33.  Jeremiah talks about it, Jeremiah 7.  But this was the place where they offered babies to Molech. 

It was there that King Ahaz sacrificed his sons, 2 Chronicles 28.  It is the place that Isaiah identifies at the end of his prophecy as the place where the worm never dies.  And Jesus said it’s a depiction of hell, in Mark, where the worm never dies…Mark 9.  And he says that three times.  Horrible place where they threw what was left of the corpses.  The rabbis describe it as a perpetual fire to consume the filth and the cadavers that are thrown there.  So He was executed with criminals.  He would end up like criminals.

But God wasn’t going to let that happen.  Psalm 16 says that He would not allow His Holy One to see corruption.  God would never let that happen.  So verse 9 says there’s an amazing turn.  “His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a rich man in His death.”  How did that happen?  He was with a rich man in His death because all along there was a man by the name of Joseph from a place called Arimathea. 

This man Joseph had become a disciple of Jesus Christ quietly, and he was very rich.  Matthew 27:57, “In the evening there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.  This man went to Pilate, asked for the body of Jesus.  Pilate ordered it to be given to him.  Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out in the rock and he rolled a large stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away.”  He should have been road kill; He should have been in the dump and He ends up in a brand new tomb owned by a rich man.  Just exactly what the Holy Spirit reveals to Isaiah was going to happen.

Why?  Why?  Why was that important?  It tells us at the end of verse 9; this is most interesting.  “Because He had done no violence, nor was there any deceit in His mouth.”  That’s just a way of saying He was holy on the inside and the outside.  Because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.  There was nothing in His mouth of a sinful thing, sinful nature.  There was no behavior of a sinful nature.  And because of His holiness, because as Hebrews says He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, because He was the sinless, spotless Lamb without blemish, the Father never allowed Him to end up in the dump.

 

So why that?  It is a small testimony to His…listen…sinless perfection by His Father and the first small step of His exaltation, the first small step.  Even before His resurrection the Father is saying, “I will not allow any further humiliation.”  There can be no more humiliation.  It’s as low as He can go, to give Himself to death, even the death of the cross, and that’s where the humiliation ends.  And this is the first small step up.  God honors Jesus in His burial because there was no sin inside, no sin outside.  And in a few hours on the third day, He comes out of the grave, and, eventually, in His ascension all the way up.  A sweet testimony of the fact that the humiliation was over.

  1. So, we can see what was normal about crucifixion and burial. That was what would have been expected of Jesus’ death.
  2. Imagine being a disciple and expecting that of Jesus, your discipler’s burial.
  3. But let’s go to the next part of the passage.
  1. But, Jesus did no wrong so He was given a rich man’s grave.
    1. Just know, we already talked about the grave, so I do not want to park there. I want to say that that is the providence of God.
    2. God knew what His Son would go through and He knew that His Son, Jesus our Lord was innocent. That is my next focus.
    3. Could Jesus have been our sacrifice if He was not innocent? No, He could not. Turn to Exodus 12:5 and see what was expected of the Passover Lamb. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect,and you may take them from the sheep or the goats.
    4. Two things which I did not write:
    5. The worth of salvation depends on the worth of the Saviour. If He were sinful like every other man, then His death could pay for no more than His own sins. Just as the Passover lamb had to be proved to be without blemish before it was slain (Ex 12:5–6), so the life of our Lord proved Him to be the perfect and sinless sacrifice for our sins.[2]
    6. In the Old Testament they always had these bulls and goats as sacrifices. They had to be pure without default but they were not good enough. So, God sent His Son.
    7. One writes: “it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins” (Heb. 10:4), a better sacrifice is required (Heb. 9:23). Only the blood of Christ, that is, his death, would be able really to take away sins (Heb. 9:25–26). There was no other way for God to save us than for Christ to die in our place.[3]
  • How far will you go in humility for Jesus? (Phil. 2:3-4 and Jesus’ example in 6-11) Let’s unpack this, but first let’s read the text.

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

in your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:   Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

  1. Am I willing to serve in lower class areas?
  2. Think of all those Saints who have been humbled for Christ. Think of all those Saints who worked in the lowest of the areas, even though they are capable to be in mansions. I must be willing to live that Phil. 2:3-4 attitude.
  3. I must be willing to look out for other’s needs beyond my own even if that means humility on my part.
  4. I must be willing to serve in jails.
  5. I must be willing to serve in food pantries and homeless shelters even if that means dropping my social status and being identified with those I serve.
  6. I must be willing to get dirty for Jesus.
  7. William Borden: “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets.”

