Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Palm Sunday - Our Fickle Hearts

"Blessed is he" will soon become "crucify him!"

Luke 19:37-41  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.

38  "Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!"

39  But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, "Teacher, rebuke Your followers for saying things like that!"

40  He replied, "If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!"  41  But as He came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, He began to weep.

The crowd that ran out to the city gates to welcome Jesus were praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. The crowds heard the news and they knew what has been going on recently.

It hasn't been very long since Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, just recently Jesus healed ten lepers and on another occasion there was a huge uproar when blind Bartimaeus was healed. There was even some talk that Jesus changed that tax collector Zacchaeus and now he was passing out the first ever tax refunds.

Jesus decision to go to Jerusalem was not a great idea in the minds of the disciples but surely their minds were put at ease with all of this positive attention that Jesus was getting. Did Judas think that the power that he was waiting for was finally going to happen? Did James and John start to think about their moms request to sit next to Jesus on his throne?

They were probably all confused since Jesus has been talking about dying in Jerusalem and now everything seems to be good. That is until the religious leaders showed up and demanded that Jesus reprimand his fan club.

Jesus told them that these people were not wrong to sing praises to him but at the same time he isn't letting this moment of popularity go to his head. It's just like the beginning of Jesus ministry when the crowds were starting to come around but Jesus already knew that the crowds were not sincere. (John 2:23-25)
Psalms 91:4  He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Just like many of the generations before, these people saw many signs and miracles, they got to experience God close up but they would still reject him. They would taste of God's goodness and delight in him for a season and then they would push him aside.
The people of Israel, on the heels of unthinkable miracles, with their pockets full of Egyptian jewelry, grumble at their less-than-five-star accommodations in the desert. This wasn't just headache-induced grumbling or low-blood-sugar complaining. This was faithlessness.
-John Piper
Just like many of us today. Our pockets are full, we have homes that are more accommodating than most of the world has and our stomachs are full, and just like the Israelites we grumble about the Lord's goodness.

All of us are prone to be like Peter and forget everything that we have experienced. Peter had walked on water, he picked up the leftovers when Jesus fed the crowds and he helped unwrap Lazarus when he walked out of the tomb. He said "I won't deny you!" and yet he turned just as quickly as the rest of the crowd.

Do you realize how unbelieveable that is to those that haven't tasted God's goodness? To those that do not have the hope of future glory that will last for eternity? We are so fickle, we turn on Him so quickly, join in with the crowds and mock him like he hasn't done anything.
How deep the Father's love for us, How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son, To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss, The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One, Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross, My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, Call out among the scoffers
Forgive me Lord for choosing to do it my way, help me to be loyal to you instead of giving in to my sin nature, I need your help to stop the rebellion against you in my own life. I want to crown you Lord of my life and allow you to stay in control. I want to be faithful to you and never doubt your goodness.