The Cosmetic Coronation of the True King (Mark 11:1-11)

Sunday, May 11th, 2014
Sermon Series: Mark

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The Cosmetic Coronation of the True King

The gospel of Mark 11:1 to 11

 

Birthdays were fun in the Mueller home growing up. A Mueller birthday included my choice of any meal I wanted, a German chocolate cake, and one cool present. And because we were all musicians and I was a director with some conducting experience, we actually conducted the birthday song, but no one would sing on key, singing “Happy Birthday” as horribly as possible.

I did experience some birthday surprises–one memorable one was with my Junior High staff of 35. At our annual staff retreat, a couple of the staff gals made me a special cake with special writing and candles–really special. They made a big deal about it, then gave me the knife to cut it. To my shock, the cake was actually a giant sponge. The entire event was a big gag–it was phony, a practical joke, a fake cake, and a birthday bust. Though funny, it was superficial, hypocritical, false, external, surfacey, empty, temporary, showy, insincere, and cosmetic.

And today, something similar happens to our Lord Jesus. Chapter 11 starts the final week. It is the week of the cross. Only days, yet they are the most significant and most important days which have ever occurred on planet earth. This is the greatest moment in all of history, past, present or future–greater than the moon launch, the Reformation or World War II, more important than 9-11 or the American Revolution.

It is so significant, the majority of all four gospels focuses on this single week. Only days, but we will travel through these days verse-by-verse for a year–and what a year it’s going to be. It all begins with the Lord’s arrival in Jerusalem. In AD 30, in the first month of the Jewish year, Nisan, Jesus arrives on the 10th of Nisan, and is crucified on the 14th of Nisan.

It’s Passover week, and Friday will be the day when tens of thousands of Passover lambs will be slain. Yet not one of those lambs, or all of them together will be able to take away sin for all who have ever believed throughout all of human history. But now it is time for the one final Lamb of God, the perfect, acceptable, sufficient offering for sin. It is Jesus Christ, God’s Son, God in the flesh, who is the Lamb.

But this crucial week begins in a strange way. The nation of Israel should be honoring the true King–the one who has repeatedly proven He is the Messiah, who taught God’s Word, healed every disease, restored limbs, cleansed leprosy, restored sight, and raised the dead. He is the true Messiah, the coming King, the promised Son of David. He has the right to rule, and is the only one who should reign.

He has the correct lineage, since both his mother and stepfather are in the line of David. He is the Son of Man and the Son of God, but though it is called the triumphal entry, in reality it is a cosmetic entry. And though tradition has it on Palm Sunday, it is actually Palm Monday. Why is it so strange? Why isn’t it a triumphant event? Because it’s not an expression of faith, not the face of true praise–it is not God’s true coronation. It was empty, it was cosmetic–so as we read it together, do so with those glasses on.

Stand and read these verses with me from your outline through that lens. Mark 11:1, “As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, 2 and said to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.3 If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” you say, “The Lord has need of it”; and immediately he will send it back here.’ 4 They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. 5 Some of the bystanders were saying to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ 6 They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. 7 They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it. 8 And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!’ 11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.”

Wow! That last verse, verse 11 is a letdown, isn’t it? The entire event just fizzles, then fades–shouts, then silence . . . why? Simply because it wasn’t a real coronation. True coronations are not humble, they’re not unexpected, unplanned, unofficial, spontaneous, or superficial. Coronations are not temporary, but this one was all that. Coronations are not to be reversed in a few days so that the one exalted becomes the one rejected. The elevated one is not to become the executed one.

This was not a real coronation–Jesus Christ is the real King. He deserves all honor, worship and praise, but this is not a true coronation. It is a cosmetic one, a false one, a fake one. There’re two coronations of Christ–one in heaven, and one on earth. One has already happened, and one has not. The heavenly coronation took place at His ascension, when the Lord left earth and arrived in Heaven. Hebrews tells us He took His seat at the right hand of God, and in Philippians 2, was given the name above every name, King of kings and Lord of lords. That was His heavenly coronation.

His earthly coronation will take place in the future, when Jesus returns to Earth, not riding on a donkey, but riding a white horse. In Revelation 19, coming from Heaven with His armies, every eye will see Him as He destroys the sinful rebellion of humanity, judges the world, regenerates the earth, and establishes His throne in Jerusalem for 1,000 years in the Millennial Kingdom. That is His earthly coronation.