His body is no longer buried. Let’s remember as we focus on the cross, Jesus is Risen!

Close:

 

Video:

I think this video applies:

William Borden: “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets.”

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

Pray

[1] MacArthur: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-442/the-silent-servant-part-2

[2] Charles Caldwell Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine (Chicago: Moody Press, 1972).

[3] Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; Zondervan Pub. House, 2004), 569–570.

sermon today: “Let it Go”

Opening:
When Silence Speaks
Being challenged by his articulate priest, a bright, sensitive young man decided he wanted to become a monk. He discussed it many times during high school days with the pastor of his parish. Seeing he could not discourage the aspirant but warning him of the rugged discipline required, the pastor finally recommended the lad to the proper authorities.
The superior in charge of the desired order told the candidate he would be allowed to speak but two words for the first ten years. At the end of that exhausting period, he was asked, “Do you have any comment?”
“Food cold.”
Another decade of dedication was endured. The monk’s confessor asked, “Do you have anything to say?”
“Bed hard.”
At last the third decade of silence passed. Again the candidate for the chosen order was asked to comment.
“I quit.”
“Good,” replied the superior, “you’ve done nothing but complain for the last thirty years.”
I was on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic in 2007. In the Dominican Republic people travel on mopeds quite frequently. So, it is easy to be annoyed by the noise of the street. I remember laying on my bed in my hotel room thinking how nice it will be to leave that country, no longer hearing the constant horns. But it is not just the horns. I do not know any Spanish. We landed in Santa Domingo and entered the air port and everyone was talking. I heard lots of noise and saw a big crowd, but I did not know what they were saying.
So, let’s talk about words for a minute.
One does not have to watch the news long to hear about Cyber bullying. This happens on the internet. This can happen over text messaging, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat. So, in Jesus’ day if one were to harm people with their words it might be in a letter, rarely, more often than not the words pierced in a one-on-one conversation. Today, we find new ways to hurt people.
With respect to the cyber world it is not just teens that are arguing. I have seen people arguing about supposed Christian issues. I have seen people tearing each other apart. I have had close friends or families ask me my thoughts on those arguments and I will tell them to call the person up or “let it go.” I read articles from Churchleaders.com most every day and the articles give an opportunity for a response. People will comment and add to the subject by discussing the article. However, you would not believe the responses which become attacks and arguments.
I wonder: Why cannot we, or rather, why cannot I let God have the last word? Or, why cannot we, or rather, why cannot I give it a break. I have had things bother me until I respond in a meeting or email. But, many times, after a day I realize it was not a big deal. It can wait. I can “Back off.”
Let’s read two passages: Isaiah 53:7 and Mark 15:4-5:
Isaiah 53:7:
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
Mark 15:4-5:
So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”
5 But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.
Jesus’ silence is also referenced in: Matthew 27:12-14; Mark 14:61; Luke 23:9 and John 19:9.
So, right now I am going to focus on our silence or lack thereof in accusations, trials or witnessing. It would be easy to focus on silence in general, but Jesus was accused and persecuted and He did not open His mouth. So, this sermon is not about meditation, though that is important. This sermon is about communicating a grievance or responding under attack.
I have three application:
1. Let it go for a day.
2. After a day if we cannot let it go write out notes and wait a day.
3. Pray and talk to a Christian brother or sister before responding.
So, let’s look at these.
I. Let it go for a day.
a. Or, let it go for good. Maybe after a day we will realize that we don’t need to respond to the attack or accusation at all.
b. Play song/video
c. Just think of the movie “Frozen” with the song: “Let it Go.” Actually, we are going to play the song. For some of you this will be the first time you have heard this song or seen the video. Congratulations! I hear it every day in the Childcare Center AND AT HOME.
d. By playing the song I hope to etch this point in memory for all of us.
e. As I looked at this passage I thought about myself. I thought about how we all either fight or flight. This means in an argument we will all either respond and fight or respond and flight. The fighters respond and argue. The flighters shut down or run away. The D.i.S.C. Personality profile will tell us what our natural tendency is. In fact, there is a couple’s D.i.S.C. that will tell how couples will naturally fight. What happens is the fighters want to fight (not literally, but they want to argue). At the same time their spouse is flighting or shutting down and that makes the fight worse. So, I thought about myself and my tendency is to fight. I do not want to wait. I want to argue right now. Let’s settle this.
