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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tears of Triumph

Jesus’ tears in His triumph show me.....


Mathew 21:1-17

As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead.  “Go into the village over there,” he said. “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 are 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 highest heaven!”  

The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.  And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in 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.

Luke 19:28-48

After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples.  As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead.  “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said.  And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”

And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.”  So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him.  When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep.  “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.  Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side.  They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.”

Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices.  He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him.  But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.


I would like to point out that Jesus’ followers put their coats on the back of an unridden colt, and Jesus rode the colt.  Folks, that is another miracle.  It just doesn’t happen, I have rode colts most of my life and have never had one I could just get on from the get go.  Isn’t it amazing how God can relate to everybody!

 God has given us two beautiful daughters to raise, I claim them as mine; but I know they belong to God.  I just get the pleasure of raising them here on this dirt ball we live on.  When I can see them making mistakes that I know will lead to failure, I want to step in and help them.  Sometimes these mistakes have consequences and it breaks my heart to see those consequences lived out.  But, to be honest, that’s how we learn.  At times they make decisions that are contrary to what their parents have requested, these actions have consequences too.  As a parent, we want to protect our children.  When we do not allow our children to learn from their mistakes and always bail them out of bad decisions, we raise up children that grow up to be bad adults (as in adults that are unable to cope with failure).  Not everybody deserves a trophy.  Let me say that again, NOT EVERYBODY DESERVES A TROPHY!  As parents, we have an opportunity to teach our kids to work harder for something better after they have lost; or are dealing with the consequences of a bad decision.  Does it break our hearts to see our kids go through this?  Heck yeah!  Will we weep over it?  Yeah, sometimes.

 So, you ask yourself, what does this have to do with today’s verses?  Here’s the sitch; when Jesus saw the city of Jerusalem, he began to weep.  I don’t believe that He wept for what He saw in His future, but rather He wept for what His people were going to go through.  He saw their future and it broke His heart.  Like willful children we have chosen other things and other people ahead of our Lord.  And when I say we, I mean me.  How many times have I chosen to go into a pit of crud, just because I wanted to?  A LOT.  But God....

 Jesus didn’t love those that were about to crucify Him any less, just because they were about to crucify Him.  They were the children of God and they were about to make a bad decision.  They were about to reject the love and salvation of a great God.  God loves us despite our bad decisions.  Jesus chose to allow Himself to be crucified because we separated ourselves from God with our sin.  I define grace as somebody else paying for our mistakes.  So Jesus, in His grace, paid for our sins (kinda feels like everybody got a trophy, doesn’t it?).  But don’t be mistaken, when we accept the grace that is Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins; our old self should be taken away.  1 John 3:6 says, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.”  The problems lies in our commitment, I know that I don’t get up every day and put on the full armor of God.  On those days, I make bad decisions.  Those decisions have consequences that I have to deal with.  God still loves me, Jesus still went to die on that cross for me personally; but on those days I have pushed God behind me.  My day is about me and me only!  That has to change, the story is never about me; it is always about Jesus.

 This is what I do know; I know Jesus loves me beyond all measure.  I know that He chose to let Himself be crucified for my sins.  I have accepted that I am a sinner, but my sin debt has been paid by Jesus’ crucifixion.  Unfortunately I am a flawed, imperfect, vain human being; but my God is working on me to act more like Jesus.  Am I there yet?  Not by a long shot.  I make mistakes and bad decisions; and have to deal with the consequences that arise from them.  But God....STILL LOVES ME.  WOW!  He is a good, good Father and He loves you as much as He loves me.


Loved by God,