Dear SanLo Community, an update for Palm Sunday, April 1, 2012…
Thank you to Pastor Brian Tekawa for the message from Luke 19:41-44, “Heartbreaker.” This passage is known as the “Triumphal Entry.” For those with false hope in Jesus, it was a triumphal entry but for Jesus, it was His death march. To remember Jesus’ triumphal entry, we call this day, Palm Sunday. It is a significant day to remember for the follower of Christ as it is the day that marks the beginning of Jesus’ last days on earth. On this day, Jesus arrives in Jerusalem one week before He would be crucified, riding on an un-ridden donkey with the crowds shouting hosanna and laying palm leaves before Him like a red carpet to welcome Jesus. Their hope was for Jesus to be the king who would free Jews from Rome.
Luke’s focus was writing to the Greeks and he emphasized Jesus, the Man. Maybe that is why Luke is the only one of the four gospels that records Jesus weeping over His people. Jesus is 100% God but He is also 100% man. There is no other religion that makes this claim about the person they follow. There is no other man like Jesus. You either believe in Him or reject Him. He is God and man. Not just any man but a sinless man who committed no wrongs. When we forget that Jesus was a real person we forget that He had real emotions. We don’t realize how our thoughts or our actions affect Him. We don’t think about how our actions can break His heart. Today we are going to examine what breaks the heart of Jesus as He entered Jerusalem for the last time. What breaks the heart of Jesus?
1) The heart of Jesus is broken when He and all He offers is REJECTED. Jesus is rejected when His peace is not received. The Jews were mistakenly expecting Jesus to conquer the Roman Empire and take away the turmoil and oppression they were experiencing. They expected Jesus to take away the hardship and missed the peace Jesus offered. Jesus taught, “That in Me you may have peace. In this world you shall have tribulation but take courage for I have overcome this world.” Jesus wept and said (v.42), “If you had known in this day, even you (Jerusalem), the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.” He mourned for the Israelites because of their failure to recognize the peace He offered. It is a peace that surpasses all understanding, an inner peace that prevails in the midst of turmoil. Jesus cried out for His people but they did not listen. Now peace was hidden from their sight. Jesus offers you that same peace. Are there circumstances surrounding you that seem to be falling apart? Do you feel alone or afraid due to situations that are out of control? Peace might be difficult to find because you or your loved ones are suffering. We can choose to be bitter or better. Jesus offers His peace that goes beyond all that we understand, we only need to ask to receive it. Last week we completed our series on the book of Acts and observed how both Peter and Paul understood the peace of Jesus. Their lives were full of turmoil yet you could sense the fullness of life and purpose, the peace they had in the midst of tremendous hardships. The heart of Jesus is broken when His peace is not RECEIVED by His people.
2) The heart of Jesus is broken when a person does not RECOGNIZE Jesus. (vv.43-44) “43For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.” Jesus saw the consequence of the Israelites rejection of Him. Around 40 years later this prophesy came true. In 70 A.D. the Roman army under the direction of Titus, surrounded the city of Jerusalem. They built high walls, entrapping all the people of Jerusalem (hemmed in on every side) for 143 days, and killed 600,000 Jewish men, women, and children. Thousands more were taken captive. The temple and city were utterly destroyed leaving no stone unturned. This broke the heart of Jesus because they did not recognize the time of His visitation. They did not believe in or accept that He was God’s Son. They rejected Jesus. His heart was broken when He saw their judgment. Jesus saw in His people the emptiness of their pursuits. He understood they did not recognize who He was, their Messiah, their Savior. Jesus knew they did not believe in Him. When He was not recognized and rejected by them, it broke His heart and His tears flowed. Jesus longs for you to be a part of His life. There is so much Jesus wants to share and do with us. It breaks the heart of Jesus when we show up for a moment then walk away, never having enough time for Him.
The wonderful and amazing thing about Jesus is that even if you do not RECEIVE His peace or RECOGNIZE who He is, by His grace He loves and receives you the instant you turn to Him. It is when we take our focus off of Jesus that we lose our peace in the midst of life’s harsh circumstances. We can choose to keep our focus on Jesus instead of falling. Don’t break the heart of Jesus. RECEIVE the peace He offers and don’t REJECT Him. Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Thank you to Daisuke and Cheryl Ikegami for sharing their two-fold purposes of their mission call. The first is outreach to young adults who have never heard the gospel message through activities with Young Life in Chiba, Japan. The other is to build up the Christian community in the Ichinomiya area to increase the Jesus culture through personal relationships using English language classes, craft making, Homestay experiences, and the monthly Life House Club events. If you would like to be connected with them, you can follow them on Facebook at: Life House Club
Have a blessed week living in the peace of Christ,
Stan , for SLZJCC