We are in the midst of our Holy Week celebration. Here’s a few questions to stir up conversation and worship of our humble king. These questions are to support Sunday’s sermon as well as reflection for the week. You can view Sunday’s sermon from Luke 19:28-40 online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5OpAXlkmWA
On Palm Sunday, Jesus makes his ‘triumphal entrance’ into Jerusalem. Triumphal can be defined as, “made, carried out, or used in celebration of a great victory or achievement.” What we see in this passage is in fact a great celebration. But the victory or achievement celebrated is not what the Jews were expecting. They clearly wanted a physical king who would establish the nation of Israel over Caesar; however, Jesus didn’t come to overthrow the Roman political powerhouse. He came to overthrow the powerhouse that we all battle with and cannot achieve victory by ourselves – namely our sin it the pending judgement because of it. In Sunday’s sermon, pastor Aaron highlighted that all 4 gospel accounts include the triumphal entry and various events of Holy Week. He pointed out that it is because of emphasis and the gospel writers wanting the focus of Jesus to be on these events. By way of application, how can you turn your attention this week to what took place during Holy Week? Try to think through specific ways you can worship Jesus this week and not just intake more information. Some resources can be found on our Facebook Page.
The first main point in Sunday’s sermon stated that Jesus fulfills OT prophecies as Messiah. Pastor Aaron briefly mentioned that Jesus is the Passover lamb that was selected on this day. The focus of this main point was about the messiah riding on a donkey and more specifically a colt (Zechariah 9:9) We also see a similar event in Israel’s history as Solomon was celebrated as king and rode on his father’s mule. (See 1 Kings 1:32-40). Here’s a few questions: What does this animal represent? Why is it significant that no one has ever rode this colt? Notice the contrast between a peaceful donkey in this passage and a war horse in Revelation 19:11-16
To highlight the peace that Jesus brings think through the following:
-How has Jesus brought peace between God and man? – Think through specific truths/verses that highlight this peace.
-How has Jesus brought peace between men (and women!) – How have you seen the gospel bring reconciliation in relationships?
-How has Jesus brought peace between man and creation? -As the curse in the garden brought toil and struggle in our work – how has Jesus redeemed our work and daily vocations?
Grace has been extended to us so we can have shalom – peace, wholeness, restoration. While that shalom has been extended to us already, it is not yet fully consummated and thus we battle. But we battle together. – Who do you need to extend grace to? Maybe you can send them a donkey emoji. :)
The second main point of Sunday’s sermon was Jesus is received by the crowd – kind of.
As previously mentioned, the crowd was looking for a king to overthrow the political authorities – namely Caesar and Rome. This crowd laid their cloaks as a proverbial red carpet and shouted loud praises to their King – they wanted to crown him…but in the days to follow they would shout crucify him. The irony is glaring. And then we come to the Pharisees; they didn’t know how to respond to the crowd. They could not longer control the response of the people so they tell Jesus to control them – Luke 19:39. But he would not. The crowd was forming and influencing the Pharisees and how they lived their lives. Similarly, how might we be like the Pharisees and allowing the world to be influencing me more than Jesus? Pastor Aaron mentioned 3 areas of application to think through answering this question?
-Time: When life gets tough or full, what’s the first to be sacrificed? Netflix or Life Group; Social Media or time in the word/prayer; spending time investing in people or dreaming up your next vacation?
-Talent – What unique talent has the Lord endowed you with – and how are you using it to bless the body? -Think through needs in your LG or ways you can help individuals in the church body. If you aren’t sure, chat with your LG leader!
-Treasure – A real challenging question for all of us – are you spending more money on your hobbies or on investing in the kingdom of God? We have a tremendous privilege in this country to impact the world for the gospel, how (specifically) can you open your hand and give to the only cause that eternally matters?
Again, we’re looking not for response of condemnation but of grace. Our heavenly Father has graciously given you all things – Romans 8:32; we in turn are to live for Christ who gave us his all. 2 Cor. 5:14-15
We are constantly being formed and molded by the culture we live in – whether we know it or not. The amount of information we intake on a daily basis shapes and molds us. That’s why Paul commands us to renew our minds with God’s word in Romans 12:2. The Christian community, gospel message and hope we have are continual means of counter-formation (grace) from the world around us.
In closing, the stones would cry out if the crowd and we do not. This week, how can you cry out to the Lord in praise for who he is and what he’s accomplished for us? One way, join us on Friday at 7:30pm for our Darkening Service. It will be an in-depth time of reflection and response to the finished work on the cross. We hope to see you then and again on Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of our King!