Palm Sunday 2020
A few quick announcements before we get to the good stuff - were also going to be taking Communion, so if you dont want to listen to these quick announcements, go grab a cracker or a piece of bread, and a drink then hop back over.
Livestream as a way:
to stay connected and to be spiritually fed during a time of uncertainty
Other things that Christ Community is doing to help people recharge their batteries and hear from God while the world is unraveling:
Tuesday “Bible Study Worksheet”
Thursday “Digital Devotions”
Both of which can be found right here on our Facebook page
If you feel the need to tithe, if you have a smartphone you can download Venmo and search for “christcommunitychurch27”
Or send a check to 27 W. Genesee st
Alright- so those are the announcements, now…. on to Communion
Today is the first Sunday of the month, which means that it is Communion Sunday. Now it's going to be tricky to have digital Communion, but if you have a piece of bread and some juice, you can follow along at home and take Communion with your family.
In fact, I would encourage you to do so.
Its important for us to remember the reason why Jesus came to Earth, especially when our world is in a state of such disarray.
We take this Communion to remind ourselves of His promise.
To remind ourselves that He is in control
God doesn’t turn around and then get surprised when a virus shuts down the planet….He is still in control
That He is good
That there is safety and peace with Him
So if you have your Communion ready, I’d like to read real quick from 1 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 23-26
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
If you are a believer hearing my words this morning, if you have repented of your sins and believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then when you partake of the bread and the juice, you are reminding yourself and everyone in your life, that you have turned from your sin and that it no longer has control over you because of the blood and the body of Jesus Christ.
As far apart as we all are right now, across different counties and towns, or even states and countries, if you are watching this right now….let’s eat our bread, and drink our juice…. together. Let us take Communion….. together. Because nothing can keep the Church of God apart.
Ok, so on to our Sermon.
If you didnt know, today is Palm Sunday
Traditionally it is the Sunday before Easter, and its the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week.
It starts with Today, Palm Sunday----- and it ends with Resurrection Day, Easter.
Our main passage this morning is going to be:
Matthew 21:1-11 - “ Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,  saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”  This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,  “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.  Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”  And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?”  And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” (ESV)
( → → Open in prayer ← ← )
This is a well known section of Scripture, that people have been reading on Palm Sunday for the past 2000yrs.
Jesus knows whats waiting for Him in Jerusalem.
He been talking about the event of the cross for a while, and now He is on His way there.
He is on His way to His death, and to His inauguration as the King of the Universe.
Now yes...He as God, has always been the King of the universe, but it is His crucifixion and resurrection that make it possible for us to realize it.
Jesus on the Cross, dying for the sins of all who believe, and then defeating death and rising back to life, is the proof that we as humans look to, to recognize His kingship.
You see, He’s been saying things, subtly.
He’s been performing miracles, then slipping out the side door.
In fact, in John 6, after he fed the 5000, the people wanted to make Him King by force, they wanted to revolt, overthrow the government, and put Him up as their leader. So…...He ducked out and went up into the mountains.
But now…..is different.
Now….His time had come.
A few weeks ago we mentioned how Jesus was always saying “it is not my time” or “my time has not come yet”
…...that’s not the case anymore.
He is the King of all the Universe, going into a city, where His enemies are going to give Him a crown.
He is a King, going into a city….controlled by His enemies.
The leaders wanted Him dead, and have been plotting His demise….so what does He do?
Does He rally together His followers and form an army?
Does He tell them to take up arms against their oppressive rulers?
Does He raise up men for war, training them in secret, so He can invade, overthrow, and kill the wrongful rulers?
Does He sneak around to the back door and undermine the authorities?
Does he plant spies and sow doubt?
Does he quietly move behind their backs and manipulate the population to grow suspicious of their leaders?
The answer, is “D” none of the above.
He hops on a donkey, and rides into town.
Now this may seem odd, and maybe youve even heard Sermons about how He didnt ride in on a warhorse, but He rode in on a donkey….
Because in the the middle east, during the 1st century, when the king of one country traveled to another country on a donkey...it meant He was coming in peace.
Him riding a donkey was Him saying
“I come in peace”
Im not coming to make war, to ravage your lands, to burn your buildings down, I am coming in peace.
Him riding a donkey into Jerusalem, was proving true the song the angels sang when He was born
Luke 2:13-14 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Peace on Earth, and mercy mild….God and sinners reconciled.
You see when Jesus kick started His kingdom, by dying and coming back…..
He opened the door to a different kingdom
And not only a different Kingdom…...but a different KIND of Kingdom
This is a kingdom of peace
You see the kingdoms of this world….are all the same.
Yes there are slight differences here and there between nations and countries, but they are all of one kingdom.
Some nations function this way or that way...but they all belong to the same kingdom.
Some nations dont give their citizens any rights at all…..and other nations are slaves to the mob rule of their citizens.
