Online Service | Holy Week: Palm Sunday – April 5, 2020

well hey grace Church my name is will ful
ah work at our downtown campus on the student side and have been for about
four years my wife ace and I started coming to
grace about nine years ago and we got connected got into a community group
started serving and we’ve been grateful just to to grow up in this church family
and really start raising our daughters so we have an eight-month-old that’s
Nora in my arms and we have an almost three year old that’s Ellie she’s gonna
turn three this month happy birthday Elly and we’ve been grateful just to be
a part of this church family so hope that you’re doing well today and that
you’re looking forward to worshiping with us we wanted to let you know that
this week is Holy Week so that maybe on some of your radars it may not be but a
lot of the way that our world has been turned upside down for many of us we
actually have more time now to spin this week intentionally walking through Holy
Week and what it means for us as believers maybe in a different way than
we’ve ever done before and so we wanted to let you know there’s gonna be some
resources on our Easter website and our reading plan just to help you walk
through that week together as a church as we do that and and practice some
spiritual discipline of being in the word I mentioned earlier my job really
has been on the student side of things at the downtown campus but over the
course of the last few weeks with coronavirus kind of happening it’s kind
of turned my world upside down too so I’ve gotten to be a part of our church’s
response to the kovat 19 crisis and what that means for me personally is that the
silo that I’ve been in kind of at the campus level working very particular
with a particular group of people has now gotten zoomed out to where I’ve been
able to have a front-row seat to see how all 12 of our congregations are
responding to our community and to the crisis that we find ourselves in and so
what that’s done for me is I’ve gotten to see the way that our people are
responding so what the Harrison bridge campus just as an example I heard about
all the community groups that everyday are taking shifts to be able to get
groceries leftover groceries that have been donated from a supermarket to a
local food bank that needs them at the TR campus I’ve heard of a bunch of
community groups rally – so masks to keep the residents at The
Woodlands that’s one of our senior honor facilities safe I’ve been able to hear
stories about people who have who have raised their hand and said hey I’ve got
an in-law suite I’ve got a rental property that I can donate just to be
used by anybody that needs it – maybe quarantine from a vulnerable family
member or whatever the case might be it’s just been really neat for me to see
the way that our church is responding to needs – real needs that are happening in
our community and here’s the big takeaway for me is that we may be 12
different campuses spread out across all different communities in the Upstate but
our purpose remains the same to step out of our little bubble and step into the
lives of people that need us to be God’s people to them to be open to our
neighbors and to love our family members our church family members and to give
our lives to represent God to them while we are built being built up by other
members in our congregation and it has been it’s related to me in my brain just
the last two weeks because we’ve been talking about being weaned calming our
hearts calming ourselves from the demands the entitlements that we feel
like we deserve and putting those away so that we can be free to be God’s
people and we get to worship right now we get to retreat from the front lines
of ministry we get to retreat from the troubles that we find ourselves in we
get to retreat from the distractions that we have been indulging in and we
get to worship the God that knows how all this is gonna play out and has
promised to provide for us well thanks we’ll my name is Matt Kelly and I my
family attends the Pelham Road campus and I get to worship there with them I’m
one of the pastors and elders on her staff and I’m excited again about this
time that we have set aside and I hope you all wherever you’re worshiping from
this weekend you’re but you’ve begun preparing your heart just for us to
worship together and for us to sing and send under God’s Word together before we
begin I do want to introduce the crew up here this morning is we get or whatever
time it is you’re watching for us – what together so let me introduce these
people to you this is Leanne she attends our downtown campus and worships there
with her family back here on the electric guitar that is Tanner Tanner
Corley he is our Powdersville worship and minister back on the keys as
Jonathan Torres he is representing the Travelers Rest campus and I know that
they’re yelling for him right now on the drums back there’s Chris McGowan Chris
McGowan’s family attends the Powdersville campus I mean he started
the Pelham campus he his role kind of has him everywhere and working with all
of our campuses but his family does attend Pelham and then back here on the
bass guitar Jeff indigent Berg and he is our worship
minister at the Taylor’s campus hey like will said this is a very unique
time but one of the things we can rest in right now and as we worship is
knowing that God does not change and that he is faithful and so as we sing
these songs and as and as we hear from God’s Word this morning let’s be
reminded of those things and so as we begin our time I want to pray for us and
