What is Palm Sunday All About? Why did Jesus need to enter Jerusalem in the way he did?

Why did Jesus need to enter Jerusalem in the way he did?

Written by GodLife on 04/04/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Prophecy, Promises, Resurrection, Faith, Love
At first, Jesus' disciples did not understand. But after he had been given his glory, they remembered all this. Everything had happened exactly as the Scriptures said it would.

John 12:16
On Palm Sunday you may be given a palm branch. If you’re a new follower of Jesus, this could be a surprise. Even if you’ve been a Christian for a long time, you may not be clear about why we celebrate this day or why it’s called Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry.” Palm Sunday is a breathtaking picture of the patience, the faithfulness and the loving heart of our Savior.

Keep reading for the secret of what Palm Sunday is about.

Palm Sunday is about timing
Many times, people in the Gospels get excited about Jesus: His teaching, (See Mark 1:21-22; John 7:46) His healing, or miracles. (John 2:23-25) Jesus didn’t let these people make Him a king (John 6:15) or arrest Him before He was ready. He often says "My time hasn’t yet come." (John 7:6)

Why was timing so important? An ancient prophecy in Daniel predicted this event’s very day:

“from the command to rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Chosen Leader, it will be seven weeks ("sevens") and another sixty-two weeks ("sevens"). (Daniel 9:25)

The command predicted by Daniel was issued by the Persian King Artaxerxes in Nehemiah 2:1-8. Nehemiah writes:

“‘I will need timber to rebuild the gates of the fortress near the temple and more timber to construct the city wall… I would appreciate a letter to Asaph, who is in charge of the royal forest.’ God was good to me, and the king did everything I asked.” (Nehemiah 2:8)

Exactly 483 years (69 "sevens") later, Jesus began His donkey ride into Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy!

Palm Sunday was about keeping an ancient promise
Why is it that Jesus was no longer resisting and actually offering Himself as King?

“Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the Scriptures say, ‘People of Jerusalem, don’t be afraid! Your King is now coming, and he is riding on a donkey.’” (John 12:14-15)

Without knowing that promise (from Zechariah 9:9), it would not be obvious what Jesus was doing. Did the people of His day understand? Read their reactions:

“They put some of their clothes on its back, and Jesus got on. Many people spread clothes on the road, while others went to cut branches from the fields. In front of Jesus and behind him, people went along shouting, ‘Hooray! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the coming kingdom of our ancestor David. Hooray for God in heaven above!’” (Mark 11:7-10)

They showed they knew what Jesus was doing when they hailed him as a king and shouted for him to save them, quoting from Psalm 118:19-27. (See also Isaiah 62:10-11)

The Pharisees showed they knew (and were bothered) that the people understood when they said:

“Teacher, make your disciples stop shouting!” But Jesus answered, “If they keep quiet, these stones will start shouting.” (Luke 19:39-40)

Palm Sunday was about making an effort to reconcile the people to their God
A large crowd had come for Passover (John 12:12) and many (Matthew 21:8) participated. Everyone in the city “was excited and asked, ‘Who can this be?’” (Matthew 21:10) Had Jesus’ day of acceptance finally arrived? No; we know that instead of an inauguration, a crucifixion was awaiting Jesus. What happened? Psalm 118 had predicted this as well:

“The stone that the builders tossed aside has now become the most important stone.” (Psalm 118:22)

The people were swayed by the religious leaders. (Mark 15:11-15) This was written in advance also. Jesus even explained this to them: “they knew that Jesus was talking about them.” (Matthew 21:33-45)

Just because Jesus knew all along what would happen does not mean He was not affected.

“When Jesus came closer and could see Jerusalem, he cried and said: ‘It is too bad that today your people don’t know what will bring them peace! Now it is hidden from them… This will happen because you did not see that God had come to save you.’” (Luke 19:41-44)

Palm Sunday is only a preview of what is coming. Next week we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection! His death for our sins and resurrection is the only way we can be acceptable to God. (Romans 4:25) The next time Jesus returns will be as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16) At that time His coming will not be with meekness but “with his powerful angels and with a flaming fire. Our Lord Jesus will punish anyone who doesn’t know God and won’t obey His message. Their punishment will be eternal destruction, and they will be kept far from the presence of our Lord and his glorious strength.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)

Jesus’ coming was not just to save the people of His day. God came to save you. Have you received Him as your King?

Pray this week:

Jesus, I thank You for your timing, Your faithfulness and Your love. It’s only based on Your work that I am acceptable to God. You are my King, and you have the right to order my life!

Many times, surprising things in the Bible turn out to be wonderful promises being kept by God.

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With So Much Evil in the World, is there Hope?

We have hope, because God is going to make everything new!

Written by Hope on 07/09/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Devil, Evil, Hope
“Nothing evil will be allowed to enter.” Revelation 21:27a

The Bible teaches us that God loves and cares for His Creation, and that includes us. This love caused Him to offer us Salvation through Jesus Christ. God promises eternal, peaceful life with Him. Our current existence is filled with temptation, sin and evil; but God’s plan includes removing all remainders of evil in His creation. We have hope, because God is going to make everything new!

Evil Won’t Last
In 2 Timothy, Paul says we will have a “difficult” time on earth before Jesus Christ returns: “People will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, and love pleasure rather than God” (II Timothy 3:1-4).