But they are all one kingdom.
It is the kingdom of our enemy.
That is why is 2nd Corinthians satan is referred to as the “god of this world”.
Because us as fallen sinners, are the ones who decide to make the rules, based on our fallen sinful nature
And all the nations on our planet, every town, every province, ever city, every country, all belong to the kingdom of this world.
Yes God is still the king, He is still the sovereign ruler of all creation, and nothing can happen without His permission…. But for some reason, He lets us think that we are in charge down here.
He allows us to:
Make rules and Make laws
Punish people who we think did a bad thing
He allows us to form governments
He allows to enact our free will, in whichever way we want to enact it
God allows us to rule our kingdoms, however we see fit, and warns us every step of the way, of the dangers that await.
Like a parent who warns their kid…..dont touch the stove, look both ways when you cross the road….
there are dangers in this kingdom that we have been warned about
And when we ignore those dangers, we suffer
Wars break out between citizens of different nations & Nations invade each other
People murder one another
People are killed by the authority when they didnt break any law
Our citizens kill each other in cold blood
Families are broken
Children are abused, sold and sacrificed
We sell poisonous chemicals to each other and let our lives get controlled by them
Our citizens suffer because we are sinners, and our nations belong to the kingdom of this world.
The kingdom of this world is one filled, with human nature:
It is filled with abusers and victims
It is filled with catastrophe and hurt
It is a kingdom of pain and suffering
Victims are punished with a lifetime of trauma
While the abusers go free to abuse again
This kingdom is one of disease and disaster, where germs bring nations and industries to a screeching halt and their citizens fist fight strangers over toilet paper
This is a kingdom where worry and doubt run free
Where anxiety holds people down for lifetimes at a time
Where pain and stress grab our hearts and warp our emotions
The kingdom of this world, hates you.
Regardless of if you area a christian or not, regardless of your beliefs, political stance, age or gender------the kingdom of this world hates you and wants to see you die.
The kingdom of this world is one where we are betrayed by the people we love
Where parents abuse, hurt, or neglect their children
Where children abuse, hurt, and neglect their parents
Where siblings betray each other
Where husbands and wives act in ways that shouldnt
The kingdom of this world hates your family
The kingdom of this world, is one where sexuality is molded into the shape of whatever desire we see fit
Where we film adultery and sell it to strangers
Where we sell our bodies for profit, punish them and
And create an economic system that drives people to do so
This kingdom is one that was born out of rebellion and bloodshed
Where children are sacrificed on the altar of self worship
And bigoted people warp religion to lift themselves up
The kingdom of this world is one that hates you, and will continually work against you ------leaving you with nothing but the ashes of a thousand dreams.
But what about love?
What about art, and music, and literature
What about humanitarian efforts that raise money for orphans ?
What about health care workers, and EMTs
and firemen and teachers and philanthropists?
What about civil rights leaders and those who stand up for the oppressed?
What about all the good things that humans can, have, and still do?
Listen Mr. Preacher man…. There are good things that humans do, and you focusing only on the bad makes me not trust you!
What about the good things?
Ill answer that question, with another question.
Does someone doing a good thing, negate something bad?
Does feeding a homeless person…..make the evils we as humanity have done…..go away?
They may not seem connected, but think deeper.
Does doing good things, not only make up for----but NEGATE bad things?
Do volunteer hours at a local shelter, rewind the clock and make it so the evils that have happened…...never did?
Humans have been ruling this planet for thousands of years, and we havent yet been able to stop doing evil things.
No matter what system of government was in place, we havent been able to negate the bad we have done.
Does feeding and housing a million orphans, all of a sudden stop the onslaught of bigotry done in the name of God?
Does a thousand Doctors, volunteering a thousand hours of their time, all of sudden negate the violence that makes their jobs necessary?
Does a rapist serving time in jail…..make the lifetime of effects his victim experiences……...less?
This kingdom is one that is immersed in pain and anxiety-----
One that creates problems, and then offers up a temporary solution
The kingdom of this world, is one that will:
Lift you up, and then hurt you
One that will make you feel safe, and then cause you pain
One that will show you a twisted form of love, use you, betray you and leave you
We have all felt this. Every human since Adam has felt hurt
Some of which has been enacted by people claiming the name of God!
All of us have felt lost and betrayed, hurt and scared, because
The kingdom of this world is a temporary, pain filled existence.
And it ends in nothing but eternal suffering and heartache.
Regardless of how joyous our experiences and memories of this world may be-----being a citizen of this kingdom will always result in unending laser focused trauma.
The kingdom of this world hates you
Jeeze!! Thats pretty heavy right?! “What the heck Pastor, im already feeling the weight of this virus closing the walls in around me, and then you hit me with this?”
Yes. But------ there is another kingdom that we can be a part of.
