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February 18, 2022 2:00 am
Almost half of John's gospel is about Jesus' final week on earth. In the message "Life Lessons from a Donkey Ride" from the series Palm Sunday Messages, Skip examines that week and highlights the differences between religion and a relationship with Christ.
This teaching is from the series Pastor Skip's Top 40.Links:
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Jesus Christ the person is more appealing to people then religion was then same today. Look at verse 12. The next day, a great multitude, and come to the feast Jesus was coming to Jerusalem the branches of palm trees went out to meet him and cried out hosanna blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord the King of Israel.
Much of the world thinks that Christianity is a drain on one's life.
That's what happens when you view life with Christ through the lens of religion. Today we continue our countdown of Skip's top 40 messages on the connect with Skip Heitzig YouTube channel in the number 65 is the message life lessons from God's message.
Skip explores what makes a relationship with Jesus of life. Before we begin want to invite you to study the words of Jesus in the very places where he spoke them. Here's the invitation from Skip urine for an incredible time as we travel throughout Israel and experience the culture that is so unique to that country. Now I've been to Israel and number of times over the years that I can honestly say that visiting the places where the events of the Scriptures unfolded were Jesus lived taught and healed.
It just never gets old will start on the Mediterranean Sea and head north. Seeing places like Caesarea and Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River will spend several days in and around Jerusalem and see the Temple Mount Calvary, the garden of Gethsemane and the amount of all and much more.
This remarkable itinerary is made richer times of worship, Bible study, and lots of fellowship. The Bible will come alive to you in a way never has before.
I hope you'll join Lenny and me on what is always in unforgettable trip. I can't wait to see you in is this dream can come true for you. Start planning and saving now to tour Israel with Skip Heitzig information and inspiration. Cruises.com/see ABQ.
That's inspiration cruises.com/see ABQ John chapter 12 reported a study so let's join Skip Heitzig. This was their Passover. This is when they celebrated the deliverance of their forefathers from the bondage of Egypt through a succession of 10 plagues that happened in their past history. It had now become the focal point of Jewish history, but every year it was the same thing every year they took the same routes up to Jerusalem every year. They went to the same rituals. Every year they made the same prescribed prayers and frankly, for a whole lot of people it had just gotten old and they were clamoring for something more than what their religion was offering. They found out Jesus was in town and they all gravitate to him and they spontaneously sit spontaneously start shouting hosanna save now deliver us now give us what our religion cannot give us because Jesus is more appealing than religion you know Jesus was a breath of fresh air in a climate of stagnant, stale religious experience where my favorite verses of Scripture is in the mark chapter 12 the simple verse.
It just says, and the common people heard him gladly, the everyday folk heard him gladly, and that chapter he gives parable after parable story after story and then has a confrontation with the religious elite, the common people were hearing and seeing it all and they listen to him gladly. Jesus was to them much more appealing than even their hollowed religion itself. I've always loved what Gen. Booth of the Salvation Army's essay said I want my religion.
I like my religion like my tea. I wanted hot and I think if you'd asked most people, they would say if him and have any spirituality at all. I wanted hot I want it real. I wanted authentic, unwanted, vibrant. I don't want just some makeshift ceremonial stuff. I want my religion like my tea.
I wanted hot and because of that there was a clash between the old and the new between the old religious system and the new stuff Jesus was offering there was a clash and it happened more than once, but a classic highlight is shown in Matthew chapter 15 you don't have to turn there. I'll just tell you the story and you'll you'll recall that when I do in that chapter. Matthew 15 the religious leaders come and they find Jesus and their their miffed there upset is what they say your disciples are transgressing the traditions of the elders because they don't wash their hands ceremonially before they eat bread. I love Jesus response to them.
He said, why is it that you transgress the commandment of God by your traditions and then he said this well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites saying this people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
There was this clash between Jesus as a person and a religion that people were practicing and we see it over and over again and you know because of that people like tax collectors and prostitutes and murderers.
They they found it they found it easy to hang out with Jesus there. They gravitated toward Jesus and we so often find Jesus soothing, forgiving, loving words to the very lowest people in society.
While our Lord Jesus most scathing words were to murderers want to prostitutes wanted drunkards but to religious people.
Matthew 23 several times in a row wall unto you hypocrites and he unloads on them in the common people heard him gladly, and here once again at Passover, Jesus is in town let's go find him and they surrounded question why the appeal what's really the big difference between Jesus, the person in the practice of religion. What are several differences.
Let me give a few to number one. Religion emphasizes the outward Jesus emphasizes what tell me the inward and that right. He always emphasize the inward.
He said why are you thinking evil in your hearts or from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Jesus was always more concerned with what was going on on the inside of a person that how a person looks on the outside. Religion is about the outward Jesus was always about the inward.
