Palm Sunday 2011
In the Name of the Lord
Now, we begin this Holy Week Celebration. We commemorate the Death of our Lord and Savior and Celebrate his victory over sin and death through his death and resurrection. Some people get very serious about whether they call it Easter or not. I personally don’t have a problem either way. The name is linked to an ancient Anglo goddess, but if Christ can change this sinner into a saint, he can change the meaning of a spring celebration from pagan to the Paschal Lamb, Jesus, whose Resurrection proved his dominion over death and the grave.
So, call it Easter or Resurrection Day, it means the same to me, just like you can call him Isus, or (Spanish) Jésus, or Jesus … but he’s still the same for me. Hallelujah I’m going to Celebrate the Crucified and Risen Christ!
Jesus did nothing randomly. There were no accidents in his life. He purposefully set aside his rights and privileges in Heaven and came to earth. He was not on vacation. He was on a mission, appointed and anointed by God.
“When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Gal. 4:4)
As the Gospel writers record the life of Christ on earth, they make notice of this purposeful nature of Jesus.
When he was 12 years old, his parents lost him for a few days before finding him back at the Temple teaching the teachers. He asked them “Did you know that I MUST be about my Father’s business” Luke 2:49
In Luke 9:51 Dr. Luke records that Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem”(ESV)
In Luke 9:33 Jesus says “I must keep going today and tomorrow, and the next day – for surely no prophet can die OUTSIDE of Jerusalem”
Matthew in 16:21 writes, “Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things … and that he must be killed and on the third day be raise to life.”
So, understanding this purpose driven life, also knowing God’s timing had come, we get to Matthew 21. On this Sunday before he was crucified, Jesus stops in a little town, Bethphage (bayth-fag-ay), a town between Jericho and Jerusalem, near Bethany and ½ mile east of Jerusalem by the Mt. of Olives
Read with me Matthew 21:1-9
Israel was always in Hope of the coming for the Messiah who would restore them to their place of prominence and blessing. They had taught it, longed for it and sung about it for centuries.
These crowds were quoting from Psalm 118:26. Psalm 118 begins “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good his love endures forever”
Let me read from Psalm 118 beginning in verse 19-26
(emphasis important words as you read)
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
23 the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
From the house of the LORD we bless you
And then the chapter ends "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever”
Did you see the prayer in verse 25? “Oh Lord Save Us”
So, Israel was longing for Salvation and they hoped that Jesus was the One. So they shouted “Hosanna!” Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
1) Hosanna :)
2) Be propitious (giving or indication a good chance of success). So they were saying “we hope you are the One who we have longed and hoped for.”
So they were in essence saying …
“Our Best Chance for Success is in the truth that there is Happiness in the One who Comes in the Name of the Lord”
And then they issue a blessing … Blessed Is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord
Now, if this is true … that the one who comes in the name of the Lord is “Blessed” –
I want us to see three people for whom this is true, blessing by coming in the name of the Lord. It is true for these Jesus certainly, but also for a Sinner, and for a Saint who come in the name of the Lord.
Blessed – eulogeo (yoo-log-eh-o) = to praise, celebrate with praises, to make happy, favored of God
The Qualifier then is to “Come”
“In the name of the Lord – “name” – onoma – name, reputation, authority, class, fame
Let’s look then at these three, Jesus, a sinner, a saint
Jesus came as servant, sacrifice, substitute, Savior.
There were two ways the Messiah is pictured in the Old Testament. (1) As conquering King … but he also came (2) As Suffering Servant.
In Revelation 19 Jesus will come as King, riding on a White Horse. He will conquer all those who have revolted against him in pride and sin.
But here he is not riding a White Horse but the foal of a donkey. This is not a steed of Conquest. No Jesus is coming in the name of the Lord seeking to conquer with love and bring peace between God and man. He comes fulfilling Zechariah 9:9 “see your King comes to you righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding a donkey on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The donkey was the animal of the everyman. The horse was the animal of the rich man’s chariot or for the Warrior. But Jesus came as one of us, he came Gentle, demonstrating God’s love for us in that while we are sinners he would die for us.
That is how he comes, Gentle and With Salvation, so he comes in the name of the Lord.
Jesus said that he didn’t do anything on his own, only what he saw the Father doing. In John 17 he said he finished everything the Father had given him to do.
That is how he comes … so
Why is he happy? Why is he celebrated with praise? Why is he favored by God?
Because he loves his people and wants to provide their forgiveness through his life and death.
Because he longs to redeem us from the penalty of our sin and return us to right relationship with God
Because he is going to display the depths of God’s love through his death
Because he has completed the plans of God
So, we can Join in Saying “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna”
So, Jesus, coming in God’s Name was Blessed
But what about the Sinner who comes in the Name of the Lord?
We come for mercy and eternal life.
