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On the Road to Jerusalem - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2023 6:00 am

On the Road to Jerusalem - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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April 5, 2023 6:00 am

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, crowds of people cheered Him on—complete with praises and shouts of Hosanna. But as Skip shares in his message "On the Road to Jerusalem," not everyone in the crowd was truly a disciple. You and I must also decide if we're just one of the crowd or a real follower.

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So the multitude said that as some who were in the crowd, this is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. The crowd was moved. The problem is some in the crowd were moved toward him, others in the crowd were moved away from him.

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, crowds of people cheered him on, complete with praises and shouts of Hosanna. But as Skip shares in his teaching today, not everyone in the crowd was truly a disciple. And you and I must also decide if we're just one of the crowd or a real follower of Christ. But first, God has called us to make his name known and tell others the good news of salvation in Christ, even when the world doesn't listen or tells us to sit down and be quiet. That's why we share these messages, to encourage you in your faith so you can be a powerful witness for Christ in the world. And in this new year of ministry, Skip wants to get these messages into more major US cities. Would you consider a gift today to help make this possible?

You'll not only help encourage others, but you'll keep these teachings you love available to you as well. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate.

Thank you. Okay, we're in Matthew 21 as we join Skip for today's lesson. Because of this attribute of God, his humility, we can say that God needed a donkey to ride. God needed a boat when Jesus stood on that boat and preached the gospel to a crowd. He needs a mountainside in Galilee from which to preach. He needed bread and fish in his hands to multiply to feed the multitude. He needed to borrow a tomb to stage a resurrection after his death. So I say to you this morning, God needs your donkey.

I'm not talking about your husband. I'm talking about whatever God has given you, put in your hands, whatever resource you say is your resource. This is my stuff. I've earned this.

I own this. God needs your donkey. And the highest use of your stuff is when you allow God to use it for his glory. So God would say to you this morning, I want, I need your donkey. I need whatever I have put in your hands. And so every year when we have a Operation Christmas Child and we take all those shoeboxes and all the gifts that we bring here, we could say, God needs your shoebox this year.

You keep the shoes, just give them the box and fill it with toys. God needs this property. God needs that piano, those drums. He wants to use it for his glory. Anything you place in his hands, he can bless and use. And why?

Why is that? I think God loves when his kids can take part in kingdom work. This is what it's like when when my son Nate was a toddler. Seems so long ago, but seems like the other day for us. When he was a toddler, I needed to build a gate at my house, a little wooden gate. And so I was in the garage. I had it all measured. I had the wood. I had my hammer, screws, nails.

I had everything set out. Nate comes in, a little toddler, and goes, Dad, can I help build the gate? Now, what's Dad going to say when his son asks, Can I help? I'm going to say, Yes, you can help build the gate.

Absolutely. Knowing when I say that, he's really not going to give me a lot of assistance that day. He's a toddler. His hammer is a plastic hammer.

His screwdriver is a plastic screwdriver. Dad, can I help? Sure. I know it's probably going to take me longer with his help. But when it's all done, you know what he says? He says, Look what we did.

Look what we built. And I think God takes particular pleasure when his kids allow God to use whatever their donkey is so they can say, Look what we did. And we can partner in kingdom work. The Bible says, 1 Corinthians 3, 9, We are co-laborers with Christ, or we are God's fellow workers. So that is humility, sovereignty followed by humility. Third word is punctuality. Punctuality. Do you know that God is never late? He's never late.

Sometimes we think he's like, Good, you should have done this at that time. You're late. No, you're early. God is never late.

He is perfectly always on time. So in verse 6, the disciples went, did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road.

Others cut down branches from trees, spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest. It is only John who informs us that on that day they took palm branches. That's why we call it Palm Sunday. That's because of the Gospel of John.

If we didn't have the Gospel of John, we wouldn't call it Palm Sunday. It just says here there were branches of trees. John says they were palm branches. Now, palm branches were a symbol of strength, resilience, because palm trees grow in adverse climates.