Here's the second difference. Religion is often about what you can't do.
Jesus is about what you can do. Religion is about prohibition. Thou shalt not. It seems like Jesus approach was, you know, I just come as you are and watch what I can do through your life. That's where we find that's the big difference. I know some people there whole spiritual experience is one of negatives. Why don't do this and I don't do that.
I don't do the other thing, like the old fundamentalist: I don't smoke and I don't. You and I don't go with girls that do and I say, what do you do what do you do a minute if you just talk about what you don't do, but there's nothing in your life that shows what you're doing. That's the big difference is that there difference. Religion puts up barriers Jesus pulls down barriers if you and I were in Jerusalem 2000 years ago we went up to worship at the temple we couldn't go anywhere we wanted to go there were certain courts for people like us us non-Jewish people like me. I couldn't even get close to the temple itself.
I would be confined to the outer court known as the court of the Gentiles people out of spiritual cooties, like me, that's where I hung hang out. If I was a Jewish woman I could go further if I was a Jewish male I could go further if I was a Jewish priest. I could go even closer, but there were courts and there were walls that kept people out and I've discovered that religion is really good at keeping people out how different is Jesus who said, come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest so willing to include people and forth religion typically says you have to work your way to God were Jesus will say I am the way to God. I have seen I have talked to religious people. I have been a religious person long enough to know that most all world religions are all about what you have to do to work your way to God things you have to do prayers you have to say. Etc. etc. that is there religion of human achievement that is not the gospel. The gospel is the approach of divine accomplishment. Religion says you must do. God says I have done for you. It is finished.
Now you just received as a free gift. What I have done and there will be a transformation in the process.
So Jesus is more appealing than religion, so they they gather around him and they shout hosannas. I mention the word in Hebrew, not Hoshi, I'm not Hosanna translated in English means deliver us now. Save us now, Lord, the crowd clamors around them so much. So did you hear what the Pharisees said in verse 19. You see that you're accomplishing nothing.
Look the whole world is gone after him. Jesus was their biggest nightmare because what they what they have discovered is that people are more attracted to Jesus than their religious system, another's competition Jesus was that tipping point that drove people to a personal relationship with God through him, rather than through that ritualistic system. Here's the second observation Second Life lesson on this donkey ride Scripture is more reliable than opinion. So Jesus is more appealing than religion. And now Scripture is more reliable than opinion, look back with me at verse 14. If you will. Then Jesus when he had found a young donkey sat on it as it is written, fear not, daughter of Zion, behold, your King is coming sitting on a donkey's colt. His disciples did not understand these things at first but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him and that they had done these things to him.
Have you found that just about everybody meet has some opinion of Jesus. Everybody has an opinion of Jesus people at opinions of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago.
You recall when our Lord took his disciples up to Caesarea Philippi and he said who do men say that I the Son of Man am and immediately they spouted off all the opinion some say that your John the Baptist sincere Elijah or Jeremiah or one of the prophets was real opinions as to who Jesus Christ was John the apostle.
In this book, shares a few more opinions that people had in John chapter 9, for example, some were saying this man is not from God. Can you imagine saying that about God. This man is not from God because he does not keep the Sabbath others had this opinion. He's a prophet. In John chapter 10, another group said he has a demon and is mad. The magic question of all those opinions that I just rattled off to you or any of them accurate. Not really having the closest most accurate words a group that said he's a prophet but he was much more than that. So there was a myriad of opinions but notice what John does.
Here he twice quotes Scripture from the Old Testament. One is some hundred and 18 with the people said Hosanna blessed as you comes in the name of the Lord.
That's a direct quote and then Zechariah chapter 9 verse nine where it says fear not, daughter of Zion, behold, your King is coming sitting on a donkey's colt. So whatever opinions people had of Jesus. Here's what the Scripture says about Jesus and here's why I'm bringing this up because what the Scripture says he is is more reliable than what people think he is God's revelation is more reliable than people's estimation, Scripture is more reliable than opinion question why donkey what's up with a donkey you know in the other gospel records Jesus actually tells his disciples as their on the Mount of olives. Go to the next town and you to find a donkey bring that donkey here why you dislike donkey rides why donkey to listen carefully. Donkey showed his identity. Listen again and and you can read for yourself in verse 15, quoting Zechariah 9 behold your King comes to you sitting on a donkey's colt.