pray for hearts and the God’s presence would be with us in this moment and that
we would worship Him well so let me pray for us so father we want to come to you
now and we want to acknowledge our need for you we want to come to you and
confess to you that we believe your word father in Hebrews 13 you tell us that
you were the same yesterday today and forever and we believe those words and
we believe that you do not change in that you are faithful to us and so we
ask now is we lift our voices to you as we sing as we celebrate who you are in
our lives that you’ll be glorified that we will be intentional with this time
that we will focus on you and take our focus off of ourselves that we will all
lift our voices wherever we are in unison to glorify the things that you
have done for us to glorify your name together and celebrate your work in our
lives and all that you’re doing so we thank you for this time and may you be
glorified with our words and our voices to you as we sing soon your name we pray
I’m let’s sing together I’ll see this out together it has good I need beyond the empty conviction SB turn we and leaders for one handful of us to make my whole life about you to live
for your kingdom and truth in here let’s surrender let’s play these words seem out
easily come all this did you know you and soon Easter
yeah the bush – yeah courage in
love your name Oh yes last stare to make my dance
thank you so as we prepare our hearts now just to
hear from God’s Word as bill speaks to us let’s use these words from psalm 119
and we want to use these words as a prayer and I want you wherever you are
for you to read these words aloud with me so their words are gonna come on the
screen and let’s read this together someone 19 says this teach me your
decrees Oh Lord I will keep them to the end give me understanding and I will
obey your instructions I will put them into practice with all my heart make me
walk along the path of your commands but that is where my happiness is found
give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money turn my
eyes from worthless things and give me life through your word all right
well we’re gonna seek to put into effect the prayer that that we just prayed ask
God to help us as we look to his word right now so why don’t you grab a Bible
wherever you are sitting in your living room grab a Bible turn to Matthew
chapter 21 this is a Palm Sunday sermon and for those of you who grew up in
certain religious traditions you got you got one of these every year and for
others of you you may not even know what Palm Sunday is it’s fine all we’re gonna
do is study the Bible together we’re gonna look at the first 17 verses of
Matthew chapter 21 while you’re turning there I want to just draw your attention
to a resource that we’ve made available for you and it is you see it on the
slide behind me this words from the cross it’s a good Friday experience and
celebration that’s been put together by some of our leadership some of our folks
on our staff we actually have these booklets which some of you are going to
have an opportunity to go pick up at your campus in camps pastors we’re
working on in communicating ways that you could actually safely get a copy of
one of these for you to use as a prayer guide and then there’s also a video
that’s a 30-minute guided meditation and exploration of what Good Friday should
mean to all of us as we explore Jesus seven sayings from the cross and it’s a
great time for you to take advantage of that with your family and those that are
with you gathered around in your home so we’re excited about that Good Friday
has to become a really special time for us as a church over the last 10 years or
so where we seek to draw near to God and we meditate on the work that Jesus has
done for us on the cross I want to encourage you this is a good opportunity
for you to share that resource with other people who may not have that kind
of opportunity whether believers or unbelievers we know this is an
opportunity and a time for people to be able to recognize that they need help
from outside themselves in the face of this disruption and so this is a
resource would be a great way for you to share that and use that as a necessary
opportunity with your neighbors you can direct them to our website the URL is
there for you and if you go to the Easter page then you can explore all of
that and you’ll find all these resources both the copy of the prayer guide and
the video will be there for you so take advantage of that and use that to
improve upon as the old preachers used to talk about prove upon the
difficulties the circumstance and lean into it all right so we are beginning
what traditionally has been called Holy Week or Passion Week the reason we call
it that the word holy in the most general sense of the word just means
something that’s set apart is something that’s special and in that sense in our
culture we still have that idea of things being holy things being set apart
some of you may have been to a place like Gettysburg and you have a certain
sense of other because of our shared experience as citizens of the United
States of America you go there and you know this ground has been consecrated by
the blood of people has been set apart a lot of Americans died there and it’s a
symbol of both national tragedy and of our identity of who we are as a people
and so it’s set apart you might have been when I was a child I was obsessed
with graveyards I know that’s not surprising to many of you and that would
be the case but I would go wander around graveyards II wonder around graveyards
at night because it was just something about that that spoke to something in my
