Palm Sunday Hidden Danger:
Turning Against the Savior
Pastor Eric J. Hanson: March 25, 2018
Read Mark 11: 1-11.
We know the rest of the story of this week, and the weeks following. Here’s what Jesus did.
1. He cleared the Temple.
2. He cursed the barren fig tree.
3. He silenced the Sanhedrin with their trick questions.
4. He taught about the end of the age, both in parables and straight out.
5. He identified himself from Old Testament scripture.
6. The woman at Bethany anointed him for burial. This triggered Judas’ betrayal of him to the Sanhedron.
7. He shared the “Last Supper” with the twelve, reminded them that he was going to die for them and for the world, and He prophesied Peter’s denial of Him.
8. He prayed at the garden of Gethsemane.
9. He was arrested and tried, in a way that broke many important Jewish laws.
10. He was, scourged & crucified He died and was buried.
11. He rose from the dead on the third day and was seen by various people over the next 40 days.
12. He ascended into the air, in full sight of his disciples, and was then swallowed up into the Glory Cloud of God.
We who have checked into it, know that by many infallible proofs, Jesus has shown Himself to be Savior of Lord forever. He is the same Jesus whom the rulers rejected. This same Jesus, fulfilled hundreds of Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah who would be the suffering servant, the Lamb of God, and the sin bearer for us all. He is Lord of all.
Turning Against the Savior Today
Today, our nation is doing a slow-motion version of what the people of Judah did during the week that led up to the crucifixion. George Barna’s research team confirms that during the eleven years from 1990 to 2001, the % of American adults who consider themselves to be atheists rose from 5.9 to 11%. This was a doubling in a mere 11 years, and it is alarming. Now this number stands at 16% professing atheists.
Just as alarming is this: during the same period, the % of those who consider themselves to be “born again”, stayed about the same as before. But among those very people, the % who have a truly Biblical worldview, concerning the important things of life, from how we get into heaven, to what marriage vows mean, has shrunk dramatically. Today, in 2018, it is around 11% of the population in our land. In some ways, like Judas, many who identify with Jesus Christ, are turning against Him in how they think about life and choices.
The average professing believer in Jesus Christ today, watches, more than 20 hours per week of Television, plus another 20 hours of Social Media on computers and hand-held devices. It would be very wise, if each one of us, would divert a good deal of that time, into instead, reading, listening to, and watching excellent godly materials, which build and deepen a strong and complete Christian World View.
The average believer in America today is spiritually lazy and half-asleep. We have better materials to be equipped with, than ever before, but on average, we use them less than those of earlier generations. That is a sad reality. (repeat the assertion.) Let’s break out of that pattern.
Some helpful tools
Let me make a few recommendations of books, audio books, and or video courses to help you with this.
Read I Peter 1:13.
1. Jesus Among Other gods: Ravi Zacharius.
2. How Now Shall We Live: Chuck Colson.
3. The Case for Christ: Lee Strobel (book and movie too)
4. The Case for the Real Jesus: Lee Strobel
5. Why I Believe: Dr D. James Kennedy.
6. The Move of the Holy Spirit in the 10/40 Window. Luis Bush and Beverly Pegues.
7. Know Why You Believe: Dr Paul E. Little
8. Mere Christianity: C.S. Lewis.
9. The Kingdom of the Cults: Dr Walter Martin.
10. More than a Carpenter: Josh McDowell
11. Evidence that Demands a Verdict: Josh McDowell
The use of these materials is to be done, of course, in addition to also spending some time in the Bible itself daily, and getting alone with God, at least for a few minutes of prayer and communing daily. Furthermore, it is very important to be a faithful part of a good small group within the church family, and to be mutually accountable with other believers for how you are living, and how you are doing spiritually. We have both daytime and evening small groups meeting.
Let it never be said that the people of Hosanna Church were part of the problem of the drift away from the Lordship of Jesus Christ among professing believers in our society. Let it never be said that you, personally, through indolence, through going with the flow of popular culture, or because of failing to equip yourself in critical Biblically sound thinking skills, were part of this problem.
Let’s never be like the crowd in Jerusalem, who were hailing Jesus as King on Palm Sunday, and then shouting for him to be crucified, just a few days later. When we stand before the Lord on the day of Judgement, let’s hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!”
Closing scriptures: Mark 14:50, 2 Timothy 2:15.