f. But as I thought about this passage I remember the troubles that I have had because of this. Now, my troubles have not been on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snap Chat or texting. I will get an email and respond too quickly. Or, it may simply be stress. I will be stressed out all night replaying a conversation in my head.
g. Jesus’ example was silence. Jesus was beaten, yet silent. Jesus could have responded. But in this case He did not.
h. It would be wrong to make a whole sermon on why we need to be silent to accusations based on how Jesus responded in the trial. Jesus was not always silent. Check out Matthew 23. So what about when we need to respond.
i. Jesus was not always silent. Matthew 23. Jesus did not always remain silent before His accusers, for He did answer Pilate’s questions (Mk 14:62; Lk 23:2; Jn 18:33–37). But Jesus was silent when the chief priest made accusations against Him (Mt 27:12–14; Mk 15:1–4) and His few words to Pilate did not refute His accusers. The silence was concerning those who would accuse Him (see 1 Pt 2:23).
ii. Proverbs 15:1: “A Gentle answer turns away wrath.”
II. After a day, if we cannot let it go write out notes and wait a day.
a. I once heard about Rev. Dr. Charles Swindoll walking through a tour of a cult center and he was with one of his professors. Many times the tour guide would say something and Swindoll would say to his professor something like: “Now is the time let’s nail them with the truth.” The professor would comment, “Not yet.” They went back and forth several times until at the end of the tour, the professor, Swindoll and the guide had a fruitful Gospel conversation. Swindoll was ready to fight, to have an argument. The professor waited patiently for the right time and right attitude.
b. Remember Philippians 2:3-4:
i. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.
c. Remember 1 Cor. 13:4-7:
i. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
d. When we write out notes we can process what was said and what bothered us. We can pray about that and think about it. Writing out is processing.
III. Pray and talk with a Christian friend in confidence.
a. We need sounding boards for God to speak through. These are our Christian brothers and sisters.
b. Meet with someone, pray about it, share your notes, talk about it.
c. Then, if you need to, deal with the accusation using the Biblical model of approach.
d. Or, let it go.
Close:
Rev. Dr. Swindoll writes:
Kids are nutty.
Some friends of ours in Texas have two little girls. The younger child is constantly on the move, rarely winding down by bedtime. So the nightly affair has become something of a familiar routine. A story from her favorite book. A drink of water. A prayer. A song. Her doll. Another drink of water. A kiss. A hug. A third sip of water. A trip to the bathroom. A warning. Another kiss. You know, the whole bit.
One night her dad decided he’d be Mr. Nice Guy, the epitome of patience and tolerance. He did it all. Not once did he lose his cool. When Miss Busybody finally ran out of requests, her daddy slipped out of the room, heaved a sigh of relief, and slumped into his favorite chair by the fireplace. Before he could stretch out and relax, however, there was a piercing scream from the jitterbug’s room. Startled, he dashed down the hall and rushed to her bedside. Great tears were rolling down the little girl’s face. “What’s wrong? What happened?” “I burnt my tongue.” Baffled, he tried again, “You what?” “I burnt my tongue!” she yelled. “How in the world did you do that?” he asked. “I licked my night-light.”
That really happened. She couldn’t control her curiosity. She simply had to discover how it would feel to lick that little thing that glowed so warmly and serenely by her bed. Rude was her awakening to the fact that lights are strictly for lighting . . . not licking. And tongues are made for tasting . . . not testing. You and I realize that the best thing our little friend could have done was to stay in bed, keep her tongue to herself, and allow the light to fulfill its appointed function. But she didn’t—and she got burned.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Solomon, the wise, passes along to us a list of various types of “appointed times” on earth. Among them he mentions a time to heal . . . a time to shun embracing . . . a time to give up as lost . . .a time to be silent
I see in these words of counsel one strong undercurrent of advice: BACKOFF! It is often wise to relax our intensity, refuse to force an issue, allow nature to take its course, “let sleeping dogs lie.” Backing off, says Solomon, provides opportunity for healing to occur, opportunity for perspective to break through the storm clouds of emotion and illuminate a difficult situation with a fresh understanding. When the time is right, things flow very naturally, very freely. To rush or force creates friction-scars that take years to erase. Take it from one who has learned this difficult lesson the hard way—keep a tight bridle on your tongue, relax, and settle for a good night’s sleep. Otherwise, you’re going to get pushy, you’re going to get caught with your tongue in the wrong place . and you’re going to get burned.
Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope, Copyright © 1985, 1988,
1994 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
I think that wraps it up. Let it go.
Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)
Pray