soul that there’s something real that happened here something that is other
than something that is defining and definitive
you might have a sense of that we had on a lighter note this year’s our 30th
anniversary and Rachel and I were digging through some stuff and she came
across all the letters that we wrote to one another our courtship makes you
sound old when you say courtship but I was in Seoul Korea alive you’ve heard
this story make fun of me about it but I was over there we wrote letters back and
forth we found all those letters not that long ago and I drug him out and she
was afraid I was gonna start reading them we had dinner guests over but just
even touching those there holy because they’re there the seeds of our family
that’s the reality is everything that’s happening in our lives for the last 31
years and in the lives of our children and now with our first grandchild we
have generations whose direction was altered by the thoughts and by the words
by the ink that was spilled on that page that makes it holy it set apart and we
get that in our culture that there are things that are individually holy we’re
good with everybody believing whatever they want to believe and they have these
things that are holy to them right so in that sense we have these lowercase holy
things but this is what we are not good with in our culture is that anything is
holy all caps is that there’s anything that is ultimately set apart that is
completely other that is not like us and it doesn’t matter whether we acknowledge
it or have any point of contact with it it imposes itself on us a kind of holy
that is imposition ‘el not something that you share in by consensus but it
gets forced on you regardless of who you are regardless of your circumstances
regardless of what you believe it is holy because it’s holy and whether your
story connects with it or you choose to not connect with it it imposes itself on
you it stands apart from you and it lords itself over you and that’s the
sense in which we talk about Holy Week is that it’s holy because of what Jesus
did and it’s holy whether you acknowledge it or not no matter what
your faith tradition we’re gonna see what our scriptures claim is it no
matter who you are and no matter where you were
born no matter what nationality you are no matter what religion you were born
into it’s not about religion it’s not about culture it’s about creation is
that there is a king of all creation and he has come to us and he has revealed
himself in a way that confronts us with a reality that we cannot escape and so
as we work our way through the text I just want you to understand that’s
what’s going on and that’s the challenge that’s in the text and you’ll see
through the characters kind of how that works its way out so let’s just read the
text together starting in verse 1 of Matthew chapter 21 now as Jesus and the
disciples approached Jerusalem they came to the town of Bethpage on the Mount of
Olives Jesus sent two of them on ahead go into the village over there he said
and as soon as you enter it you will see a donkey tied there with its Colt beside
it untie them and bring them to me if anyone asks what you were doing just say
the Lord needs them and he will immediately let you take them this took
place to fulfill the prophecy that said tell the people of Jerusalem
look your king is coming to you he is humble riding on a donkey riding on a
donkey’s Colt the two disciples did as Jesus commanded they brought the donkey
and the Colt to him and threw their garments over the Colt and he sat on it
most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him and others cut
branches from the trees and spread them on the road Jesus was in the center of
the procession and the people all around him were shouting praise God for the son
of David blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord praise God in
the highest heaven the entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered
who is this they asked and the crowds replied is Jesus the Prophet from
Nazareth and Galilee Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out all the
people buying and selling animals for sacrifice he knocked over the tables of
the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves he said to them the
Scriptures declare my temple will be called a house of prayer
but you have turned it into a den of thieves the blind and the lame came to
him in the temple and He healed them the leading priests and the teachers of
religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in
the temple shouting praise God for the son of David but the leaders were
indignant they asked Jesus do you hear what these children are saying yes jesus
replied haven’t you ever read the scriptures for they say you have taught
children and infants to give you praise then he returned to Bethany where he
stayed overnight now here’s what’s happening in this text and you can tell
I like it it’s a great story jesus is coming into Jerusalem and this is the
week leading up to Passover and he knows he’s coming in to publicly be acclaimed
as the Messiah but he’s going to be a different kind of Messiah than they were
expecting and so as Jesus enters in and he rides into the city Matthew actually
takes the events of Palm Sunday and Monday
any-any slams I’m right up against one another you would not just reading
Matthew’s Gospel know that the cleansing of the temple took place on Monday you
have to go remark to understand that marks very concerned with chronology
Matthew not so much because Matthew is not so much concerned that you think
