Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Palm Sunday

Replay from a few years back:

This past Sunday was the day Christians commemorate the triumphal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. Jesus was hailed as the King by the people along the road into the city. While the people did recognize Jesus as the promised King, they did not understand just what his kingdom was all about. They were looking for someone to overthrow the Romans and restore Israel back to its former glory. Even the disciples did not totally understand. By the end of the week, many who were hailing Jesus as King turned against him and saw him as just another in a line of failed would-be messiahs.

Many today also misunderstand Jesus and his kingdom. Some see the kingdom as something in the future. Today we depend on Jesus to save us, and take us to heaven when we die. The kingdom will happen when Jesus comes again. The idea that Jesus is the King, right now, does not enter into our minds.

This incorrect thinking has produced a church that is weak and ineffective. It has produced people who only see the Jesus as a ticket to heaven, as "fire insurance." It ignores or explains away much of the four Gospels. It has caused many to leave the church. I believe that fear is one reason many would rather see the kingdom as something off in the future. Fear that, if we take Jesus' teachings seriously, we will have to give up control. Fear that Jesus may ask us to give up the American Dream. Fear that our comfortable life will be no more.

So, while the first century church proclaimed the subversive message that Jesus was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, bringing down the wrath of the Roman Empire, the church today proclaims a message that is quite compatible with the powers that be. Either that, or a message that you can accept Jesus as "personal" Savior, live a moral life, and go to heaven and escape this world when you die.

The first century church turned the world upside down. The church today, well...

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