Jesus was rejected for us

Intro:
There is a scientific study that shows rejection hurts like physical pain. Scientists have examined the brains through MRI scans when someone is rejected and they can see that the brain reacts to the rejection like it would a physical assault.
I wonder if the NBA star Shaq felt that way:
Some doors, like the front gate of the White House, are tough to walk through. The White House has one phalanx of security after another, and you simply don’t get in unless you are wanted, unless you have clearance, unless you have an appointment.
Some people do get into the White House based on who they are. Some get in based on who they know.
On Sunday July 26, 2009, one of the biggest and most famous men in the world—NBA star Shaquille O’Neil—tried to get into the White House without an appointment. At 7-1 and 325 pounds, with a winning smile, and NBA championship rings on his fingers from years of playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaq has what it takes to walk into most places he wants to go. Doors open for Shaq.
And so, Shaq decided to put his celebrity, and President Obama’s love of basketball, to the test. He was on a D.C. sports radio show on Friday July 24th, and he put this question to the listeners: “Check this out, I got on a nice suit, I’m in D.C. paying a visit, I jump out of a cab in front of the White House, I don’t use none of my political or law enforcement connections. If I go to the gate and say, ‘Hey, I’m in town, I would like to see the President,’ do I get in, or do I not get in?”
Two days later, Shaq gave it a try, and just as Shaq has rejected those who would drive past him to the hoop, so the security guards at the White House gate rejected him.
Later that day, Shaq tweeted, “The White House wouldn’t let me in, whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.”
The funny thing about that is that in the last year there have been multiple occurrences of people getting into the White House uninvited and without clearance. But clearly, some places we will be rejected.
Think about a time you faced rejection, how did it feel?
Watch this video clip from the movie, The Village
This woman was in love and she was rejected and it hurt.
Did you hear the choir anthem? The anthem was about the blood of Jesus for our forgiveness, but you know what else? Jesus suffered physical pain, but also emotional and spiritual pain.
Listen to the anthem:
Mar. 1 Anthem: O The Blood
O the blood, crimson love, price of life’s demand.
Shameful sin placed on Him, the hope of every man.
O the blood of Jesus washes me.
O the blood of Jesus shed for me.
What a sacrifice that saved my life.
Yes, the blood, it is my victory.
Savior, Son, Holy One slain so I can live.
See the Lamb, the great I AM, who takes away my sin.
O the blood of the Lamb, the precious blood of the Lamb.
What a sacrifice that saved my life.
O what love, no greater love. Grace how can it be?
That in my sin, yes, even then, He shed His blood for me.
Yes, the blood, it is my victory.
Let’s look at what Jesus went through in His rejection and notice:
Jesus was rejected for our salvation.
The application: Be willing to be rejected for Him and for others.
Let’s read:
Isaiah 53:3:
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Now: John 1:11:
He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Luke 23:18:
But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!”
I. As I look at this I notice Jesus was rejected for us.
a. The passage says that He was despised and rejected. We can look at this to mean that it was as if He was no longer a man.
b. He was rejected. Think about rejection. Think once again about being rejected. Jesus was rejected by the people He created.
c. Jesus created us. Jesus created the nails that pierced His hands. Jesus created the wood for the cross He was crucified on. Jesus created all people and all things, yet His creation rejected Him. Furthermore, He came to save us, yet we rejected Him. He was on the cross alone, rejected by the people He came to save.
d. I have thought about this a lot lately. Throughout the Old Testament we have examples of the holiness of God and the holiness of God is not to be trifled with. People who messed with the holiness of God were killed. (The people offering strange fire before the Lord, Lev. 10:1-2; the people made a Golden Calf, Exodus 32) In the Old Testament accounts the people trifled with the Holiness of God and they died. There was intense punishment. Here is the application: We have all messed with the holiness of God. We have all missed God’s standard and so Jesus on the cross took the punishment for our idols and every other way we miss God’s standards. Jesus was rejected in our place. Jesus was despised in my place.
e. Then the passage gives a metaphor. He was like one from whom people would hide their faces.
f. There are quotes of people covering up their children’s faces when people were being crucified. Rome rarely crucified women but when they did they would crucify them backwards so that the executioners did not have to look at them that way.
g. It must be very lonely when people hide their faces from you.
h. Even God the Father turned His back on the Son as Jesus said, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34)
Author Henri Nouwen tells the story of a family he knew in Paraguay. The father, a doctor, spoke out against the military regime there and its human rights abuses. Local police took their revenge on him by arresting his teenage son and torturing him to death. Enraged townsfolk wanted to turn the boy’s funeral into a huge protest march, but the doctor chose another means of protest. At the funeral, the father displayed his son’s body as he had found it in the jail—naked, scarred from electric shocks and cigarette burns, and beatings. All the villagers filed past the corpse, which lay not in a coffin but on the blood-soaked mattress from the prison. It was the strongest protest imaginable, for it put injustice on grotesque display.
Isn’t that what God did at Calvary? … The cross that held Jesus’ body, naked and marked with scars, exposed all the violence and injustice of this world. At once, the cross revealed what kind of world we have and what kind of God we have: a world of gross unfairness, a God of sacrificial love.
i. An application right now is that I will understand that rejection hurts and so I must worship Jesus all the more knowing what He went through.
II. Since Jesus went through rejection for me, I must be willing to go through rejection for Him.
a. I think about this and think even Jesus was rejected. So, when I am rejected for doing something good or innocent, big deal. Even the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was rejected and is still rejected.
b. Jesus said:
John 15:20-21
Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
(from New International Version)
c. Jesus was rejected so that Barabbas could live, Jesus was rejected so that we all can live. Let’s break this down with some more applications: (I made them personal to me)
i. Since Jesus went through rejection for me, I must be willing to go through rejection for Him.
ii. I must be willing to strive for a pure life for Him, even if that means rejection.
iii. I must be willing to accept and love those who are not accepted even if that means that I will face rejection.
iv. I must be willing to step out of my comfort zone, facing social rejection for Jesus.
v. I must be willing to serve in low places, knowing that may mean rejection for Jesus.
vi. I must be willing to live with a Philippians 2:3-4 attitude for Jesus. This is to love others.
d. Jesus was not esteemed, He was not accepted. I will love knowing that I will lose respect because of Jesus.
e. People hid their faces from Jesus, I must be willing to go through that much rejection.

