Zechariah prophesied 500 years prior: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey”. Matthew records the fulfillment, “They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed, cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Hosanna in the highest!’
Yet Jesus is less than a week from being betrayed, beaten, and crucified. He is 5 days from “Hosanna” to “Crucify Him.” 5 days is all it took for people to change their minds and turn their backs on the One worshipped. His triumphal entry into Jerusalem marked the beginning of the ending of His earthly days. All the prophecies of His birth and death culminate there in the streets of Jerusalem. Even that day; Palm Sunday is the fulfillment of the Daniel’s “seventy sevens” prophecy: “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times” Daniel9:25
He came heralded by angels. He left in the mire of man’s ridicule. He was born to die. He was given to give His life. He entered this day riding on a mule, but in a short period of time He will re-enter the same streets carrying an 80 lb. crossbeam and indeed the weight of the world on His shoulders. He is Jesus. The Messiah. Hosanna in the Highest.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
It is apparent that Solomon dealt with real people, but not all who should have been listening actually were. A host, both then and now, are speaking rather than hearing. They talk over the preaching, teaching, and biblical instruction. Then in time of trouble, they scramble for answers from outside sources when all along the answers were available in the natural order of the Word. Some even declare the Church incapable of answering issues, believing that spiritual counsel cannot solve the problem.
In turn, we have become an over-confessional society. We take stands on the trivial. Many are entrapped by meaningless causes and pseudo-activisms. Self-expression is our mantra. Yet Solomon wrote, “a person with good sense remains silent.” This wisdom is dead to a generation of texters/tweeters who feel the need to tell all. Common sense is on the endangered species list while the scripture fights for space. Hear the words of the wise: “Son, heed instruction; listen and be wise; gain understanding; be careful before you utter a sound; take note of the words of elders; evil words destroy friendships; discernment is premier.”
Where did the Apples of Gold in Pictures of Silver go? These are words fitly spoken, not a continual flow of them. They are cautiously chosen and prayerfully executed. They are not posts telling each other about our love for soup, spring, or spouse. It’s time we choose what we say. Paul wrote: Eph. 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Words are meant to minister and communicate something of importance, but if there is a constant collage of remarks, then nothing of value has a chance to be heard and received.
Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth…be acceptable”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Edward Bulwer-Lytton is first credited with the words, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I suppose it’s true when it comes to laws and declarations. Yet in regards to human thought and philosophy, Paul wrote a somewhat contrasting statement: 1 Cor. 2:4 “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” Great speakers and keen insight appeal to the analytical. Intellectual stimulation, even scriptural revelations, captures the mind of men, but the “pen” – the thought; reasoning and wording is only as good as the demonstration which follows.
We have watched the evolution of the Motivational Pulpit and it is found wanting. It is weak and anemic, leaving many yet bound and afflicted. Only the demonstration of the Holy Spirit can garnish life changes and healing. Sharing what you know is humanism unless there is a witness in the Spirit. Preaching is a fuel-less car when it is done without demonstration. It’s a desolate land where people walk in and walk out the same way they came. What the world needs is a moving of the Holy Ghost and the Anointing which breaks the yoke that binds the soul.
To be sure, Paul had enticing words at his disposal. He was a learned man with years of philosophical presentations to offer. He could rationalize, analyze and debate with the best of his day, but he knew that it was a pointless cavity that could not fill the heart of men. Even the teachings of Jesus were accompanied by the miraculous. The Lord could have waged a war of words, and wrangled with the intricacies of the Law, but He chose to demonstrate by laying hands on the sick. We must pray that the same Spirit would move in this house so that lives could be made free by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Are you ready for the next phase in America? Peter and John were commanded NOT to speak in the name of Jesus or make any mention of Him. His name was an offense as was His story. That same command is back and bolder than ever. If you haven’t noticed: Jesus is Offensive. His name, unless used as a curse word, is insulting and has been said to cause emotional suffering (as stated in a workplace lawsuit). NYT Best Seller’s wrangle with the issue. While the book of Captain Sullenberger’s heroics on the Hudson, saving hundreds, captivates the country, there is no such love for the Messiah. “Savior” by definition is a turn-off to the secularist. It sounds exclusionary and discriminative.
Dorothea’s prolonged choice to forsake her husband for “true love” in the book “Middlemarch” is more appealing than the Lord’s choice to forsake Himself and die for the sins of mankind. His taking the cup of gall is repugnant to the world; not cherished, and now they are poised to outlaw Him and those connected.
Awards in music, literature, and theatre are applauded, except for stories of Jesus. Even though Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus” does not support His Divine nature, it is still under attack. CNN and NBC commentators call it “that controversial subject.” In 2015, Jesus is a Controversial Subject.
Peter quoted the O.T., “Behold I lay in Zion a Chief Cornerstone, elect, precious and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” The Stone saves those that believe, but to the disobedient it is a“stone of stumbling – a Rock of offense.” Peter lived in full what we are experiencing in part. These days are filled with great rebuttal. The sounds of the End Time are growing louder, making a demand on the Church to be a Witness. My reply comes from Pilate, “I find no fault in Him.”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole