This is the 6th Sunday of Lent, the 7th being Easter Sunday. I want to share with you the symbolic characteristics of this DIVINE EVENT.
It’s the beginning of Holy Week with Jesus’ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Jesus had commissioned a “colt” the foal of a “ass”, (anton), thus emphasizing the animal was a purebred ass and not a cross with a mule; in fact, it was the “first born.” – Jesus was the First Born, the Son-of-God. We’re most familiar with the crowds waving palm leaves as Jesus comes on this small donkey. This small donkey is serving Jesus’ need. Jesus, provides for all of our needs.
These Palms are “date palms”, & characteristic of oases & watered places. They grow fast, straight up. When we’re in our wilderness, Jesus is our oasis. He is our living water.
The palm tree can grow up to 90 ft. tall, (average 50 – 60 ft. tall), its leaves can grow to be 20 ft. long, and waived in the air, they make a beautiful sound like music. While they grow on the trees the branches grow skyward, blowing in the wind like great fingers, they reminded the ancients of the Spirit of God.
The fruit of the “date palm” was a highly valued food. Jesus is our Manna, our Bread of Life, His body was / is given for us.
The palm was a symbol of both beauty & prosperity. Jesus, our Beautiful Savior through Whom we prosper.
Psalm’s were used as carvings in the decoration of the Temple & were seen in Ezekiel’s vision of the New Temple.
John 12:13, The crowd used the palm branches to “welcome Jesus” at His Triumphal Entry after leaving Bethany and into Jerusalem.
In Revelation 7:9, it refers to the symbolic use of palm leaves (as branches) denoting Victory, as when Jesus entered Jerusalem & the people strewed the way with palms and garments along His pathway. Jesus was / is the Victor – the Victory is in Jesus Christ.
Oh what a Holy Day this is !!! If this doesn’t excite you and move you to a REVIVAL, what will? Let’s please stand up for Jesus, give Him a great hand clapping with shouts of Hosanna, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!"
PLEASE PRAY A PRAYER FOR THE FOLLOWING:
Remember the Passion Week
Thanks for the ultimate Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, for sinful man.
Please accept our tithes and offering Father, to use for the purposes of Your Will, in Your Kingdom’s growth.
Jesus Christ, He is indeed The Victory,
Thank You for placing this message upon our hearts, to carry it through this week, to the Cross.
RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
“Resurrection” as defined in the Bible Dictionary: Future, bodily rising from the dead of all persons. Believers in Christ rise to eternal life and bliss with God; while the unbelievers to eternal torment and separation from God. Both righteous and wicked will be resurrected. Thus, eternal consequences are tied to actions and decisions made in life.
Biblical Teaching. Resurrection is different from resuscitation. A resuscitation, like that in the Biblical story of Lazarus, is a return to life, but eventually physical death comes again. Those resurrected will not die again. Resurrection is to eternal life, perfect peace, joy, and bliss in God’s Kingdom forever.
Resurrection is bodily. Bodily resurrection is essential to receive the full redemptive, atoning work of God. Salvation is not complete until the body experiences full redemption. Conversely, eternal damnation is not complete until unbelievers experience the pain and anguish of hell in body and soul. The nature of the resurrection body remains somewhat mysterious. Some aspects, such as personal identity, carry over to the resurrected state. But life in a resurrected body will be different from that previously known.
Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest historical event whereby Jesus came back from physical death to newness of life with a glorified body, never to die again. This is one of the central tenets of the Christian faith because, His bodily resurrection validates the claim that He is both Lord and Christ. It substantiates the proposition that His life and death were not just the life and death of a good man but that He indeed was God incarnate and that by His death we have forgiveness of our sins.
If you’ve not yet made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, do so today. To not make a choice is to deny Him as being the Son-of-God, the Savior or the World. Come, receive Him today.
AFTER - HIS RESURRECTION, UNTIL HIS ASCENSION
Scriptural Passage: Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
I urge you to read this passage again; asking you, do you not see the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s ministry, birth to Resurrection too Ascension? It comes to me that our prophet is revealing the foretelling of the Coming or Jesus Christ and His Ministry. In the limited room I have here, let’s look at Isaiah’s words. Consider that in John 1:1-5, we learn that the “Word” is the name for Jesus. The Word of God – thus God’s Word is also - the Bible.
Using the figure of the water cycle (in our passage – above), the LORD illustrates the essential principle that His word shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please. Rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return before serving their purpose on earth (they water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud). The rain and snow eventually do return to heaven, but not before accomplishing their purpose on earth. Even so, God's Word, when He sends it down from heaven, does not return to Him void. Instead, it always fulfills His purpose on earth.
This means that God is not just "all talk." When He talks, His words accomplish His intended purpose. The word of the LORD has power, and it never fails in His intended purpose.
The use of these pictures, to illustrate the operation of God's Word, shows that God's Word brings forth fruit. It also shows that the fruit has many different applications. The same grain that gives seed to the sower also gives bread to the eater.
