Happy and Blessed Palm Sunday! Today my message is about the "Triumphal Entry," of Jesus into Jerusalem, just one week before His death and resurrection as told in Matthew 21:1-11. About 500 years before that, the Prophet Zechariah stated, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey." A lot of the people I work with here in Mexico, know a thing or two about donkeys.)
Zechariah 9:9 foretells, and Matthew 21:7-9, reveals the fulfillment of that prophecy: "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 (palm) branches from the trees and 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!’” Since this entry took place seven days before Jesus was crucified, it sets the stage for talking about the roadway to our hearts and souls, have we prepared the way so the King to come in?
Here's a little story, not my creation, that I use and it's a joke, it's not a true story:
This certain man died and went to Heaven and found himself standing before the Pearly Gates where Saint Peter asked him, 'What have you done in your life? Tell me the good things you've done, as each good act has a point value attached to it. You need to reach one thousand points before the gates will open.'
So, the man thought for a moment and said, well, 'I've been married to the same woman for 50 years. I never ever cheated on her, not even in my heart.'
And, Saint Peter replied, 'Well that is very good and it's worth three points.'
The man was surprised at that answer, 'Only three points,' he said. 'Well, I went to Skid Row and opened a Soup Kitchen there to feed the bums and homeless people.'
'Okay,' said Saint Peter, 'that's wonderful and it's worth two points.'
At hearing that, the man, frustrated and sorry cried out, 'Seems to me that the only way I can get in to Heaven is by the Grace of God!'
At that, the Pearly Gates opened wide and Saint Peter smiled and told the man, 'That's worth a thousand points, come on in!'
In remembrance of Palm Sunday, some churches cut palm brfanches and decorate the church with them, some even cover the floor with them. I don't. I don't see the need as I hate religious actions that really don't solve anybody's problems of faith.
On a deeper side, Palm Sunday was the fulfillment of the Prophet Daniel's "Seventy Sevens," prophecy: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times," Daniel 9:25.
It seems everyone knew Jesus was coming, it's in the Old Testament, but the majority of Israel missed the message. John 1:11, tells us, "He (Jesus) came to His own, and His own did not receive Him." How fickle we are, as the same crowds that were crying out, "Hosanna," were crying out, "crucify Him," only five days later, Matthew 27:22-23. It breaks my heart when I read those verses. I feel so sad for Jesus and for those that choose to reject the Lord's Love, Grace and Mercy, and His Salvation. What a shame.
To my mission friends, helpers and supporters, God Bless You All! I thank God for your kind and warmhearted and obvioius love for the Lord and His work of salvation here on earth. Each and everyone of you is a blessing and a true friend to the lost men and women and children that so need to hear, "Jesus Loves You." You make that possible.
Happy Easter, Your Friend, Max
(I took this photo back in 2004 in Taxco, in south Mexico. It is a very religious area of the country, where being a non-Catholic Christian, can cause you many social problems.)