Sermon Notes 04/05/2020

BITTERSWEET SUNDAY
Luke 19:28-48 and Phil. 2:1-11

 

Someone once called life the great leveler, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Many of the experiences of life are bittersweet, a mixture of joy but with at least a hint of sorrow. Weddings, graduation, and the birth of children bring joy but also carry with them a sense of change and uncertainty.

 

The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem was bittersweet in at least three ways. First, Jesus experienced the praise of the crowds and, no doubt, was caught up in the exuberance of the moment. But it is clear from the text that Jesus recognized that they were excited not completely for the right reasons. They were missing much of his reason for being there.

 

But, I can’t help but wonder where this huge crowd of people was when Jesus really needed them. I think this realization in advance was the second element of the bittersweet experience for Jesus. Most of this crowd would abandon him when things didn’t go their way. But, before we get too critical of these fair weather followers, we ought to take a look at our own level of commitment.

 

There is a third reason why this was a Bittersweet Sunday for Jesus. Here He is, the Prince of Peace, riding into Jerusalem, the city whose very name means "peace." Needless to say, the history of the Holy City has been anything but peaceful. And he knew that, because for so many of the people were missing what he was saying, there was going to be a terrible event in the future – The destruction of the whole city by the Romans.

 

He weeps for us today. Like for Jerusalem of old, he continues to weep, to agonize over our continued blindness to the salvation which He offers. Why can't we see? Is it because we are so caught up in our own reality that we aren't open to His reality? But, you see, there is a significant difference between ancient Jerusalem and modern America. Their chance is past, their moment of decision was thousands of years ago and they missed it. But no matter how much we have missed the message or failed him in the past, we have the chance to get it right today. You can hail Christ as King, and let Him ride into your heart and life. Let Him bring that wonderful peace which passes all understanding to you today!

     First Covenant Church of Moline, IL 2018