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THE LORD'S TRIUMPHAL ENTRY THEN AND TOMORROW, AND EVEN NOW

A SPECIAL SERVICE AND SERMON FOR PALM / PASSION SUNDAY

ORIGINALLY CELEBRATED AT
THE FEDERATED CHURCH OF ATHENS

4 APRIL 1993

Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES:

Matthew 26:14-19
Revelation 19:1-16

Processional Hymn: All Glory, Laud and Honor

Homily:

Can you picture yourself there in Jerusalem when Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city?

Can you see all the excitement, and feel it yourself?

I pray so, for to not sense the presence of the Lord in our lives can leave us with quite a void.

It would be hard not to feel this excitement, if we were actually there; but as time and distance separate us from such times, we tend not to remember fully, and sometimes we forget very quickly.

We are separated from that time by almost 2,000 years, and I can understand if we find it a little hard to actually relate to something that happened that long ago.

But how do you think the people of that day reacted following this tremendous celebration?

In your Bibles, turn with me to Matthew 26:14-19, and let's take a look at two occurrences that took place during the next few days after Jesus’ triumphal entry.

14. Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,

15. and said, "What are you willing to give me to deliver Him [Jesus] up to you?" And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver.

16. And from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.

If we are believers, it seems so strange to us that someone who was actually in the physical presence of Jesus for three and a half years, and who saw all that He did, could then turn around and offer to do such a thing.

And a person doesn't even have to be a believer to understand how hard a person’s heart must be in order to seek to destroy another person for a relatively small sum of money.

But that is exactly what the Bible tells us that Judas did.

This happened because Judas never allowed Jesus to make a triumphal entry into his heart and soul.

Judas just “went along for the ride.”

Let's look at what some of the other disciples did, as described in verses 17 -19.

17. Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?"

These disciples hadn't yet fully come to understand that Jesus Himself was their Passover sacrificial lamb.

And nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus or any of the disciples killed or ate a lamb.

Thus we come to understand that for them the Passover supper was a cruelty-free meal

But these disciples did desire to serve the Lord, because He was such an integral part of their lives that they could react in no other way, unlike Judas and many others in the world.

18. And He [Jesus] said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, 'The Teacher says, "My time is at hand; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples. " ' "

19. And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

They expressed a desire to serve the Lord, and when He responded to their request, they were obedient.

And the man who owned this house also responded in the same manner.

Is that the way we are?

All the disciples knew the truth, and the difference between right and wrong, just as each and every one of us knows the same things.

We know the truth and the difference between right and wrong, because the Holy Spirit whispers in our ear, or tugs on a heartstring.

We sometimes refer to Him as our conscience.

Thus we should look at our own lives in the same way we look at the lives of some of the disciples, and decide for ourselves what our relationship with God is all about.

Then do something about it.

Amen?

Confession and Assurance:

This brings us to our time of confession and assurance.

Take a few moments in silence, reflecting upon your own life, and ask the Lord to forgive you for the things that are not of His choosing, and to help you live as He wants you to live.

Each of us needs to do this daily.

Each of us needs to remember to keep the door to our heart and soul open for the Lord's triumphal entry into us; that we, each of us, might be that celebration of His coming.

Take a moment.

Scripture Reading: Revelation 19:1-10

1. After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

"Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;

2. because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her."

3. And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever."

4. And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!"

5. And a voice came from the throne, saying,

"Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great."

6. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

7. "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."

8. And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

9. And he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' " And he said to me, "These are true words of God."

10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

Hymn: Hosanna, Loud Hosanna

Homily:

Jesus did make a humble, but triumphal, entry into Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago.

But as the world gets harder and harder, and people separate themselves further and further from the Lord their God, and close up their hearts to His entry as the barred doors leading into a walled city, we come nearer and nearer to the time of the Lord's entry in an entirely different manner.

Note what the apostle John tells us of that day in Revelation 19:11-16.

11. And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

12. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.

13. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God.

This doesn't sound like the same Jesus who rode into Jerusalem upon a donkey, does it?

But, be assured, that this is He.

For we have been given a choice. We can either allow Jesus to enter our hearts now in a gentle and loving way, or we will see His entry coming upon us as we have just read.

But His future coming will not be alone, either, just as it wasn't when He entered Jerusalem.

14. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.

15. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

16. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

Now, where did all those who rode with the Lord come from?

They came from heaven.

They came from the attendees at the marriage supper of the Lamb, including the bride.

Let's go back to the beginning of Revelation 19, and review what takes place before this second triumphal entry.

1. After these things [or, in our case, before His second coming that we just talked about] I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

"Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;

2. because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her."

This harlot is spiritual Babylon, which represents the corrupt and immoral systems of this world, with whom the Lord is upset, along with those who follow in this way of life.

But for those who truly believe, there is joy in heaven.

3. And a second time they said, "Hallelujah! Her Smoke rises up forever and ever."

4. And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, "Amen. Hallelujah!"

And here is where we see our place in heaven; that is, if we truly believe.

5. And a voice came from the throne, saying,

"Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great."

6. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

7. "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."

This bride is the believing church, not the buildings, but the true believers from all times.

8. And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

And remember, the saints referred to here are not just those written about in the Bible and certain others through time; but the saints are really all of us who truly believe, and then have gone on to live a life reflective of Jesus Christ.

9. And he said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' " And he said to me, "These are true words of God."

Then something very interesting happens.

John is obviously caught up in all the splendor of heaven that is presented to him, and he does something strange, that he should have known not to do.

10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

If you doubt that our loved ones in Christ are in heaven, or you think that the Old Testament saints aren't there either, think again; for this man who is speaking to John is one of them.

And if we die in Christ before He comes again, we, too, shall be there.

So we come to the time for introspection, when we must ask ourselves some questions:

Do I truly believe in Jesus Christ?

Have I willingly and freely opened all of my being to His triumphal entry, not trying to keep anything hidden from His sight?

Have I, too, made myself a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and am I ever willing to do as He desires me to do?

If we can answer, “yes,” to all of these questions, then we, too, shout for joy:

Hallelujah!

Hosanna, to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Amen. And Amen!

Hymn: Freely, Freely

Doxology: 

Celebration of The Lord's Supper:

Benediction:

Response Hymn: The Lord's Prayer

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