Close:
One fine day in 1941, Violet Bailey and her fiancé Samuel Booth were strolling through the English countryside, deeply in love and engaged to be married. A diamond engagement ring sparkled on Violet’s finger—her most treasured possession.
Their romantic bliss suddenly ended. One of them said something that hurt the other. An argument ensued, then escalated. At its worst point, Violet became so angry she pulled the diamond engagement ring from her finger, drew back her arm, and hurled the treasured possession with all her might into the field.
The ring sailed through the air, fell to the ground, and nestled under the grass in such a way that it was impossible to see. Violet and Samuel kissed and made up. Then they walked and walked through that field hunting for the lost ring. They never found it.
They were married two months later. They had a child and eventually a grandson. Part of their family lore was the story of the lost engagement ring.
Violet and Samuel grew old together, and in 1993 Samuel died. Fifteen years passed, but the ring was not forgotten. One day Violet’s grandson got an idea. Perhaps he could find his grandmother’s ring with a metal detector. He bought one and went to the field where Violet had hurled her treasured possession 67 years earlier. He turned on his metal detector and began to crisscross the field, waving the detector over the grass. After two hours of searching, he found what he was looking for. Later, filled with joy and pride, he placed the diamond ring into the hand of his astonished grandmother Violet. The treasured possession had come home.
There was a rejection in that account, yet things worked out. You know what? There was a rejection with Jesus, yet there was also, and is also, acceptance. There is a free gift today. There is a free prize today. Jesus’ gift is still there. We can still be united with Jesus.
Jesus was rejected for our salvation, Amazing Grace.
Are we willing to face rejection for Him and for others?

Do you know Jesus?

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)
Pray