Martch 20, 2016 from Pastor Pete
Worship was great this morning, with the kids doing a lot of activities in church!
If you missed today's message or want a refresher, here you go.
Have blessed Holy Week and hope you can make Maundy Thursday 7PM and Good Friday, also at 7PM

Bible reading - Luke chapters 22 & 23

We are now entering what is commonly called ‘Holy Week’, which begins today on Palm Sunday and runs up through next Saturday.

The week begins with an emotionally uplifting experience for Jesus,…

but then goes into a much darker experience as he is lifted up on a cross when he is crucified.

To know exactly what is going on as the story of Jesus takes this dramatic turn,…

you have to know about a few other Old Testament writers in the bible.

The first is a guy named Zechariah and….well, he’s not just “a guy”; he was a prophet

Prophets in the bible are a little like fortune tellers who speak of the future.

Only the bible prophets didn’t speak for themselves,…they said what God told them.

So long before Jesus came along,….this prophet, Zechariah told the people this -

Your king will come to you, riding on a donkey

He also said that king will come to save you and bring peace to all the world’.

Zechariah said it….and someone wrote it down,….and someone put it in the bible.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, the people knew what Zechariah said long ago. 

So when Jesus then entered the city he did so… ‘riding on a donkey’

He knew this would show them he was God’s special ‘king’ that Zechariah, spoke of.

And when he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey they all said; ‘This must be that king!’

They celebrated his entry into the holy city yelling ‘Hosanna!’ which means ‘save us’.

They threw palm leaves on the road ahead of him as a way to honor him and his path.

Its kind of like when people ‘roll out a red carpet’, as they say, to honor a guest.

They were celebrating because they were so glad that they were getting a great king.

It was a happy and glorious time for them, for Jesus, and for his followers and friends.

But the story didn’t turn out like we might think it would. 

One reason was that people expected and wanted a king who would be only for them.

But Jesus said he was for ALL the people of the world.

The crowds expected a king who would lead armies to attack their hated enemies.

But Jesus’ weapon of choice was love and he said you’ve got to love your enemies.

They thought that their king’s battle victory would save them and bring them peace.

But Jesus said he’d save them from hell and his peace was the faith that God loves us.

Another reason things turned out as they did was other prophets, besides Zechariah, spoke of Jesus' death.

These other prophets predicted that the very people who cheered this ‘king’ God was sending would turn against him.

One prophet, in particular, named Isaiah said that the king God sends would be killed.

And that’s what happened. They had God’s king that He sent to save the world;….killed.

The leaders of the people became jealous of Jesus saying he was God’s special king.

And the people got mad at Jesus when they found out he was not going to fight a war.

They all no longer loved Jesus like they did earlier when he first came to town.

Instead, they all ganged up on Jesus and called him a criminal and had him killed.

Back then the worst way to be executed was to have you nailed you to a cross.

And then you hung there until you died…..and that’s what they did to Jesus the king.

It was a very ugly and painful way to die.

But that’s not the end of the story of Jesus.

That prophet, Isaiah and others, also said the story wouldn’t end with the killing of Jesus

Those prophets said God would change the killing of Jesus to mean something else.

It seemed at the time that a killing of such a good person would be a bad thing. 

Instead, God turned it around into meaning something good.

God said, though those prophets, that by Jesus death our sins will be forgiven. 

They said that Jesus’ death on the cross meant people would not die but go to heaven.

And they said that the enemy that God sent Jesus to fight was death.

The greatest enemy all people face - death, was destroyed by God through Jesus.

Jesus also said all this about his crucifixion to his followers too!

And then God proved it all was true Easter morning when,... well, that’s the rest of the story!