They don't need a whole lot of water, and they can withstand lots of temperature change. But 150 years before this event, another event happened in Jerusalem by the Maccabean brothers, the Maccabee brothers, Judas Maccabeus, Simon Maccabeus. They delivered Israel from the Syrian threat, and when they were able to reinstitute the temple sacrifices again, the people celebrated with palm branches and with music and with dancing in the streets. So that was sort of in their psyche to do this. They see Jesus as a deliverer, sort of like a Maccabean comeback, and so they spread their clothes in the road. That's very symbolic. When you take something that is your coat, something you're wearing, and you take it off and you put it on the road for people or animals to walk on, that's a sign of surrender. You're saying, you can have all of me.

You can even trample on my clothes. So they spread their clothes, and you'll notice in verse 9, they cried out saying, Hosanna. Hosanna is a word that means save now. Save now.

And they're not just making this up. They're quoting Psalm 118, which is a messianic psalm. Save now, Lord. Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest. So it's an incredible event. But I mentioned punctuality. There's more here than meets the eye. I want you to turn in your Bibles to the Gospel of Luke for a moment. Keep your marker here. But turn over to the Gospel of Luke, and look at chapter 19.

It's a parallel account. It's the same event, but Luke tells the story, and he adds a few details, and I want you to see those details. In Luke chapter 19, I'm going to show you how on time God is. Verse 37 of Luke 19. Then as he was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying, Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees called to him from the crowd, Teacher, rebuke your disciples. But he answered and said to them, I tell you that if these disciples should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out. I always tell people when you stand on the Mount of Olives, reach down and pick up a stone. That'll be your souvenir from Israel.

Put it on your desk or put it on your coffee table at home, and when people say, What's that? You can tell them that's one of the stones that didn't cry out. And they'll say, What does that mean? You have an opportunity to share the gospel with them. But I often wish that Jesus would have just said to his disciples, Shh, don't say anything.

Watch this. I just wish you would have let this happen. The rock's crying out. And that'd be cool.

It'd be the first rock concert in history. Yeah, you walked right into that. Okay, so I didn't finish the story.

I got sidetracked. Now, verse 41. As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, now watch this, If you had only known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that 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 in on every side and level you and your children within you to the ground.

They will not leave in you one stone upon another. He is predicting what will happen in 70 AD. This did happen.

Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. But watch this. Read this, the last phrase, because you did not know the time of your visitation. Jesus is holding the nation accountable for knowing the day, this day, the day of their visitation. You should have known about this day.

You didn't know the day of your visitation. Now, in the next few moments, I'm going to beg your attention, full attention, no cell phone, no texting, no distraction. You need extra brain power for this because I want you to, I want to show you God's punctuality. In Daniel chapter 9, you don't have to turn there, just listen to me, Daniel chapter 9, there is a prophecy given called the 70 weeks of Daniel. It's the backbone of prophecy, it's called. Daniel gives the timing of the coming of the Messiah, and this is what he says. In Daniel 9 verses 24 through 26, 70 weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy. Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince shall be seven sevens and 62 sevens, the street and the wall will be built again even in troublesome times, and after the 62 sevens, the Messiah shall be cut off but not for himself. It's an amazing detailed prophecy announcing the coming of the Messiah, and he says there will be 70 sevens. Some translations say 70 weeks, some say 70 weeks of years, more modern translations translated out 490 years because the Hebrew construction is shebuim shebim, 77s or 490 years. So get this, 490 years are determined for the city of Jerusalem and for the Jewish people, for these things to happen, and from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince shall be seven sevens and 62 sevens or 69 sevens or 483 years. From the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince, 483 years. This so intrigued a guy by the name of Sir Robert Anderson about a century ago.

He was the head of criminal investigation at Scotland Yard. It so fascinated him, he wrote a book called The Coming Prince. It's a very tedious book to read, I've read it, I have it, but he does the calculations. He calculated that 483 years according to the calendar would be 173,880 days exactly. So we know the date in history when a commandment went forth to restore and build Jerusalem. On March 14th 445 BC Artaxerxes Longimonus, the Persian, said restore and build Jerusalem and you can build the wall and the streets again, just like the prophecy said. So Sir Robert Anderson said well that means if I count 173,880 days from March 14th 445 BC, if I go I should be able to come to some significant date of the Messiah the Prince, Daniel 9, 24, 25, and 26. So he did. He did all the calculations and he discovered that 173,880 days from March 14th 445 BC took him all the way to April the 6th 32 AD, or the 10th of Nisan, or the very day Jesus said go get that donkey, I'm going on a little donkey ride, I'm going to present myself to the nation. And then he said you should have known this your day, this is the day of your visitation. Another little detail, the 10th of Nisan was always the day, the 14th day of Nisan was Passover.

The 10th day of Nisan is when the lambs were selected that you would sacrifice on the day of Passover. So here is the lamb presenting himself to the nation, holding them accountable for that day. How precise is God, right? How precise is God?

Down to the detail. Now just let me give you a quick little warning. Some of you are going to go home because you're fascinated by this and you're going to come back and you're going to get really mad, you're going to get right in my face and go, you're wrong, I did the math and it's not 173,880 days, it's 176,295 days, that's what you're going to tell me. And if you do that I'm going to tell you you're wrong in your calculation. You've been using the Julian calendar, the modern calendar, you need to go back and use not the solar calendar, solar calendar, but the lunar calendar, which isn't 365 and a third days, that's the modern calendar, but 360 day year, that's the lunar calendar. You use those calculations and you'll come up with April 6, 32 AD. No wonder Jesus wept over the city. He showed up exactly when their prophet Daniel said he would show up and he said, you should have known the day of your visitation.

So that's punctuality. Let me give you the fourth word and we'll close. Controversy. Controversy.

He always divides. Verse 10 of our text. And when he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved. It's a very powerful word, moved. It's used three times in the Gospel of Matthew, always referring to an earthquake.

But here it says they were moved, they were shaken by this. The city was moved saying, now get this, they're saying, who is this? You know, talk about the insanity of a crowd. Here's a crowd saying all this, Hosanna, bless God, praise God.

And then they're going, what are we singing about? Who is this? You know, crowds can do that. You can get caught up in the melee of a crowd and not even know what the issue is. It's just a crowd making a lot of noise. Who is this? So the multitude said that it's some who are in the crowd.

This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. The crowd was moved. The problem is, some in the crowd were moved toward him, others in the crowd were moved away from him. It's not a homogenous crowd. There's different hearts.

There's different ways of looking at the same situation. Some are shouting, Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David.

Others are saying, like we saw in the Gospel of Luke, master or rabbi, teacher, tell your disciples to stop, rebuke your disciples. The question for you is, how will it move you? Will it move you toward him?

Will it move you away from him? Now, I love the exuberance of this moment. I love the fact that Jesus comes, and some people are so stoked that they're quoting Psalm 118, going, this is it, Hosanna, praise God, bless God. And it says they did it with a loud voice.

Here it says in verse 9, they cried out. I love exuberant praise. That's how praise ought to be.

It ought to be exuberant. I think some of us need to inform folks that Jesus is worth celebrating, because sometimes you come to church and Jesus risen from the dead, and it's kind of like, yeah, yawn. Oh, I'm supposed to sing or get excited about Jesus being alive from the dead or something?

I mean, it's like, hello. Martin Luther was right. He said, you know, why is it in the secular field there's such good music, but in the religious field there's such lifeless, dead stuff?

I think Martin Luther would like it here. Here we sing, and we sing with a loud voice. But a word about this crowd as we bring this to a close. Not everyone in that crowd, even those, not everyone singing, Hosanna, praise the Lord, not everyone was a true disciple. This is a bandwagon effect. Some are shouting and saying, who is this?

