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The Palm Sunday Perspective

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
March 26, 2023 1:20 am

The Palm Sunday Perspective

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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March 26, 2023 1:20 am

Today we’re in our second week of our Easter series with Majors Mike and Christine Harris.

Throughout this series they are studying the various perspectives those who witnessed the Easter story unfold.

Today, we study the Palm Sunday Perspective. We see Jesus’ triumphant arrival into Jerusalem- knowing that the same people who shouted Hosanna, would be yelling crucify Him days later.

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake. You're listening to The Salvation Army's Words of Life. For kids at The Salvation Army, a meal isn't just a meal. It's fuel for imagination, determination, and dreams. It's energy to be role models, change makers, and to just be kids. With your gift, a full meal means a full heart, a full night's sleep, and a future full of possibilities.

Give $25 a month to show local kids love beyond hunger at SalvationArmyUSA.org. Thanks for joining us today. I'm Bernie Dake, and Cheryl will join us again in our next series. Today, we're in our second week of our Easter series with majors Mike and Christine Harris. Throughout this series, they are studying the various perspectives of those who witnessed the Easter story unfold.

Today, we study the Palm Sunday perspective, where we see Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, knowing that the same people who shouted, Hosanna would be yelling, crucify him, days later. We've been married 25 years now, and it's been short, actually, 25 years with you, just so you know. It hasn't felt like forever.

Yeah, you should. But what I appreciate about you is that you are patient. You're patient in dealing with me, although that's very rare. You're patient with our three babies.

Well, they're all adults, but they're my babies. You're patient whenever you have to deal with something. Do you know where you're not patient? You know where you're not patient.

Actually, I know exactly where I'm not patient. Okay, fair enough. So, I do most of the shopping in the house. It's fair to say. And one of the things—now, it's different these days because you have these self-checkouts, but for a good long time, we'd have the regular checkouts, and you'd always have a couple of checkouts that were, like, for 10 items or less.

Right. So, I'd get in line. And usually, I'm in that line.

I'm in a hurry. You've got less items. You think you should get out quicker. And I'd always gaze at the person's basket in front of me, start counting up the items that they have. And I'd get quite hot under the collar, wouldn't I, if they had more than 10 items? That's why you had to go to grocery shopping by yourself. I didn't like standing in line with you anymore. Yeah, and I would sort of tut.

Yeah, it's an English thing to do, is to tut. However, I do remember occasions when I would go in and go shopping, and I would gather up 11, 12, 13 items, and I'd think to myself, it's not that big a deal. I mean, people aren't going to mind.

It's just a couple of items more. It's interesting, therefore, how my perspective shifts depending on where I was. If it was benefiting me, then it was okay.

If it was an obstruction to me, then I wasn't okay. Exactly. It's all about your perspective. Well, the Easter week is one of the most dramatic in history, and it's the story of Jesus and how He is viewed and treated by people based on their perspectives. So you have the perspective of the people, the man and the woman of the street, that crowd that was there, those people that were expecting Him. There's a perspective of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the teachers of the law, the scribes. There's a perspective of the governor, the Romans, who were there watching all of this go down. And then the perspective of the disciples and Jesus and how Jesus was taking this all in.

So as we're going to explore these different perspectives, we're going to look at the triumphal entry. We all know the story of how Jesus came into that city on the donkey and how everything was glorious and the shouts and all that was taking place. So you have the people, and they are shouting, and they are excited, and they are throwing down their robes, and they are doing palm trees because they have been anxiously awaiting this prophet that would be in the mold of Moses. In Deuteronomy, the words of Moses are recorded saying, "'The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites.

You must listen to him.'" So we have a Moses-like deliverer who would liberate Israel and dismiss the Romans. That's the people's perspective. Word had spread about Jesus due to the miraculous resurrection of Lazarus and the healings that he had done. So people recognized that Jesus was this long-awaited deliverer. In Matthew 21, it says the whole city of Jerusalem was stirred and asked, who is this? The crowds answered, this is Jesus. So could he be the prophet like Moses? Could this be the son of David? And if so, we must respond as David described in Psalm 118.

Said, the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day. Let us rejoice today and be glad. Lord, save us. Lord, grant us success.

In other words, Hosanna. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord for the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God. And he has made his light shine on us with bows in hand joined in the festival procession up to the horns of the altar. David wrote this, and yet this sounds exactly like Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Even the disciples joined in.