about the chronology what Matthew is concerned about is that you get the
point about who Jesus is and the authority that he has and so just just a
word to those of you who are really concerned about trying to smooth things
out in the scriptures when you read them if there it seems to be some tension in
the scripture don’t get freaked out about it the people who wrote the Bible
they’re real smart right we we’ve been reading a book that they wrote
for thousands of years they’re smart so there’s usually a point in it so rather
than trying to harmonize as you go through a Holy Week a lot of times
you’ll see people take all the Gospels and put them together so you can get
everything that’s fine for you to do that there’s not a problem with that
this is one of the times we can look and see like it Christmas we have no idea
when Christmas was but we do know when Jesus was crucified he was crucified on
the feast of Passover he was crucified on that Friday we know
and so these days do matter but in Matthew’s Gospel he is not as concerned
about getting the information and chronology about the days he wants you
to see something about Jesus so he takes these two stories and he puts them right
up against one another in order to make a point now what’s the point that he’s
trying to make he’s calling on an idea where the people of Israel had as I’m
sure it’s not unique to him but Tim Wartell uses this phrase with me
whenever he’s talking about these kind of things he talks about cultural memory
and people having a cultural memory and the people of Israel had this deep
cultural of memory of a king riding on a donkey now there’s a text that he’s
quoting here in Matthew from Zechariah I believe Zechariah chapter 9 yes
Zechariah chapter now I’m getting ahead of myself
stooop me in Otisville all right Zechariah chapter 9 he’s going to quote
this idea of a king riding on a donkey but where did that come from for
Zechariah I think it came from primarily Solomon and in first Kings I was just
reading in my Bible reading this past week in first Kings chapter 1 there is
some drama around the succession of who’s going to be the king after David
and one of David’s sons at nyjah whose dad did not discipline in the Texas it
says that David never troubled his son by asking why do you behave as you do
and he ultimately tries to become King instead of Psalm he tries to seize the
throne and he incites what could have become a rebellion and David finds out
what’s going on through Bathsheba and Nathan the Prophet and David says no
take Solomon down to the spring of gijón which is down in the valley we’re just
outside the city and he takes he has nathan the prophet and the priest say
take him down they anoint him they proclaim him King they put him on
David’s mule and he rides up into the city and there’s this big uproar and
everyone knows that Solomon is now the king and he rides up into the city and
he sits down on David’s throne and so Jesus the image of that is not lost on
Jesus so Jesus is intentionally harnessing all of
that cultural memory and he has his disciples get a donkey for him to ride
on and he rides down the Mount of Olives just a couple hundred yards north of
where that spring was where Solomon was anointed and he rides in and the crowds
come out to him and they recognize what he’s saying here’s the king coming into
the city and so that’s why they began to cry out and that’s what you see here is
your king is coming to you he is humble he’s riding on a donkey riding on a
donkey’s colt and what he’s doing is he’s taking these two ideas the prophets
built him out he’s actually quoting here in this first half right here tell the
people of Jerusalem the language there is literally daughter of Zion the
translator said the NLT just don’t want you to miss it and this is from Isaiah
Isaiah 62 and then right here if you were wanted to go look this up you could
read this this is zechariah chapter 9 so you just look at those two text you can
go look them up you can read them what he’s saying is this idea of messianic
hope of a king coming into the city of of making things good of making things
right this Prince of Peace is going to come into the city and he’s going to
restore what was lost so Jesus was making this bold declaration and the
crowds are responding to all of that now clearly we’re going to see the masses
are not clear on who Jesus is and what he’s doing we’re gonna come back to it
and address that nonetheless this is what’s going on and what they’re crying
out as Jesus comes in is this idea that we see in verse 9 Jesus is in the center
of this procession and all the people there’s this uproar like there was with
Solomon and all the people are around him and they’re crying out and what
they’re saying is this idea of praise God is how it’s translated for us you
might have heard it before it comes up a couple of times right here in the text
this is the word Hosanna and this is from some famous Old
Testament text you can go look it up but the idea it’s a it’s just a
transliteration into the Greek of a Hebrew word that means Lord save and
over the course of time it had come to become just this cry of praise but
there’s also packed into it this idea of we need to be saved and so they’re
praising and they’re also crying out for salvation and it’s this image that the
king is coming into the city and the people are acclaiming him they’re
throwing down palm fronds is where we get the word Palm Sunday from they’re
throwing down palm fronds on to the road and he’s riding across they’re taking
off their garments and throwing them on to the Grove this is their version of
