Part 2

April 19, 2020


Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”


Last week, we studied the Greek word Pistis which refers to our trust in God and His Word. We learned that as a result of what The Holy Spirit produces in the mature believer, it also refers to being faithful, trustworthy, reliable, and stable.  Pistis is also used by the writer of HEB 11:8 (The Message Bible): By an act of faith [pistis], Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. And we learned that some of the greatest blessings we’ll ever see in our lives will occur when we strive to be like the great believers who obeyed God’s Commands – like Abraham did.


In HEBREWS 11, the writer has defined faith (pistis) from the perspective of a forward-looking trust in God’s promises: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (HEB 11:1 New International Version) We have to take everything we have learned about God—the evidence of Scripture, history, and our experiences — and use it to “keep a firm grip on” our confidence that God will make good on His Word. This is taught in HEB 10:22-23 (The Message Bible): So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.  That confidence should lead us to obey Him even when we can’t fully see “the end of the story.” This is the core property of faith: a trust that God will be God.


Abraham is one of the Bible’s greatest examples of this kind of faith. Abraham (then named Abram) was called by God to leave his homeland and go to Egypt: Now the Lord said to Abram, Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. (GEN 12:1–4) Even though Abraham, didn’t know exactly what the future held, he chose to obey God. And do you see how God responds by blessing those who obey Him? In HEB 11:8, not only did Abraham “travel to an unknown place” – but he had no idea what he was going to do when he got there! God called him to travel to a place about which he was completely in the dark. And going there would be the complete opposite of the life he was accustomed to do.


As we learned at the start of this study, Our Lord said this to two of His disciples to “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.” (LUK 19:30) Sometimes The Lord calls us to do things that are the complete opposite of what we might routinely do. These things might confuse you at times. The two disciples probably wondered why Jesus told them to do this, because none of the Gospel accounts about Christ’s Ministry ever mention Him riding any animal to get from one place to another. He must have walked hundreds of miles up but there is no mention of Him ever riding, except, of course, in a boat across the Sea of Galilee. But now, seemingly out of nowhere, He gives this unusual command to go into the village to get a colt. And He asked that it be one that had never been ridden on. It must have seemed like a very strange command, right?? He even tells them the exact words they should use to answer anyone who questions what they’re going to do.


The word translated “colt” is the Greek word polos – which means the young of any animal – from an elephant to a locust. Here the “colt” (the young) of a donkey is used. The specific Greek word for donkey – “hupozugion” – is not used in LUKE, but it’s found in MATT 21:5: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold your King is coming to you, Gentle, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”


In Luke and Mark’s account of Jesus Christ’s Triumphal Entry in Jerusalem, they don’t discuss the significance of the young donkey, but Matthew and John quote from ZECH 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. In Zechariah’s prophecy, the gentle king that comes into Jerusalem riding a young donkey, is the same one who will defeat chariots and war-horses and bring peace to the nations. One of the final scenes of Revelation is a picture of the conquering Christ riding a white war-horse!! But on this day, he rides a colt.


Now, to ride into the city on a colt, rather than walking into it (as He had often done before), must have been an incredibly difficult decision. This is because riding a colt into the city was a public declaration that He was a King. In times of war, the conqueror would ride on a prancing stallion. But in times of peace, the king would ride a colt to symbolize that peace prevailed. The decision was difficult for Him because He must have wondered how the people there would respond to it. Would they recognize that His Kingdom was not of this world – that it was a Spiritual Kingdom, and He was a Spiritual King?

Picture what was happening! Here is a carpenter declaring Himself to be a King! Some might be thinking to themselves: “He’s a lunatic, living in a world of fantasy – imagining Himself to be a King!” and they might even laugh at Him. Others might greet Him with anger – upset because they might interpret His riding into the city, as arrogance and blasphemy against God. Of course, many would hail Him, rejoicing, welcoming Him as an earthly King who has come to reestablish the throne of David, and overthrow the Roman Empire. You have to understand that this group was ready and eager to place a crown upon His Head. Among the crowds would be people He had healed. Some had been among the thousands He had fed. Many more had seen His miracles, and listened as He spoke with authority – like those in MATT 7:28-29 (New International Version): When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. They had listened, and their lives had been changed.


Jesus knew all of this. He knew that just over the horizon was The Cross on which He would suffer for every sin that had been committed, or will ever be committed, in the history of the world. But Luke tells us that in spite of it all: “He was determined to go to Jerusalem…” (LUK 9:51) As Our Lord rides down toward the gate of the city, the crowds are growing, and there is a festive atmosphere because it’s Passover and pilgrims are gathering from far and near for this greatest of all Jewish holidays.


Even before Jesus arrived, the news had spread that He had raised Lazarus from the dead. We learn about Lazarus’ resurrection in JOH 11:38-44 (The Message Bible): Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead four days!” Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” Then, to the others, “Go ahead, take away the stone.” They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.” Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.”


So, if you consider what Our Lord did with Lazarus, you can imagine a great deal more excitement in the air – way beyond the celebration of Passover. The news had traveled from one person to another, until finally when Our Lord was ready to enter the city, great crowds had collected on both sides of the road. They were there waiting for Him! They had cut palm branches and were shouting, “Hosanna to the king!” Excitement was at a peak, throughout the entire city! And when Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ arrived, He looked over His waiting audience.

{to be continued}


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