We come as a confessed and repentant sinner.
Psalm 51:17 says “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise”
There is only one way for me to come in repentance and humility.
Romans 10:9 If you confess … Jesus is Lord …” – I have to get down off of my high horse, stop fighting God and surrender to his will.
1 John 1:9 says I have to confess my sin.
Here in Matthew 21:8 says they cut branches from trees and spread them down along the road, and they took off their outer coverings and laid them down at his feet as well.
Romans 13:12 says we need to take off our dark deeds, and then 13:14 says we need to clothe ourselves with Jesus Christ.
We can’t put on Jesus until we lay down ourselves
Revelation 3:17 says we think we are Rich and don’t need anything, when in fact, the truth is we are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I am in a sad state and I can’t see my way out or buy my way out.
Oh but I CAN be worthy of praise, Happy, and favored by God. If I come “in the name of the Lord”.
Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ.
If I come by the reputation of Christ’s Righteousness and by his authority as conqueror of sin.
Then it all changes BY only one way … the Blood of Jesus. Zechariah 9:11 prophesied “Because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners.”
We are enslaved to sin because of Adam’s rebellion and that is evidenced then by our own rebellion.
But when we confess our sin and receive his shed blood on the cross as payment for our sin, we are freed! Romans 6 says we are “freed from sin”
Because we have been reconciled with God through Jesus Christ.
Because we have rest from God’s war against us
Because we can rest from our running from God
Don’t you ever get tired of running from God or wrestling with God?
Jesus rebuked those in Israel who wouldn’t come to him in 23:39 he says “you will not see me until you say ‘blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’”
You see, until we humble ourselves and admit that we need God, we will not see him … But when we DO humble ourselves … Matthew 5 says
Happy are the poor in spirit for there is the reign of the heavens
Happy are the mourning because they are comforted
Happy are the meek for they will inherit the land
Happy are the desirers of righteousness for they will be filled
Happy are the kind for they will find kindness
Happy are the clean hearted for they will see God
In every situation, happiness, blessing is for the sinner who comes in the name of the Lord
We come to him and then we are NEW CREATIONS
We become the Saints of God. The Word “Saints” means “holy ones” or those “called to belong to Jesus Christ”
And so, as saints, like Jesus is blessed in coming in the name of the Lord and the Sinner who comes in the name of the Lord is blessed and so finally
The Saint who comes in the name of the Lord
Comes as a witness to the World
Comes to the Father with needs and requests
And Will come into God’s presence in Eternity
The saint comes in a whole new way.
John 1:12 says “to as many as received him, to those who believed on his name, he has given the right to become the children of God”
Galatians 3:26 says “you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”
Romans 3:22 says “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe”
We COME, bought by the blood of Jesus, we are his belonging.
We COME, his Treasured Inheritance
We COME, as the Child of God
When we COME as a saint of God we are Happy, Worthy of Praise and Favored by God
It is because here on this earth, when we come in the name of the Lord and bear witness to the Lord, God blesses us with the joy of sharing in his good news presentation. Don’t miss your blessing. Open your mouth and praise his name
Psalm 95:15 “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise”
Also here on this earth when we come to God, we know that God hears us and answers us when we come in the name of the Lord
1 John 5:14 – This is the confidence we have approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us
When we ask in his name, it will be done
John 14:13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father
He will do anything we ask in his name which means our request must come by his authority, according to his reputation, and according to his plans. If we do, then he will do it. That is a great blessing a great joy
But there is a greater joy and blessing that awaits
In Zechariah’s prophesy, 9:12 says “Return to your fortress, O prisoner of Hope, even now I announce that I will restore TWICE as much to you.”
Happiness comes for the Saint because we were prisoners of sin and death and now we are protected in Christ and prisoners of Hope, and Romans 5:5 says God’s hope doesn’t disappoint.
Hebrews 10:23 says “let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promises is faithful”
Titus 2:13 says we “wait for the Blessed Hope – the Glorious Appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”
And then What will He DO when He Appears?
John 14:2-3 “… I am going to prepare a place for you … I will come and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”
The Blood Bought Saint and Child of God has only one way to enter Heaven’s Gates and that is IN THE NAME OF The LORD JESUS
We are favored by God and thus Happy because He is the God of the Double Blessing
Yes, in the name of Jesus, he forgives us in Mercy, but he Blesses us with the Grace of Eternity in his Glorious Presence in a place called Heaven.
Yes, he promises us a better life in THIS life but ALSO graces us with eternal life.
Blessed is HE or SHE who COMES in the Name of the Lord
There is Strength in the Name of the Lord
There is Power in the Name of the Lord
There is Hope in the Name of the Lord
Blessed is He Who Comes
Blessed is He Who Comes
Blessed is He Who COMES
In the Name … Of … The … Lord