What's going on? And some people in that crowd in a few days are the very ones who, when Jesus stands before Pilate, will say of Jesus, crucify him. Crucify him.

They'll turn in the other direction. And others, as we said, are mad about this. Teacher, rebuke your disciples. Here's what's fascinating to me. Of all of the characters in this story, you know who's the most compliant? The donkey. The very animal who is usually associated with stubbornness and non-compliance in this story is the most compliant.

In Isaiah chapter 1, the prophet said, the ox knows its owner and the donkey its master's crib, but Israel does not know my people do not consider. I heard about a preacher who went to church on a Monday morning only to discover a dead donkey, which is an odd thing to find at church. So there he's looking at that dead donkey, doesn't know who to call, so he gets on the phone, calls the police. The police tell him, well, is there evidence of foul play? He says, no. It's just a dead donkey.

It just looked like he just collapsed. And the police say, well, if there's no evidence of foul play, it's not under our jurisdiction. You need to call the health department. So he calls the health department.

The health department said, well, it doesn't sound like it's a health hazard, so because it's not a health hazard, it's not under our jurisdiction, you need to call the sanitation department to come pick it up. So he gets on the phone, calls the sanitation department. The sanitation department also had, this is how government works, calls the sanitation department, sanitation department, He calls the sanitation department, sanitation where he says, well, you know, we can't really pick up a dead donkey unless you get permission from the mayor. Well, the pastor knew the mayor, knew that the mayor was sort of cantankerous, stubborn, not easy to work with, but he calls the mayor on the phone. He goes, Mr. Mayor, I have a dead donkey, and I've been told by this person to call that person, call that person. They all said, I gotta call you to get permission.

And the mayor got angry, and he said, why do you call me anyway? Isn't it your job, preacher, to bury the dead? Preacher said, yes, Mr. Mayor, it is my job to bury the dead, but I always like to notify the next of kin first. In this story, the Pharisees are the next of kin.

Teacher, rebuke your disciples. They're the next of kin. Two questions as we close. Number one, a God who is this accurate and this detailed, can you trust? Then why haven't some of you trusted him yet?

Why haven't you placed your life in his hands? Which is the follow-up question. How will you respond in the day of opportunity, the day of your visitation? That concludes Skip Heitzig's message today from the Easter series on the road. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, we want to share about a special resource that will help you relate more personally to your risen savior.

Looking deep into the empty tomb by Skip Heitzig consists of five messages, including Rise Up, Easter's Over, Now What?, An Empty Tomb of Full Life, Jesus Died But God, and Come Alive. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most attested to facts in history. It is a fact that sets Christianity apart from every other world religion, and it's the reason for our hope. Of all of the religions in the world, only four of them are based upon actual personalities. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism.

Those four are based upon the personality of the founder. But of all of those four religions, only one claims a resurrection for its founder. That's why we have hope. That's why we gather here today, because of that good news. For this Easter season, we've put together a special set of resurrection resources by Skip that include five of his finest Easter messages for audio download or on CD, and a full video titled On the Road. We want to send you a copy of this package of messages, as thanks for your gift to support Connect with Skip Heitzig and help grow this teaching ministry to reach more people in major cities in the US this year. So request your package when you give your gift of $50 or more today, and take a walk with the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus. Just call 800-922-1888, or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer.

That's connectwithskip.com slash offer. Join us again tomorrow on Connect with Skip Heitzig, as Skip shares a powerful message about the road Jesus walked to Calvary on our behalf. Of course, that journey for Jesus began long before this day, began when he was born in Bethlehem, just a few miles south of Jerusalem, about five, six miles south of Jerusalem, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

And he was on the road from that moment on, all the way up to his death, walking toward the cross. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the cross.

Cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection. Connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-05 06:24:37 / 2023-04-05 06:34:30 / 10

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