Sun, Mar 25, 2018

2018 Palm Sunday - "Jesus Wept"

Palm Sunday 2018  “Jesus Wept”  Luke 19:41-44

Who was this Jesus?

  • He began His ministry by being hungry, yet He is the Bread of Life.
  • Jesus ended His earthly ministry by being thirsty, yet He is the Living Water.
  • Jesus was weary, yet He is our rest.
  • Jesus paid tribute, yet He is the King.
  • Jesus was accused of having a demon, yet He cast out demons.
  • Jesus wept, yet He wipes away our tears.
  • Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver, yet He redeemed the world.
  • Jesus was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He is the Good Shepherd.
  • Jesus died, yet by His death He destroyed the power of death.

Gregory of Nazianzus, A.D. 381     [1]

 

We probably all know the Palm Sunday story:

 

 

 

 

  • Jesus descending the Mount of Olives on the Sunday before His miraculous resurrection.
  • People singing the Messianic Psalms
  • Shouting “Hosanna”
  • Laying down palm branches and their clothing under the Lord and His donkey colt.
    • The whole city had heard of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead for four days.
    • Jesus had to be the Messiah – at least for today.
  • Jesus knew His kingdom was not of this world – for now.
  • He would have to come back – after even more suffering for Israel
    • 400 years of suffering in Egypt taught them nothing
    • 70+ years of suffering in Babylon taught them nothing
    • How much more would finally break their stubborn hearts and stiff necks?
      • 7 years were prescribed at the end of the age
      • Such woes would come so as to take the world to the brink of utter destruction.
        • Would they be ready then?

 

“Our modern age is a pushover for the shallow and the shortcut.
We want to change everything except the human heart.”

—J. Wallace Hamilton

 

41  Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,

 

Jesus looked upon the beauty of His children gathered around Him on the Palm Sunday road.

  • They sang words they didn’t mean
  • They prayed prayers that were shallow and uncommitted
  • They gave out of their excess, not out of their need.
  • They were blind, naked, and poor.
    • Blind to the true nature of His kingdom

Matthew 15:14      They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

  • Naked of the righteousness He wanted them clothed in

Isaiah 61:10     I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

  • Poor beggars of God’s blessings

Revelation 3:18      I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

  • How much like today’s church:

Revelation 3:15–17   (NIV)  Laodicea

15  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.

I wish you were either one or the other!

16  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—

I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

17  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’

But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

 

Jesus looked on the beauty of the Temple

  • Josephus writes concerning the Temple in Jesus day:
    “The exterior of the building wanted nothing that could astound either mind or eye. For, being covered on all sides with massive plates of gold, the sun was no sooner up than it radiated so fiery a flash that persons straining to look at it were compelled to avert their eyes, as from the solar rays.  To approaching strangers it appeared from a distance like a snow-clad mountain;  for all that was not overlaid with gold was of purest white.”      (War, V.5.6)

 

Jesus wept

  • God showed emotion
    • Crying is not the expression of weakness, though weak people often cry

 

Crying is Therapy:

How crying can make you healthier

We all know a good cry helps to soothe our minds. Now doctors are discovering that tears may help to heal our bodies, too.

Roger Dobson reports     Tuesday, 11 November 2008

It makes nine out of 10 people feel better, reduces stress, and may help to keep the body healthy. It's also free, available to almost everyone, and has no known side effects, other than wet tissues, red eyes and runny makeup. Crying may not be a blockbuster drug, but the latest research suggests it's highly effective at healing, and that it improves the mood of 88.8 per cent of weepers, with only 8.4 per cent feeling worse. So beneficial is it that the researchers suggest there may be a case for inducing crying in those who find it difficult to let go.

  • 6-8 PM is the most common time for crying
  • 8% feel better after a cry
  • 47: average number of times a woman cries each year
  • 7: average number of crying episodes for a man each year

 

“We need never be ashamed of our tears.”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

 

“To weep is to make less the depth of grief.”
William Shakespeare

 

“Those who do not weep, do not see.”
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

 

“Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”
Carl Sandburg

 

“Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either”
Golda Meir

 

  • Warren Wiersbe: “How often in my pastoral ministry I have heard well-meaning but ignorant people say to grieving friends or relatives, “Now, don’t cry!” That is very poor counsel, for God made us with the ability to weep; and He expects us to cry. Even Jesus wept (John 11:35).
    • Grieving is one of God’s gifts to help heal broken hearts when people we love are taken from us in death.
    • Paul did not tell the Thessalonian Christians not to weep; he cautioned them not to sorrow “as others who have no hope” (1 Thes. 4:13–18). The grief of a believer should be different from that of an unbeliever.” [2]

 

42  saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

43  For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,

44  and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

  • Jerusalem had been given every sign necessary
  • Exact timing as prophesied by Daniel 9:21-27 – 483 years to the day!

 

Daniel 9:25     “Know therefore and understand,

That from the going forth of the command

To restore and build Jerusalem

Until Messiah the Prince,

There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,

Even in troublesome times.

 

  • When did God’s clock start?
    • Cyrus made a decree in 538 BC. to release the Jews – but made no mention of rebuilding Jerusalem.
    • Darius made a decree in 519 BC. but merely repeated Cyrus’ decree
    • Artaxerxes made a decree in 458 BC to return the Jews to Jerusalem but again made no mention of rebuilding Jerusalem.
    • Artaxerxes made a second decree in 445 BC that fulfills every word of this verse.

 

Nehemiah 2:1-4 (NIV)
1 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before;
2 so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.” I was very much afraid,
3 but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
4 The king said to me, “What is it you want?”

Then I prayed to the God of heaven,

 

  • Encyclopedia Brittannica – tells us that King Artaxerxes began to reign in the year 465 BC
  • 20th year of his reign = 445 BC
  • 1st of Nisan, 445 BC = March 14th in the Julian Calendar

 

Two things mentioned here that would be fulfilled:

  • 7 “sevens” = 49 years – time it took to rebuild Jerusalem
  • 62 “sevens” = 434 years – additional time it took for Jesus to come to Jerusalem
  • Total of 483 years (360 day prophetic years) = 173,880 days

 

  • So 483 years later “Messiah the Prince” will appear in Jerusalem.
  • Figures out to April 6th, 32 AD in the Julian Calendar

 

  • Jesus began his public ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar = August 19th, 28 AD (Luke 3:1-2)
  • Public ministry lasted through 4 Passovers
  • Began on a Passover, and ended on a Passover - about years of  Public ministry
  • Passover in 32 AD was on the 14th of Nisan. (Full Moon)
  • Julian calendar that would be Thursday, the 10th of April.
  • Come back to the Sunday of Jesus entrance into Jerusalem as the Messiah prince and you have April 6th, 32 AD.
  • Exactly as Daniel predicted!

Exactly 173,880 days from Nehemiah getting the command.

Today needs to be the day of your salvation!

  • Come give your heart to the God that has predicted ALL things!

 

 

 

[1] Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be obedient (127). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.