John says that the disciples did not understand what was going on. They were a little confused. They were a little excited, a little apprehensive. They were almost giddy about what was happening on this day. They were, at this point, proud to be associated with him.

Oh, yeah, that's right. Look at me. We spent three years with him. We've seen all his miracles. He is the Messiah. This is whom we worship.

He's finally getting the credit that he deserves, and this is all fantastic. But the perspective of the people, they're the ones that swayed how the understanding of Jesus was being taken place at this time. Even by the disciples.

Yep. Even the disciples were swayed by what was happening all around them because Jesus was, after all, now perceived to be this all-conquering king that they had been waiting for. But then you have the Pharisees and their little friends.

Those people that were all gathering and talking. So while this large crowd had gathered and were excited and celebrating that Jesus was coming in from their perspective, you had this smaller group standing with their arms folded and tutting like you at the grocery store? Well, their power was the law, wasn't it? I guess he was getting in the way of their power. Jesus was a threat to their standing.

Their power lay in the law, and this man had been questioning their authority and pushing back on their interpretation of the law. So the first thing they tried to do is to quiet the disciples. They wanted them to shut up. They even told Jesus, shut their mouths, to which Jesus famously replied, if they keep quiet. Even the rocks will cry out.

Exactly. Then, rather alarmed, the Pharisees said, see, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone with him. So the perspective of these religious leaders was that Jesus' popularity was greater than theirs.

So they would have to turn the people against him. This whole little conspiracy thing happening with people that were supposed to be teaching and giving God's word. In John 11, we see a very curious declaration from Caiaphas, the chief priest at the time. He says, then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up.

You know nothing at all. You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish. He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year, he prophesized that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation. And not only for that nation, but also for the scattered children of God.

To bring them together and make them one. So that from that day on, they plotted to take his life. That's very interesting that Caiaphas would see the necessity of Jesus dying.

Right. But in his perspective, he thought it was a way of getting him out of the way. Yet, here you have this malicious high priest who gave a perfect and accurate prophecy of what Jesus was going to do. But his motive behind the prophecy, it was all evil.

It was just to get Jesus out of the way. They didn't want him around. They didn't want his idea of taking away their glory. They wanted it for themselves because they were treated like royalty. They were the special ones. Jesus didn't make them special anymore.

Not in the way they wanted it. And so that was the high priest's aim. From their perspective, they had to get the people to turn against him to make sure that Jesus was no longer seen as this great conqueror, this king. They had to twist and turn and plot against our Savior. Then you have Jesus' perspective, a lonely figure cut in the midst of all of this.

We know the scene pretty well. Jesus is riding up into Jerusalem on his donkey. You can almost hear the crowd going. And yet, Jesus isn't there celebrating. He's not there anticipating the warmth and the love of this crowd. He was actually crying. He was weeping. It's a remarkable image, isn't it, in that celebration just that Jesus was weeping.

It's almost like people didn't notice. He was mourning. Luke tells us that as he approached Jerusalem, he wept over the city because he knew that the sense of hope they had was wrong. It wasn't what he was bringing to the world, not what they wanted. If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes, the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.

They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you. That's in Luke. He laid it all out there for him. All Jesus wanted to do was save the people. He wanted to save his people, but he knew that the hardness of their hearts would reject him, resulting in destruction.

Kind of feel like that's our own lives when we reject him, the hardening of our hearts and the destruction we cause our own lives at times. Jesus' tears were not for himself and what he knew was about to happen. Jesus' tears was because he knew the people weren't listening and they weren't taking what he was offering.

They wanted emancipation. He offered eternal salvation. Looking at Jesus through our own eyes from our own perspective is always destructive because we will always relegate Jesus to our viewpoints and what we want, just like the Jews did when Jesus came in. They relegated Jesus to be this all-conquering hero that was going to save them from the Romans, not understanding that he was there to save them. Alternatively, our self-righteousness can give us a pedestal that we try to sit on, that we try to point fingers and judge people at, just like the Pharisees when they tried to do that.

But a Christ-like perspective allows us to see the world as Jesus sees it, a harvest ripe to be reaped. Amen. That's how we can help. Share prayer requests or your testimony.

With your permission, we would love to use your story on the show. You can also subscribe to Words of Life on your favorite podcast store, or visit SalvationArmyRadio.org to learn about more programs produced by the Salvation Army. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. Join us next time for the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Music
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 02:17:35 / 2023-03-26 02:23:03 / 5

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