the red carpet so think about the Oscars and all the the important people come in
and they’ve rolled out the red carpet that’s exactly what they’re doing but
the thing that’s interesting to me in this text is even as all these people
were crying out and Jesus is being acclaimed as king I think that this is
one of the most lonely moments for Jesus and Jesus has a lot of them right but
the irony of this moment couldn’t be lost on him because Jesus knows that as
he comes into the city he’s the his path to enthronement is
gonna lead to the cross and Jesus knows all that it’s weighing on him it’s this
huge weight so imagine that Matthew doesn’t include it but Luke includes it
as Jesus is riding down the mount of olives and he’s looking up to the Temple
Mount he cries and he says Jerusalem Jerusalem how is this cry of one to
gather them but they won’t be gathered they stone the prophets they reject
those that are sent to them so there’s this sorrow there’s this passion this
pathos this pathos that Jesus is experiencing as he’s riding around and
get the image all these people around him are crying out son of David save us
son of David save us but they’re thinking we want to be delivered from
Rome so the people who witnessed the the feeding of the 5,000 they want a
duplication of the miracle of the manna from Moses they just want to have their
bellies full right and Jesus says you don’t really care who I am you just
you ate and had your fill and so now that’s what you want so Jesus is alone
in the midst of all these folks most of whom don’t really get it they’re just a
part of the crowd and he’s riding in with all of this hanging over him so
there’s this very poignant moment where they’re praying to him they’re crying
out to him lord save and remember his name in Hebrew was Yeshua which means
yahweh is salvation’ so they’re crying out all of these things get the moment
and he’s riding in to the city knowing that ultimately he’s going to be
rejected by them so as he rides in the entire city was in an uproar verse 10
says and they entered know the people said who is he and the crowds replied is
Jesus the Prophet from Nazareth and Galilee and so that’s kind of where that
first section ends with Jesus coming in as the king he’s the fulfillment of the
Davidic King everyone is jumping on the bandwagon everyone is crying out to him
and then he summarised as being the Prophet so there’s this idea of of him
being a king and him being a prophet at the same time both of which were
anointed offices right she had king who represented God’s
authority to rule yet prophets who represented God’s authority to speak
into the moment the Living Word coming to us and given us direction correcting
us speaking to us in our sin so yeah both of those things going on but then
we move from that and this is where Matthew instead of putting a gap in and
talking about Jesus going back to Beth and he’s spending the night and then
coming back into the city the next day Matthew just has Jesus goes straight
into the temple so we’ve got this King thing going on we got this prophet thing
going on then he goes into the temple where the priests are in charge right so
in verse 12 let’s just go back and look at verse 12 again Jesus entered the
temple and what does he begin to do immediately as he as he goes into the
temple he begins to drive out all the people who are buying
and selling animals for sacrifice so the idea is here in the outer part of the
temple the only place where women where Gentiles could go is the only place
where some of the sick and the infirm could go because some folks who had
certain disabilities we’re not allowed to go into further into the temple
because they couldn’t follow the right steps in order to make the temple to
preserve the ritual purity of the temple and so this idea of everything happened
to be just right and so in that area people would set up and they were buying
and selling and Jesus goes into that area and he just begins to clean house
and he does violence he’s turning over tables he’s kicking people out and he’s
shouting the way a prophet would shout the Scriptures declare my temple will be
called a house of prayer that you’ve turned it into a den of thieves
now when Jesus says those words right he’s quoting the scriptures what are the
scriptures that Jesus is quoting he’s two passages of scripture most clearly
in view one is Isaiah chapter 56 and that’s this first part here about my
temple being called a house of prayer that’s where that idea comes from and
then the second is from a very famous passage in Jeremiah in Jeremiah chapter
7 he says that you’ve turned it into a den of thieves
so what Jesus the Prophet from Nazareth and Galilee is doing is he goes into the
temple and he begins to exercise authority over the temple where even the
king was not in charge in the temple the priests were in charge in the temple and
he quotes these prophets and he says this is what’s going on and he begins to
reorder things inside the temple I’m just gonna read to you a little bit from
Isaiah chapter 56 Isaiah chapter 56 verse 7 says this I will bring them to
my holy mountain in Jerusalem he’s speaking about Gentiles and people from
all over the world actually that’s the context of Isaiah chapter 56 I’m gonna
bring him to my holy mountain of Jerusalem and we’ll fill them with joy
in my house of prayer I we’ll accept their burnt offerings and
sacrifices because my temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations
so when Jesus quotes this idea he’s not only exercising authority saying I’m in
charge here and he’s quoting isaiah 50:6 but he’s
