Resurrection 2017 / Palm Sunday 2017

Palm Sunday: The Road to The Resurrection
 
As we celebrate the season we have entered that culminates with the Day of Pentecost fifty days after Christ’s Ascension into heaven, we are at a place where the hearts of the followers of Jesus was filled with hope while He was with them and sadness as He died on the Cross.
 
Today as we celebrate this special time, my desire is that I would give both an audible and visual enactment of what transpired prior to and leading up to the cross. This Cross is central to everything we believe. It is the factor that gives us the hope of eternal life that we have in salvation and it unites all other Christian denominations together.
 
But leading up to the event of the cross, we have several important things that must be considered.
 
First, the death of Christ did not happen by accident. It was methodical and in the heart of God from the foundation of the earth.
 
Revelation 13
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
 
In Genesis chapter 1 we have the earth being re-stored. In Genesis 3 Adam disobeys God and eats from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
 
When God confronts satan [the serpent] the sentence that God imposed in verse 15 was that He would “put enmity or an enemy between the serpent and the woman, and between his seed and her seed and that the seed of satan would bruise the “heel” of the seed of the woman but the Seed of the woman would crush his head.
 
15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
 
2] Since that prophetic Word in the Book of Genesis, the devil tried numerous times to wipe out the Christ Child. He knew Moses would be a deliverer and had all the boys killed… yet God used Him to deliver His people from the Hand of Egyptian Bondage… instituting the First Passover.
 
When Mary gave birth to Jesus, in Matthew 2, king Herod tried to kill Him and had all boys killed. God spared Him by sending Him with His parents to Egypt until the King who sought His life died. Matthew 2
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
 
The Jesus the Christ grows up. Luke 2:40
And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
 
In John chapter 1, Jesus was baptized by his cousin John in the Jordan River. Jesus is revealed as the Lamb of God coming into the earth for one specific reason.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
 
Mark 1
9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
 
The Father speaks from heaven, the Holy Ghost descends and rests
upon Jesus in the form of a dove and leads Him into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
 
Satan takes advantage of Jesus’ fasting for forty days and when He was in a physically weakened state, he tempts Jesus several times with the ultimate temptation being riches and kingdoms.
Luke 4
1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
 
3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”
7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you,’ 11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”
13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.
 
14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.
 
Jesus not only knew the Word but “He WAS the Word” from the beginning [John 1] and could not be lured into forsaking the Father. In the same manner, we are often tempted and must know the Word so we can stand against the wiles of the devil and not give in, give up or give out when things don’t go our way.
 
Jesus being tempted, the Bible says that “He was tempted in all ways like we are, yet He did not sin.” He overcame the same temptations that you have faced and as He overcame, we also can overcome.
 
The Bible says, Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit and shortly after, performs miracles, signs and wonders, while preparing His disciples for three and a half years to be His voice in the earth.
 
Now the time for Jesus to fulfill the Fathers will is at hand and He must fulfill everything that was written of Him.
 
The week before Jesus was crucified, He was celebrated as the King that He is and He travels to Jerusalem to Celebrate His earthly Passover.
 
John 12:12 NKJV
12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!”
14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
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.
 
Hosanna is an exclamation of praise that literally means, “save us.” (hoh-zanʹuh), a Hebrew expression of two words meaning ‘Save, I [we] pray’ but transliterated as one word [Hosanna] in Greek and then English.
 
Ps. 118:25 was recited once daily for six days in the liturgy of the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) but seven times on the seventh day as branches were waved.
 
Psalm 118
          25 Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.
 
In Matthew chapter 21, Jesus proceeds to the Temple and sees the money changers, He cleanses the Temple of the greed and the love they had of money declaring that His Father’s House shall be called a House of Prayer, but they made it a den of thieves.
12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
 
God’s House, the Church is first and foremost a House of Prayer. It is the place where people come to gain a deeper understanding of God and communicate with Him in spirit. If we don’t pray, we must consider whether we are God’s place of Habitation.
  • Then, Jesus curses the fig tree declaring no one will eat from you again... and it was so. 21:18
  • His authority is questioned by the religious leaders of the day 21:21
  • He then gives several parables concerning the Kingdom of God
  • Then He is confronted by the religious leaders again, who worked together to try to discredit Him… the Pharisees, the Herodians and Sadducees.
  • In Chapter 24, Jesus gives the disciples the signs of the end times and cautions them about following just anyone who acknowledges that He is the Christ.
 