But the Mark 11 entry into Jerusalem is neither of those. It is a fraudulent coronation, a cosmetic coronation. There are no formalities here, no dignitaries, no regalia, no fanfare, no permanence, and no reality. Overall, there are four major events which the Lord used to prepare everyone for His public ministry in Jerusalem, found here in chapter 11—1) the entry into Jerusalem, 2) the cursing of the fig tree, 3) the cleansing of the temple again, and 4) the lessons from the fig tree, which all take place Monday and Tuesday of this final passion week.

And the first big preparatory event is the big entry–which is so significant that all four gospels record this same event. And I like the way John MacArthur divides up the entry three ways–the faithful arrival, the faithless approval and the fateful appraisal.

#1  The Faithful Arrival  Verses 1 to 7

Verse 1, “As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives,” the ministry to the nation of Israel is complete. The Lord is passing through Jericho on His way up to Jerusalem–a 15-mile hike up 3,500 feet, from 1,000 feet below sea level to 2,500 feet above sea level, to the Golden City. As He passes through Jericho, the Lord redeems a hated tax collector named Zaccheus, and heals two blind men. And one of those blind men is certainly saved–his name is Bartimaeus.

The Lord now sets His face to go to Jerusalem–His friends are fearful, His disciples are bewildered and the crowd headed to the Passover press Him from all sides, because they know He is a miracle worker, and they want to see what He’ll do. They all know what Jesus did in Bethany just weeks ago–He raised a man named Lazarus who’d been dead for days.

There is a lot of buzz about Jesus. Even though He tells His men He is going to suffer, die, and rise again, they still can only focus on the idea He’s come to overthrow Rome and liberate Israel. They can only think of Jesus ruling, and they ruling with Him. They want privilege next to Christ, not persecution because of Him. They want a coronation for Christ, not a crucifixion for Christ.

But before He could reign, which is yet to be in the future, Jesus had to come to die. So this coronation is premature–and it’s also a radical change. Up to this point, the Lord has not allowed the crowds to make Him King. They tried to press Him into the role, but Jesus didn’t allow it. He stopped it, He walked away–but not now. Why? For three years the Lord has been dismantling the false Jewish religion. The Lord has taught His Word, and exposed their external traditions. He destroyed their legalism and works salvation.

Jesus spent three years discrediting their theology, and correcting their misinterpretations of Scripture. For three years the Lord launched an all-out assault on apostate Judaism, and as a result the religious leaders want Jesus dead. And any kind of massive demonstration that would make those leaders think the Lord’s popularity was expanding would be a great threat, and hurry their plan to murder Him.

So Jesus never let those massive public demonstrations happen—until now. Why? It is now God’s perfect time. In God’s perfect, providential timing, the Lord Jesus must now be the final, sacrificial Lamb to die for the sins of His children. The Lord allows this massive display of support to occur in order to make certain His death occurs at the Passover.

Did you know the New Testament tells us the religious leaders didn’t want to execute Jesus on the Passover because they were afraid of what the population might do? But they didn’t have a choice–His popularity after this entry into Jerusalem was so intense, it hurried them to kill Christ, so that the Lord’s death occurred just as God had planned it, on Friday, on the Passover–Jesus becomes the Lamb of God who is sacrificed for the sins of His people.

Even though this is a false, cosmetic coronation, with a massive amount of people who are caught up in externals, it accomplishes God’s perfect purpose. Christian brother and sister, bad things can accomplish God’s purpose–God can even use empty, religious events to awaken a hunger in His children for the reality of true salvation.

It is estimated there were two million people in Jerusalem at Passover. We get that number from some reliable documents that tell us in AD 40 that 260,000 lambs were slain at that Passover–over a quarter of a million. Usually one lamb per ten people, which means about 2.6 million people, a massive crowd–the crowd around Jesus as He enters Jerusalem must have been hundreds of thousands. This would definitely agitate the religious leaders, pushing them to act, accomplishing God’s perfect plan to die on Friday as the final Passover lamb.

How does the week fit together? It’s Saturday when Jesus arrives in Bethany. Look at verse 1, “As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives.” Bethany is two miles from Jerusalem over the back side of the Mount of Olives. The Lord has some friends there, you know them–Mary, Martha, and recently back from His tour of being dead, Lazarus. It is also Saturday when Mary anoints His feet with expensive perfume, which upsets greedy Judas, the betrayer. It is Saturday when Jesus arrives, because John 12 tells us it is six days till Passover, which makes this Saturday.