talking about the fact he’s quoting isaiah chapter 56 in a way this is
basically now is the time where i’m gonna gather in the nation’s all the
nations of the earth are going to be brought into the holy place you imagine
that’d be pretty controversial thing because what were the Jews thinking the
son of day was gonna do he’s gonna come and deliver them from the nations of the
earth and now he comes in and he says I’m in charge of the temple – and
instead of driving all the foreigners out of here what I will do is I’m gonna
bring all the foreigners in here it’s a radical idea very disturbing
if you were a part of the establishment at that time that’s encouraging for me
as a Gentile right most of you are Gentiles so you and I had a shot this is
great hope in that but this is just I just I want you to feel how radical this
idea is and Jesus is doing all of this at the Passover Feast you know leading
up to it on the week of the Passover where all these folks are brought in I
mean he’s he’s begging for a riot basically it’s a kind of boldness that
he’s not really demonstrated quite this way before and then the second half of
it this idea of a den of thieves is from Jeremiah chapter 7 let me just read to
you Jeremiah chapter 7 and I’m just gonna pick up in verse 8 but I would
encourage you to go and look at it here’s what’s happening is Jeremiah at
one point when he is predicting the downfall of the kingdom of Judah and he
he prophesized against Israel and he prophesized against Judah and the south
and he is talking about why all of that is gonna happen and there were a bunch
of other false prophets at the time who were saying not everything’s fine peace
peace that’s where we have this idea peace peace where there is no peace
there are always people there’s peace is gonna be peace
everything’s gonna be fine it’s gonna be fine gods happy with you and Jeremiah
keeps saying God is not happy with you and this is from that prop from one of
those kinds of prophecies in verses 8 through 11 he says this don’t be fooled
into thinking that you will never suffer because the temple is here he says just
because the temple is here it’s not a good luck charm think back to first
Samuel when Eli sons took out the Ark of the Covenant against the Philistines
that’s the idea don’t think you’re fine because the temple is here it’s a lie do
you really think you can steal murder commit adultery lie burn incense to bail
and all those other gods of yours and then come in here and stand before me
and my temple and chant we are safe only to go right back to those evils again
don’t you yourselves admit that this temple which bears my name has become a
den of thieves surely I see all the evil going on there I the LORD have spoken
that’s what Jesus is quoting when he says this and they knew it right they
know it when you’re in the temple Jeremiah had made that prophecy standing
at the gate of the temple while they were offering sacrifices Jesus goes in
and he calls out this familiar theme and he says you’re not safe in here because
of this temple because this place has become a den of thieves and then in the
middle of doing all of that there’s this final demonstration of Jesus Authority
and power seized he’s the son of David he’s the Prophet
he’s the fulfillment of the mouth of God to the people and then he’s in charge of
the temple he’s the Prophet who prophesize against the temple and he
rearranges everything in the temple and then while he’s in the temple just in
case anybody thought I don’t know if he really has the authority who does he
think he is does he really have the authority to do all of this look in
verse 14 we read it but I know it’s been a long time ago so you forgot it look in
verse 14 after Jesus did all of this that’s what happened the blind and the
lame came to him in the temple and he He healed them so he doesn’t just come
in and say you need to get your life right
he doesn’t just come in and say I’m the son of David you should listen to me
he doesn’t just quote some prophets and throw his weight around and through the
force of his charismatic personality imposed himself on weaker leaders that’s
that’s what unbelieving folks today would have you believe they’d have you
believe Jesus was an exceptionally gifted person who was able to work his
mojo on people he was this charismatic leader that rallied everybody now there
were a lot of those kind of people in the world you know people who were like
that I know people who are like that that’s not what Jesus was he wasn’t just
somebody who knew his Bible real well and he had a god complex
nah he backed it up and so these people come to him because they recognize all
the claims that he’s making and they think well maybe he can actually do
something about this and he does something about he heals him look in
verse 15 though the leading priests and teachers of religious law saw these
wonderful miracles God detects that she was they saw these wonderful miracles
and they heard even the children and the temple shouting praises praise God for
the son of David Hosanna save us it picks up the same cry again right save
us Lord the Lord saves as a cry of worship and praise but they were
indignant and what they’re concerned about is a point of theology they’re
like hey you understand you know you know what these children are saying like
maybe you don’t understand your Bible real well but by allowing them to say
that way you’re allowing them to do is to call you the Messiah and so you need
to get your get their doctor shit go over and explain to them you’re not the
Messiah that’s what they’re doing and Jesus is great that’s brilliant