After telling the disciples more parables, we have where the time of is death draws near and one of the first things that happen is that satan influences Judas to betray Jesus. This was prophesied and happened as God said that it would.
 
Luke 22
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.
3 Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. 4 So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.
 
Matthew 26 translates the account:
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.
 
The rest of the disciples eat the Passover meal that was instituted by Moses in the Book of Exodus. There was a spotless lamb and bitter herbs that served as a reminder of their time of slavery at the hands of the Egyptians.
 
Matthew 26 NLT
26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”
27 And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is My blood, which confirms the Covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark My words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in My Father’s Kingdom.”
30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
 
This begins a time of warfare that was unprecedented in the history of the earth.
 
Although Jesus came to purchase back the human race, the cross would not be easy… it would not be something that could be embraced without focus, determination and resolve.
 
Matthew 26, we have Jesus overcoming the cross in the Garden. You will never overcome your tests, trials and temptations in the flesh, until they are first overcome in the Spirit.
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43 And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44 So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
 
The Lord Jesus Christ, became sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him.  
 
In the Garden, He overcame every fear, every doubt, every bit of hopelessness. In the garden, His heart was prepared for the will of God and He saw that will through to the end.
 
Because He was faithful to what God called Him to, all I can say is Thank You Lord, for what you’ve done for me!
 

THE RESURRECTION

As we celebrate this special day in the history of the Church, The Resurrection is what the ancient prophecies about The Christ: Jesus’ virgin birth, impeccable life, death and burial… is all about.
 
Without the Resurrection, the other things could be dismissed as historic events that serves as a roadmap to these prophesied things as they would still await their fulfillment in someone.
 
What many people do not know is that the Resurrection of Christ has been and remains one of the most divisive doctrines in the world. It’s not so much that within the Christian Church that we disagree about the Cross and the Resurrection as this is foundational in our system of Belief.
 
However, with the thousands of other religions in the world, the one thing that most come together to fight against is the Resurrected Christ.
 
Although Jesus was not the “first” person to be raised from the dead, His return to life from the dead encompassed not only resurrection from physical death, but His Resurrection from both spiritual and eternal death.
 
Understanding the composite or the makeup of our humanity gives us peace as we go through the earth. Understanding that we are more than physical beings gives us consolation and comfort as we are faced with the challenges of life.
 
To be “resurrected” means to “Stand upon your feet again; to return to life.” It’s this great Truth of Scripture that we celebrate at this time. This is what Christ did when He was raised from the dead, He stood on His feet again and returned to life.
 
Before He stood on His feet again, Christ had to be put to death. His death was not like any other as He was a sinless Man; and although sinless it does not mean He was not tempted in all ways just as we are. What made His life unique is that he remained without sin.
 
Before the Cross and before His death, there was war and in the war, the devil; satan, the serpent of old, thought he won eternal control over the domain that we call earth.
 
Yet, God’s wisdom is revealed in the Crucifixion. This was the only way God would gain complete authority in the earth “through His people” as after Adams fall, the earth remained the Lord’s, the fulness thereof, the world and all that dwells therein.
 
It was the people that God designated, who would assume their God given authority as God intended for mankind in the Garden of Eden, that the Resurrection reveals as God’s intended agents of His Authority.
 
Therefore, God’s wisdom is encapsulated in the Crucifixion… a wisdom that was hidden for hundred’s and even thousands of years from the wise.
First Corinthians 2
7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
 
In the Book of Isaiah, we have a prophetic picture of what Jesus looked like and accomplished through His obedience.
 