You see those verses I read, referenced a book in the Old Testament. They referenced Zacheriah 9:9-10
Listen as I read it, and you'll be able to hear the words that Matthew was referencing.
“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. 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.”
Did you guys hear that?
This was written hundreds of years before Jesus, talking about the events of Palm Sunday, and it said:
“I will take away the chariots...the warhorses...and the weapons of war.”
Its like that, because the Kingdom of God, is a kingdom of eternal, never-ending peace.
It is a Kingdom of unfailing, perfect love-------
Not based on human behavior
Not rising to euphoric levels when things are good-----and then dropping to suicidal lows when things get bad
It is a kingdom of constant, unending, never waning, perfect eternal love.
Jesus Christ loves you and died to save you.
It is a kingdom of immeasurable patience and understanding-----
Not rushed and filled with time constraints and personality ultimatums
But it is one of divine construction, where our flaws were taken into account when we were made, so that like pieces of a puzzle we would fit and work together.
Jesus Christ loves you, and died to make you new.
It is a Kingdom of IRRESISTIBLE grace-----
Like a child who hasnt seen their parent and runs headlong into their embrace, ignoring everything in their path----the grace of God pull upon us----
Reminding us of the forgiveness for the darkest of evils
No matter what weve done, He will forgive.
No matter how far weve walked away, He will forgive
No matter how we felt about what we were doing while we were doing it //// no matter how strong the desires is to do it again
The kingdom of God offers you forgiveness of it, and the power to fight against it when temptation comes.
It is a kingdom that allows us to grow and build and find purpose-----
Where evil intents are put in check----
Where evil desires are squashed----
Where lives are made new
Where people can find a home
Find a family
Find the love they may never have experienced anywhere else
The kingdom of God is one of perfect peace
Where each member of the kingdom works in perfect unison-----
Where personalities clash, but clash for the good,
making eachother better and stronger and helping one another move forward
It is a kingdom where we are continually shaped and molded into the best we can be---
Where people aren’t thought of as the accidental outcome of a walking fish
Where each and every single life, is as precious as the next
Where love can flourish and bloom like a flower in the eternal light of the Son
It is a kingdom where we can find the very reason why we were created---
We can find the literal meaning of life if we are a citizen of His Kingdom
It is a kingdom of eternal love, peace, forgiveness, and understanding.
How can this kingdom exist, here and now------ when everywhere I turn, I am confronted by evil and pain?
When I see people hoarding out of fear and mistrust of their neighbors
When I see hate, fear, and lust, in action -----
How can this kingdom exist, here and now, and why can’t I see it?
Luke 17:20&21 - “20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.” - it is within you
The kingdom of God is in your heart, and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ made that possible.
Jesus Christ is the God of all creation, and His death and resurrection established a new Kingdom-----and it is within the hearts of those who repent of their sins and believe in Him.
Do you want your life to have meaning that extends beyond this world?
Become a citizen of this Kingdom
Do you want to experience the perfect and eternal grace and love of the God of the universe?
Become a citizen of this Kingdom
Do you want the sorrow and pain that this world will always heap upon you----to work for you and not against you?
Become a citizen of this kingdom
The kingdom of God exists within our souls, intertwined with our very essence, and becomes an inseparable part of who we are.
If you are a christian hearing this this morning, and it seems off to you
If you're thinking to yourself, the same kinds of thoughts all of us have, that sound like:
“Well I am a Christian, and Im not experiencing that level of love and grace”
“Im not feeling that care-free and unburdened by my mistakes”
“Whats wrong with me, that the things the preacher is saying about being a citizen of the Kingdom of God-------aren’t present in my life?”
To answer that--------
I have one tough question for you, and then one word of encouragement.
Are you sure you are a member of His kingdom?
Have you turned away from your sin? Do you hate it? Fight it?
If you have, then the words of encouragement you need, are ones Ive said to you before-----
Read----your----Bible; study it; go through our Tuesday worksheets, dig into Scripture, and He will stoke the coals that He placed within your heart into a raging bon-fire!
Get involved with your Church
Volunteer- Put your beliefs into action when your nation is in crisis mode, because that is when it matters most.
Put others first - even if your scared
Be the hands and feet of God, carrying His light into a hurting world and be
the kind of Christian that the devil hates.
Lastly, if you're hearing my words this morning, and you arent a Christian, and are wondering if these things are true (this is going to sound rude)
But find out for yourself
I can sit here and talk all day long about the goodness and love that comes out of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ-----but if I was you, I wouldnt believe me and would have to find out for myself.
So do it.
Find out for yourself if the Bible is true, read it, ask questions, message us and I personally will answer you and get back to you.
Message us if you have a question about Scripture
If you have a need, we will do what we can to help you
If you need anything, let us know, and we will show you what God is like
Jesus Christ is the God of all reality, and His death and resurrection paved the way for any who believe to become a citizen of His kingdom.
( → → Close in prayer ← ← )