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April 27, 2008 PM

MK 11:1-11

INTRO: The text I have read is generally described as the Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. All four gospel's record this event, and each supplies added detail to the others. What I am thinking as I read, study and make these notes is that triumph and accolades so quickly turn to the horrific events of the cross and cries of "crucify him". Was this really a triumphal entry? Or, is this just the way commentators like to describe it? Would it be more accurate to call this a "royal entry"? Whatever the case, the excitement, the enthusiasm for Jesus was short lived. The axiom "how soon we forget" come to my mind as I think of the transformation of events from this first day of the week (McGarvey) to the end of the week. But for this evening we will concern ourselves with this open and courageous demonstration.

    1. John's gospel tells us he had come to Bethany
      1. Jno 12:1 - Jerusalem and environs would have been very crowded
      2. it has been said that in all probability over 2 million worshipers were there
      3. but Jesus had the comfort of the home of these good friends in Bethany
    2. Of significance, too, is the local remembrance of the raising of Lazarus
      1. Jno 12:9-11 - many people who knew of this event "believed on Jesus"
      2. Jno 12:18,19 - Jerusalem people who knew of this event met Him coming
      3. so, the procession was of significant size!
    3. Instructions about securing the colt to two of the apostles
      1. there is much discussion about how Jesus knew the location of the colt
      2. some have said it was a miracle of His Deity - perhaps
      3. others have suggested that this was prearranged with a disciple, a friend - I am inclined in this direction (Jesus had made several trips to Jerusalem)
    4. The instructions were followed ... and there was the colt tied
      1. when they began to loose the colt, they were asked what they were doing
      2. my guess is that the two apostles were not known to the owners
      3. but Jesus had planned for this possibility, too - "the Lord had need of him"
    5. It is clearly noted of the colt "whereon never a man sat"
      1. exactly why such a detail is so clearly noted I'm not certain
      2. except to think of Num 19:2 and Deut 21:3 - animals for "sacred" purpose
      3. perhaps this is the reason - what more sacred purpose than to bear the Messiah, the King of kings
    1. Mk 11:7,8 - A "saddle" of garments - a garment, branch covered road
      1. the garments involved were the outer cloaks usually worn then
      2. 2 Ki 9:13 - of Jehu ... respect for a king?
      3. such processions often involved flora strewn roads for the honoree
    2. Jno 12:15,16 with Zech 9:9 - The prophecy?
      1. there is no doubt what Jesus intended by this visible demonstration
      2. He is openly declaring that He is the fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy
      3. He is openly declaring that He is the Messiah, the King
      4. but He does not come as a victorious conqueror riding a horse
      5. he came as the King of peace ... riding a donkey (a noble animal in that time)
    3. Mk 11:9,10 - The shouts, the exclamations of the people
      1. "hosanna" - not a shout of praise but of pleading ... "save now"
      2. "blessed is he that cometh" - see Mt 11:3 ... "the coming one" was one way in which the Messiah was described among the people
      3. "blessed by the kingdom of our father David" - a telltale sign that the crowd was badly misguided in its expectation ... they really wanted a militarily mighty Messiah ... see Jno 12:16 and the fact that only after Jesus' death did they disciples understand something of His kingdom
      4. "hosanna in the highest" - McGarvey suggests this is a plea to heaven to "ratify" the prayer for salvation
      5. Ps 118:22-26 - words assuredly in the context of the "stone which the builders refused..." - the Messiah, Jesus Christ - see Acts 4:10,11

CLOSE: I suppose I come away from this event, this sight with the feeling that people's words and people's actions do not always match in reality. Hailing Jesus as King is one thing. Serving Him as a loyal subject is very much another.

Cecil A. Hutson

27 April 2008

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)