God doesn't just speak to hear Himself talk. His Word is not empty, or lacking in power. This also means that God's Word has a purpose. He didn't speak in unfathomable mysteries just to blow our minds, or confuse us, or leave things up to any possible interpretation. When God speaks, He speaks to accomplish a purpose. God's Word doesn't "barely" get the job done. It shall prosper in the purpose God has for it. It is rich and full of life. God's Word always succeeds, and always fulfills God's purpose.
This doesn't mean that it doesn't matter how God's Word is presented. The principle is clear and true from this passage of Isaiah, but by a preacher's poor preparation or preaching, there will be little of God's Word put forth. A preacher can ignore, dilute, or obscure God's Word so that little goes forth. When little goes forth, that little will succeed - but how much better if more of the whole counsel of God went forth to succeed!
I felt so strongly that this passage of Isaiah 55:10-11 applied to this time period - between the Resurrection and the Ascension to reveal to us the powerful purpose of Jesus Christ’s life, ministry, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension, never to die again. That describes the Christian believer, as He is in you. Share it!
THE END OF CHRIST’S EARTHLY MINISTRY
Following the Resurrection of Jesus Christ there was a period of some forty (40) days before His Ascension. That said. Some may ask, are we to believe that, Jesus, bodily resurrected, His tomb empty, was travelling around for forty days? I thought He went up to heaven – you mean He didn’t? Indeed, there’s more to the story.
There are a few words we should be familiar with (alphabetically) Ascension, Passover, Pentecost. (1) Ascension: “movement or departure” – this was the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. (2) Passover: The celebration of the beginning of the Israel’s Exodus from Egypt. However, used in this context it represents the celebration of The Grain Harvest. And (3) Pentecost: The Feast of Weeks celebration – fifty days after Passover.
Jesus, following His Resurrection, presented Himself “not to all people, but to witnesses chosen before God” (Acts 10:41). In the forty days between the Resurrection and Ascension, there are recorded some ten or eleven appearances of Jesus to believers thus confirming His bodily resurrection from the dead. These appearances took place at several different locations, too individuals, from a couple of men along the road - to numerous others. By the time of His Ascension there were thousands that saw or heard of this “Resurrected Jesus” and became believers.
On the last of these appearances, Jesus gathered His Apostles together and commanded them not to leave Jerusalem. This is where they would be when Jesus left them, telling them to remain there and He would send them a “Helper”, The Holy Spirit to lead and guide them in their ministry.
Christian belief isn’t built upon speculation or myth but by the Word of God incarnate, Creator of the universe. The birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ are solidly rooted in history – in fact this links the Spirit with the entire life of Jesus. The Kingdom of God was the central topic of discussion between Christ Jesus and His apostles (note they are no longer called “disciples”) during the forty days between Jesus’ Resurrection and His Ascension.
The goal of history isn’t the Cross, rather it’s the Crown – the time when King Jesus reveals Himself in His majesty and reigns in glory. The Holy Spirit is the gift to the believer following acceptance, repentance, and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. He worked His earthly ministry until the point of Ascension and now sits at the Right Hand of God the Father.
“VICTORY IN JESUS”: REALLY?
REALLY! In Judges 21, The Israelites’ idolatrous ways invited continual assaults from the armies of surrounding nations. The story goes: God called upon Gideon to obey Him and to stand against the invaders. Who are these “invaders”, in today’s world? Looking further; being from the smallest, weakest tribe, Gideon felt unprepared to stand up to the challenge. Wouldn’t it be easier just to get along with oppressing enemies?
In Judges 6:16, God tells Gideon, “Surely I will be with thee.” In spite of this clear promise of God for strength, Gideon made excuses. He saw only his limitations and weaknesses. He failed to understand how God could work through him. Reminding God of our limitations only implies that He doesn’t know all about us or that He (God) has made a mistake in evaluating our character. Gideon’s time was a time before prophets, priests, or kings. Israel didn’t want God as their King, because they couldn’t maintain a behavior of obedience, since they saw how the rest of the world was living, each nation had its own king. Israel experienced trouble because everyone became his own authority and acted upon his own opinions - right or wrong.
Let’s move into this period of the “Church Age”, i.e., between the Cross and the Second Coming of Christ. Our world has become very similar; individuals, groups, and societies have made themselves the final authorities without reference to God. This encompasses the family, the church [as demonstrated in Revelation], disobeying God rather than supporting His blessing, the nation that thinks it knows a better way, a world that has totally turned from God. To obtain the VICTORY IN JESUS, we must use our weapons of good morals, truths, and convictions we take from God’s Word.
As it was in Joshua’s time – we’ll lose the Victory – if all we care about are obtaining the spoils of earthly treasure rather than what God has promised us, gather the treasures of heaven – the Word of God, thus putting on the full armor of God. Jesus’ power over Satan, gave Jesus the Victory over evil. Yes! Victory in Jesus, and that same power is in the believer. Satan is defeated by that same power.