Posts Tagged ‘Palm Sunday’

I only remember what happened after worship on this particular Sunday.  

As I was greeting worshippers at the door after worship, a member said he wanted to see me in my office after I finished my farewells.  When I stepped into my office, he grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me towards him, anger was boiling out of his red face, flared nostrils, and bulging eyes. 

He was in a rage because he was tired of having Prayers of Confession during worship.  As his spittle flew into my face he said, “We are not bad people!  We do not need those prayers in OUR worship!”

A thousands thoughts flew from my heart to my head.  The first was, “And you consider this to be behavior which honors God and His will?”

While our sins are always original to us, there is nothing original about about sin.  It is the one aliment that plagues every man, woman, and child.

 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1)

Everyone has personal sins to confess.

Far too many Christians move from Palm Sunday’s Parade to Easter’s Resurrection Celebration without pausing to consider the events of mid-week – Jesus crucified for the forgiveness of OUR sins.

While it is impossible to confess all of our particular sins, the failure and refusal to confess that we are sinners in need of forgiveness, “Makes Jesus a liar, and proves God’s Word is not in us.” (1 John 1:10). 

While we tend to boast in our achievements and accomplishments, the Apostle Paul reminds us: “to boast only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 6:14)

Aware of my own sins, original and unique to me, sins which cannot be assigned to another, I am grateful that God took them from me when Jesus died on the cross.  

Isaac Watts hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, reminds me of the greatness of God’s love:

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God; all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down; did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small: Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all. (2)

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  1. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 John 1:8.
  2. Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), 106.

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The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions (1)

We tend to believe that the most Christ-like people are those who love others graciously and generously.  A Christian’s love for others, always receives the praise of the world.

However, the most Christ-like people are those who suffer unjustly because of the sins of others.  In the eyes of the world, we call these people fools, if they suffer quietly and do not seek revenge.

Jesus suffered unjustly because of our sins.  He died on the cross, not to get revenge, but to secure the forgiveness of our sins.  This is suffering love.

Most Christians refuse to suffer.  If suffering comes to us unjustly, we seek to throw it off and we whine to God about the injustice of it all.

Jesus suffered quietly because of our sins.

Jesus considered suffering unjustly and quietly for love’s sake to be the best:

Blessed are those who suffer for righteousness sake.  

Blessed are those who suffer when falsely persecuted.

There is no greater love than to lay down your life for others.

The glory of Jesus is revealed not in His resurrection, but in His crucifixion.

God proves Himself, not by flexing His muscles and revealing His death-defying powers, but in His willingness to suffer, to die, as an innocent man.

In his great hymn about Jesus, Paul writes:

Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him. (2)

As you move into Holy Week, remember that the most holy day is not Palm Sunday’s Parade, Passover’s Feast, or Easter’s Resurrection.

The crowning jewel, the most holy moment of Holy Week is on Good Friday when Jesus cries out, “It is finished!”

There is no greater … anything ….  than a crown of thorns.

The crown of thorns is a Christian’s halo.

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  1. Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening : Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Philippians 2:8–9.

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