he says haven’t you ever read your Bible which I just I love if you if you don’t
read it say you got to get he’s being a smart aleck is that do you boys not know
your Bibles have you not read your Bibles do you not know and then he
quotes the time so they wouldn’t be expecting to come
from the Psalms and he says you have taught children and infants to give you
praise and then he returned to Bethany where he stayed overnight now when he
does this there’s a real subtle thing you know because they’re they’re giving
God praise out of the mouths of babes you’ve heard that phrase used before
you’ve ordained praise out of the mouths of babes it’s worked its way even into
our English vernacular that’s where it comes from is that a child will see the
most obvious thing you’ve ordained praise out of the mouths of babes that’s
what Jesus is quoting here it’s not a messianic Psalm but Jesus takes it and
he’s and he says it in a way that now after Easter after the resurrection
people look back and they go he wasn’t just talking about praising God but when
he says you have taught children infants to give you praise he was saying they’re
praising me that’s what he’s done and as you want you to feel some of that edge
when Jesus says this so wasn’t Matthew saying Jesus is the son of David Jesus
has authority over the temple Jesus is the great prophet he’s the great prophet
he’s a great priest he’s a great king he is the Messiah and he’s Lord over all he
has authority to reverse the curse he’s the Creator who else can do that
who else can undo what God has cursed God cursed the entire creation after
Adam and Eve fell so this is where we come back to this idea of is not just
about Jesus being holy to us because we’re Christians this text is saying
Jesus is holy capital H he is overall not just for the children of Abraham but
for the children of Adam and Eve every human being he is their Lord he is in
charge he can solve what is wrong with them he can reverse the curse he’s the
Lord over all he is ultimately holy and here’s the thing there were there were
three groups of people and how they respond I just want you to think about
they’re the disciples there’s the crowd and then there are the religious leaders
and we all have to kind of think through where do we fit in this story you got to
decide how do y think about Jesus and this is what I would say to you is that
for the disciples what Jesus was is he’s their hope there’s a catechism that I
love and I hadn’t read it in a long time it’s a Heidelberg catechism and the
first question is what is your only hope and life and death and it goes something
like this that I was body and soul and not my own
but belong to my faithful Redeemer Jesus Christ and then he goes through about
how he is fully satisfied for all my sins this is amazing statement of who
Jesus is and if you’re a disciple it doesn’t mean that you understand and you
have all the answers clearly the disciples didn’t have all the answers
Peter is going to deny that even those Jesus shortly they’re all going to be
scattered they don’t have it all figured out they just know that they only have
one hope in life and in death and so they are hanging on to Jesus for all
he’s worth and then we have the crowd and the crowd what does Jesus represent
he represents an opportunity that’s really what would Jesus represented to
the crowd he’s an opportunity for their life to be
improved now some of those folks they see the opportunity and they’re actually
going to become disciples they’re gonna recognize that Jesus is more than than
just someone who’s an operative they’re not just opportunist he’s not
just someone who can make my life better he’s not just someone who can heal my
disease he’s not just someone who can deal with the problem of the Romans
they’re gonna become followers they’re gonna become disciples but he’s just he
just represents an opportunity and we know that that’s the case because it’s
just a few days after this after Jesus has been brought up on charges that
where are they when the crowds are crying crucify him crucify him crucify
him they’re not there with him they’re not protecting him they’re not
speaking on his behalf he just represented an opportunity to them and
once he didn’t represent that opportunity to him they just move on to
the next opportunity but then there’s this last group of people and for this
last group of people this is what Jesus is he’s a threat he’s a threat to the
illusion of control that they have in their life and I’m gonna tell you for us
as the people if we’ve not been disabused of the notion that we are in
charge just by the last couple months of what’s going on in the world then I
don’t know that there’s much hope for us because the creation itself is rebelling
against us right now and it is proving to us that we are not in charge that the
control that you had was just an illusion it was a deception and that’s
what Jesus is doing here he’s coming to some people who and this is the irony
this is our capacity for self-deception as a race as a people as human beings
it’s extraordinary it’s one of our cardinal virtues if we can call it that
it’s one of our distinguishing characteristics is our ability to
deceive ourselves and these people deceive themselves these people were
oppressed by Rome they were under the judgment of God in a very real sense God
has not sent a prophet to them in 500 years until John the Baptist comes and
they don’t stand up for him they don’t defend him they don’t go to war for him
he’s beheaded he dies an ignominious death under the hand at the hands of a