In other words, you have a king. He is going to come to you and when he comes to you please come if you want to donkey so Jesus asked for a donkey because he is presenting himself to them as their king. By the way, Kings Road donkeys in times of peace when they wanted to offer terms of peace to upper people group. They would mount a donkey was considered an animal of peace. When a king would come to wage war, he would ride a horse. This is why in Revelation 19 when Jesus comes again. He rides a horse in the Bible says. He comes to judge and to make war but here he is the Prince of peace, and is offering terms of peace to them so that donkey represents the reliability of Scripture 500 years before Zechariah predicted your King is coming to you on a donkey's colt okay so this is John's rendition of this event is mentioned as I said four times in all four Gospels. This one of the few events of Jesus life that all four gospel writers have recorded.
I want you to go back one book to the gospel of Luke. Turn with me in your Bibles to Luke chapter 19 and that is because John records the event. Luke records what Jesus said to them during this event and it's important that you get this. At this point. Luke chapter 19 I get there. Luke 19. Look at verse 41 Luke chapter 19 verse 41 now as he drew near, he saw the city of Jerusalem and he wept over it, and we were just on the Mount of olives a couple weeks ago. Some of us in the before us was the city of Jerusalem. We were weeping over we were smiling and taking pictures of. But I Jesus he comes in he sees that he starts crying he starts weeping out loud saying verse 42 if you had known, even you especially watch this in this your day. The things that make make for your peace. But now they are hidden from your eyes for the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you and on every side 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. Jesus get the scene. He's weeping over the city that he seen from the Mount of olives, he weeps over it and he predicts their fall, their destruction, somebody's gonna level this to the ground and destroy the city and the people in that happened.
By the way in 70 A.D. years later, it happened, the Roman surrounded Jerusalem and leveled it to the ground and notice what Jesus said in verse 44, because you did not know the time of your visitation. What on earth is he talking about when he says your day. This is your day. Verse 42 this is the time of your visitation. What Jesus is referring to is a prediction made by their own profit. The Jewish prophet Daniel in Daniel chapter 9, where Daniel gives into versus an exact precise timetable for the coming of their Messiah. Daniel chapter 9 verse 26 and 27 I heavenly messenger tells Daniel this from the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince will be 483 years. Then it says and the Messiah will be killed be cut off. It's a very odd but precise Scripture from the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince will be 483 years and then the Messiah will be killed so that must mean that you would be able to count at whatever time the commandment was given to restore and build Jerusalem you be able to count 483 years and you should come to some event about the Messiah, after which he would be killed.
Plain. Well, several scholars have looked at this, including this brilliant criminal investigation.
Guy Sir Robert Anderson. He was the head of Scotland Yard's criminal investigation and he wrote a book on that prophecy called the coming Prince so he discovered that the date in history when the commandment was given to the Jews to restore and rebuild Jerusalem after it had fallen was March 14 445 BC on that date Arctic Xerxes. The Persian monarch Artaxerxes launcher minus told the Jews go back and rebuild Jerusalem. Nehemiah and his buddies did that and then he decided I'm an account for March 14 445 BC 483 years and find out what date that is not only that but he he did it, and in precise numbers, and in this book the coming Prince.
He took not the Julian calendar, our calendars, 365 1/3 days per year. The old Babylonian/Jewish calendar has 360 dates a lunar year, not a solar year so he took years of 360 days 483 of those years. According the prophecy discovered that that equals total 173,880 days following so far. So he began it March 14 445 BC and counted 173,880 days and he decided know what day of the year was that on. It happened to be April 6 32 A.D. the 10th of the Jewish calendar month of Nissan the day when Jesus with his disciples comes to the Mount of olives, he goes okay boys no way to minute don't go yet there's a donkey next door bring that donkey to me and for the very first and only time Jesus presents himself as their king to the nation's seat. Up to this point, every time Jesus did some miracle it would've made him famous, you know, he told people should tell anybody, is not the time yet. The time hasn't come yet.
It will be revealed in the time but not today. Tell her but don't tell anybody that she kept telling people to keep her quiet but now on this day. On this day. He presents himself as their king according to the prophecy of Daniel.
According to the prophecy of Zechariah, he presents himself. Now the disciples didn't get it.
They didn't understand what is happening until after Jesus resurrection and ascension. Look at verse 16. His disciples did not understand these things at first but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him and that they had done these things to him. You know what when I read that verse is one the best verse I ever read. I read this week for the first time I started really understanding it as I felt of the sigh of relief that the disciples Jesus own disciples didn't understand it at first reason I get encourage because I read the Bible a lot I don't always get is not until the second or third or 52nd time I read it all. Now I get it now I see it, and now I see how precise and accurate it is.
So the disciples were getting it all yet, but they will later they will discover just how reliable the Scripture is special when you compare that to people's opinions. Everybody had an opinion as to who Jesus was.
These disciples would go back and read the Scriptures see a reliable and accurate that Skip Heitzigs of number six message on our top 40 messages countdown from the series Palm Sunday messages message and more Scripps teachings as well as full-length sermon series anywhere any time on any device.
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