Isaiah 52   
13 See, my servant will prosper; He will be highly exalted.
14 But many were amazed when they saw Him. His face was so disfigured He seemed hardly human, and from His appearance, one would scarcely know He was a man.
15 And He will startle [Shock, Frighten and Surprise] many nations. Kings will stand speechless in His presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.
 
The culmination or end of Jesus’ earthly life was one that very few humans could have endured. The mocking, beatings and His ultimate death was one that no other person would have wanted to go through or could have accomplished.
 
And as horrendous as it was, it was the ONLY way for the Father to “redeem” His prized creation… mankind. His obedience to the Father as verse 15 says will cause many nations to be shocked and Kings to be speechless when they stand before Him.
 
Isaiah 53 continues and reveals the prophetic plan that is a encapsuled in Christ’s death and Resurrection. NLT
1 Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed His powerful arm?
2 My Servant grew up in the LORD’S presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to him.
 
3 He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
4 Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins!
 
5 But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.
 
7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth.
8 Unjustly condemned, He was led away. No one cared that He died without descendants, that His life was cut short in midstream. But He was struck down for the rebellion of My people.
9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But He was buried like a criminal; He was put in a rich man’s grave.
 
10 But it was the LORD’S good plan to crush Him and cause Him grief. Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’S good plan will prosper in his hands.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, He will be satisfied. And because of his experience, My righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins.
 
In the crucifixion, God’s plan was to bring this prophetic Word concerning the Messiah to completion. Christ was to carry our sins so we would not have to; bear our sicknesses so we could be healed and remove the guilt and condemnation associated with sin from our hearts so we could be free in our minds as we go through the earth.
 
Message Bible translates verse 10:
Still, it’s what GOD had in mind all along to crush Him with pain.
 NKJV
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise [CRUSH] Him; He has put Him to grief.
 
There are two things that I want to intertwine in this teaching today as we associate our own Christianity with the “Founder” whose name is attached to our system of Belief… Jesus the Christ, our Messiah and soon coming King.
 
Dealing with these things from the perspective of Resurrection, for us to have and embrace this hope that Jesus being raised from the dead is intended to give us, we must accept as a Divine Truth that this did happen.
 
People denying the Resurrection is not new as some of the religious people of Christ’s day, the Sadducees denied that there was any such thing.
Acts 23
8 For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection—and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.
 
You hear similar statements today depending on the system of belief of the person that you speak with.
 
The Truth concerning the Resurrection must be approached from the perspective of “allowing the Truth to change your perception or the facts that you may have come to know.” After the Truth is known, we change what we previously thought about the facts that we held dear to our hearts, no matter what the source of that information was.
 
Your Truth as a Believer is the Word of God and when we see what is written in the Bible, we must change how we think, how we act, how we live and how we speak.
 
In this instance, we must allow the Word of the Lord to influence our eternal spirits and give us hope that this is a precept that will come to pass as we embrace it with our whole hearts.
 
Before I read, the thing about the Resurrection is that “If we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved” and our own resurrection will be a reality when we come to that juncture in our own lives.”
 
Yet, this Truth has present implications as well as it allows us to live with confidence as we face challenges in our physical lives.
 
So, to get to this point we must know what the Bible says about Christ’s Resurrection.
 
First Corinthians 15 NLT
12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
 
This becomes the bedrock or foundation of our entrance into life because by the confession of our faith in the Atoning work of Christ, we said “we believed that Jesus died on the cross and confessed that God has raised Him from the dead…” Therefore, we are saved. Romans 10 NLT
9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
 
This confession alone, which we all said to gain entrance into God’s Kingdom, supports our system of belief in the Resurrection.
 
Because Christ has been raised, we too shall be raised in that Last Day. But this will not just happen, you must pre-qualify for Eternal life.
 
This is a spiritual awakening that begins now while you’re in the earth. The Blood of Jesus qualifies us for it. It sets us up as these bodies will inherit eternal life as they are “raised back to life after the manner of Jesus.
 
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!
52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.
53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
 
Death no longer has dominion over us, because sin no longer has dominion over us.
 
What Christ did, He did specifically for you. Now, what we do, we’re supposed to do specifically for Him.
 
Philippians 3
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.