petty tyrant and the whims of his daughter his stepdaughter
and his wife that’s the world that they’re living in they are not in charge
they’re not in charge they are not experiencing God’s favor but they’re
hanging on to their temple they’re hanging on to their position they’re
hanging on to the things that are some source of comfort for them and so they
just want to keep those blinders on and gee
this on Sunday right out of the gate and definitely on Monday when he goes into
the temple he destroys and shatters all of that and then he heals a bunch of
people just to say you ought to listen to me and what is it that they do they
rebuke him and they are indignant they are so self deceived that they believe
that they are get the people who should be judging him the one who ultimately is
their judge but who now is coming as their Savior and they miss it and so for
us as well say to you as we go through this week you have to decide and I have
to send nobody do this for you we have to decide how are we going to respond to
Holy Week and this text tells us how to we ought to respond this is from first
Peter chapter three I put it in the NA s because the NA s it’s the awkward
translation but it makes this point for us but sanctify Christ sanctify means
make him holy now he’s already holy right but the idea is set him apart as
holy in your hearts he is holy capital H but you in your heart you have to make a
decision that I am going to willingly acknowledge that he is holy I’m going to
not just be a part of the crowd and I’m definitely not going to be a part of the
religious establishment that’s threatened by him but I am going to as a
disciple even if I don’t understand even if I don’t know what he’s doing I’m
gonna assume that he knows better than I do
and I am gonna set him apart inside my heart as holy and I’m gonna be ready to
make a defense to everyone who asked me to give an account for the hope that it
was within me with gentleness and reverence that in this moment in this
cultural moment that we have right now that what I’m going to choose to do the
way I’m going to choose to respond at the beginning of Holy Week is I am gonna
get on board with this and I’m gonna acknowledge that the capital H holy
is lowercase H holy and my heart and in this moment I’m gonna be prepared to
offer a reason for why I have hope with reverence with humility to be able to
explain to people that’s why I have hope for us as a people I pray God help us to
do that let me pray for you Father in heaven we’re grateful for your word the
way in which it speaks to us that this story from thousands of years ago it’s
so relevant for us today in the struggle that we have in our own hearts o Lord I
pray that you would give us grace that we would sanctify Christ as Lord in our
hearts that we would lift up and open the gates of our hearts that we would
throw him open and we would acclaim him gladly as our King as our prophet as our
priest as the only one who can reverse the curse to free us from sin and the
consequences of sin to liberate this body from this bondage to decay and to
bring us safely home into the very throne room of God Lord would you
working us by your spirit make it so we burn which Rashad we’re grateful for
time to sit under the word together for business words this morning and we want
to do now what we will we always do as a church when we gather together we want
to give you a chance to respond through singing and praying and so we’re gonna
sing three songs together as we do we want to invite you to just be very
intentional with this time most of these songs have very clear language that will
help prepare your minds for this week for you to respond and think through
what it meant for Jesus to come and die on the cross for us and the me rose
again and so as we sing these songs would reflect on these words we ask we
ask you to do the same for you to worship him for who he is and thank him
and just be real intentional as these next songs give this real clear language
and it gives us language to say back to him so let’s take a moment just prepare
hearts even now as we sing together see this together you can give the plan
man size you can give the day you can see you can be side for for the sins of every man conky on the cross
who the son of God the son the heusken dance to shaking up taking on here the son the son of man was crucified satisfied to read your silver sad
is fine the let’s continue scindia the Gaudi bridge the great – uh for us it’s turn you know and is loving never he came in flesh to fire with the power to tell the taking on a shithead say he has open
is all a key because merci stay Oh and all the core eaters Oh Oh all the glory to me all the glory – is Sevilla you came from him acquaintance with a sorrow to trade the
dead we would suffer yes sir before our freedom yeah your blood port
my see Hey yeah see my name your soul this see
50 tell em were saying here is this you’re
my the lamb
god what’s hurt we got three words hope
opportunity and threat one of the ways that we have been using or seeing
regarding Jesus as a threat to our plans to our comfort what are the ways that
we’ve seen them as an opportunity to just get a thing and let’s repent of
that and now respond by recognizing and operating repenting from those two
things as though he is our only and greatest hope there’s any way that we
can help you respond pray get connected to community we’d love to help you just
go to hello church hello grace Church and we can do
that until next week we love you we’re praying for you we’ll
see you soon

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