Does this sound familiar? Although it was written about 2,000 years ago, this description of people choosing to live without God is a picture of our world today. People choosing to ignore God’s way, by doing whatever they want, is still the cause of the world’s problems. But evil won’t last. When Jesus returns, things will change.

Perfection Will Come
God has a plan to recreate this fallen universe as “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1). God’s new creation is called “a world filled with God’s righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13), where “no longer will there be a curse upon anything” (Revelation 22:3). God promises to cast away “the devil, who had deceived [people]” (Revelation 20:10), and that “there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

Despite the evil in the world, we must continue to follow God. When we do, we can rejoice in God’s promise of His reward in His new creation. We should continue to have hope. Perfection will come when God creates a new heaven and new earth.

Pray this week:

To thank God for His promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

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He Wants You Successful

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father
which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy
kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in
heaven (Matthew 6:9-10). 
The underlined portion of the scripture above
is simply amazing. If this wasn’t supposed to
be answered, Jesus wouldn’t have taught the disciples
to pray this way. It reveals the Father’s desire for His
will to be established on earth as it is in heaven. This
means it’s His will for you to prosper, be healthy and
strong, vibrant, successful, fruitful and productive, for
these are consistent with His nature.
There’re no obstructions, hindrances, lack or
struggling in heaven. Therefore, nothing should limit
you; you ought not to struggle for anything in your
life! You’re called to reign and function from a position
of rest. If you’re in lack or experiencing any kind of
setbacks, don’t despair. Set your mind on the Word,
and walk in His light, and He’ll bring you to your
destiny in Christ.
3 John 1:2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things
that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as
thy soul prospereth.” He’s talking to you; you’re His
beloved. You may say, “I don’t experience the love
of God; I don’t know if God loves me.” He alreadylove hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). No wonder He wants His perfect will done in your life.
Your life isn’t for poverty, failure or defeat; it’s for the glory of God. The world is full of poor and
defeated people, but we’re the ones to reach out and help them. You’re God’s channel of blessing to
your world; that’s why He wants you to be successful, fruitful, and productive.  proved His love for you the greatest way: “Greater 
Dear Father, yours is the greatness,
the power, the glory, the majesty,
and the splendour, for everything
in heaven and earth is yours.
Your blessing brings wealth, with
no painful toil for it; therefore, I
refuse to struggle in life, because
I’m in your rest. I’m prosperous
and successful in every good
work, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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What is Heaven Like?

Spending eternity with God will be a celebration!

Written by Dan Lee on 26/07/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Heaven, Eternity, Salvation, God
On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine — the best of meats and the finest of wines . . . He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 25:6,8
Have you ever wondered what heaven will be like? Some people think that in Heaven, we are going to be floating around like a ghost. This is not true.

Let’s see a few things the Bible says about Heaven:

1. Heaven is a Real Place
Revelation 21:1-2 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

When believers die right now, they are united with God in a heavenly realm. This passage tells us that in the future, Heaven, will be here on the earth. It will be a real place, where we, with resurrected bodies, will walk, talk, sing and worship!

2. Heaven is a Place of Celebration
The Isaiah passage above, describes the great celebration in Heaven — yes, you can call it a party! Another is Revelation 19:9, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

Try to imagine a banquet. Now, think of the feast that “the LORD Almighty will prepare” (Isaiah 25:6)! And it won’t just be eating, but celebrating all of God’s mighty works throughout history for His glory.

3. God is There
Revelation 21:3 goes on to say, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” The best thing about Heaven is that God himself is there. Now, think about the person you love the most here on earth. We will experience those sensations of love when we meet and live with the One who loved us even before we were born.

This and all pleasures will never grow old, but will get better and better for all eternity.

Pray this week:

Lord, help me to find out more from Your word about Heaven. Thank you that all followers of Jesus will live there forever in perfect peace and joy.

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The Bible Describes Heaven as a Real Place

The Bible Describes Heaven as a Real Place
What does the Bible say about heaven?

Written by Lois on 19/07/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Grace, Sin, Heaven, Forgiveness
Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into Heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

Acts 7:55 (NLT)
Will good works, traditions or experiences get you to heaven? Some prophets and disciples were given a glimpse of Heaven or were taken up into Heaven. Stephen, a first-century Christian, was stoned to death because of his faith. Before his death, Stephen asked the Lord to forgive those throwing the stones. His final words were “…Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” (Acts 7:59).

So, is Heaven an experience or a real place? What does the Bible say about heaven? Here are just three times that the Bible mentions the reality of Heaven:

1. Elijah Was Taken to Heaven
Elijah the prophet did not experience death; His disciple Elisha witnessed his being taken to Heaven. It was not a surprise to him; the Lord had told him he was to be taken. “As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11:12).

2. John’s Vision
The disciple John received The Revelation of Jesus Christ (the final book of the Bible) while he was exiled on an island. In Revelation 4, John’s vision reveals what’s going to happen when Jesus comes back as Victorious Ruler. John saw God sitting on his throne as four creatures worshipped him. “Day after day and night after night they kept on saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

3. Jesus ascends to Heaven
When Jesus went to Heaven, he left a promise for all those who believed in His resurrection: “After I go and make a place for you, I will come back and take you with Me. Then you may be where I am” (John 14:3). The sacrifice Jesus made on the cross gives us the confidence that Heaven is more than just an experience; it is the place we will spend eternity with our Savior. As He said, Jesus is the only way to Heaven. (John 14:6)

Pray this week:

Father, I want to go to the place Jesus has prepared for Believers, In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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