Then Sunday, the next day according to John 12:9, “The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead.” (Did Jesus really raise the dead? Yes!) The city is swelling with Passover pilgrims. Word is spreading about Lazarus who was raised from the dead. He is a curiosity. So people are walking the easy two miles, because they want to see this man, and they want to see Jesus–which of course, is a problem for the religious leaders.

So John 12 tells us the chief priests took counsel, get this, to kill Lazarus. Verses 10 and 11, “But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.” How hardhearted are you, when you don’t deny that Lazarus was raised from the dead, but you just want to kill him to minimize his influence for Christ? So it’s on Sunday all these Jews come to Bethany, to the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, to see Lazarus—and to see Jesus.

So now its Monday, the next day after the crowds came to Bethany, Jesus approaches Jerusalem–it’s Monday. I don’t want to mess with tradition, but it’s Palm Monday–Palm Monday. By the way, that’s a very important chronological note, because if you put the Lord’s entrance on Sunday, you have one entire day in the middle of the week where there’s no information about anything–they call it Silent Wednesday. I don’t think so.

There is no way you can have the last week of the Lord’s ministry, and you’ve got an entire day with no comment about anything. But there is no Silent Wednesday if you get the right chronology of His entrance on Monday. Even more importantly, according to the Mosaic Law–a sacrificial lamb for Passover was to be selected and set apart on the tenth of Nisan–the tenth is Monday, and that’s when the sacrificial lamb arrived. And the sacrificial lamb was to be crucified on the fourteenth, and that’s Friday, when Christ was actually crucified.

So both the Mosaic Law and the calendar confirm Jesus entered Jerusalem on Monday. Then the Lord returns to Bethany Monday night, then returns back to Jerusalem on Tuesday, curses the fig tree, cleanses the temple, then back to Bethany in the evening. Then on Wednesday, Jesus entered into controversy with the leaders of Israel, gave His sermon on His second coming, and Judas planned his betrayal.

Then on Thursday His disciples prepared for the Passover. He spent time in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was arrested, He was on trial all night long, then Friday He was crucified. Saturday He was in the grave, and Sunday He rose again. And that’s the week, and that’s our schedule for what’s ahead.

What happens first? Verse 1, “As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives,” we know Bethany is a town on the east side (the back side) of the Mount of Olives, down the slope from Jerusalem. I’ve been there–when there, you can’t even see Jerusalem, cause it’s blocked by the Mount of Olives. They think the name Bethany means House of Dates.

Bethphage is a smaller village close by. The name probably means House of Figs, speaking of the agriculture of that area. California avocados, like Washington apples–Bethany is for dates, and Bethphage for figs. When there, verses 1 and 2 say, “He sent two of His disciples, 2 and said to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.’”

Jesus is in Bethany, and he sends two of His disciples to a village close by, Bethphage, to pick up a little colt, a donkey. “But,” you ask, “Chris, how did Jesus know the colt would be there?” Silly Christian, Jesus is God. The Lord is demonstrating His divine attribute of omniscience–He knows every donkey, every colt, every post, everything that can be known. Go find that specific animal, and bring it to Me.

Verse 3, “If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ you say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.” Hey, where’re you taking that donkey, that’s not yours! God’s omniscience means the Lord knows whose donkey it is. It’s probably someone who’s put their trust in Christ–a believer. Because as soon as they say the Lord has need of it, Jesus knows the donkey watcher/owner will respond and say, “Yes!”

So the Lord knows where the animal is. He knows who the owner or watch-giver is. And the Lord knows how the man will react. That’s omniscience–it is miraculous. And He knows he’ll release the donkey into the care of the two unnamed disciples and send it back to the Lord. The disciples, of course, need to know that since it’s a little awkward to be sent to steal somebody’s animal.

And verses 4 to 6 tell us the entire colt taking event went down just as the Lord told them it would. “They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. 5 Some of the bystanders were saying to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ 6 They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission.”

I wonder, don’t you, if the two disciples were wowed? Did they say to themselves, “That was 100% correct–­­exactly how Jesus said.” We’d say, “The Lord is batting 1000.” Are you really blown away by the fact that your job struggles, your children’s illnesses, your financial battles are all known by God? Every single minor detail is all known.

But Christ’s omniscience, as beautiful as that is, is not the main point here. This is not merely pointing out Christ’s deity as God. Nor is the fact that Solomon rode a mule on His coronation, and David rode a mule. Again, this passage is not meant to connect Christ to David and Solomon. Yet—the main point is not made by Mark, but it is made by Matthew in His gospel account of this superficial coronation.

Matthew 21:3 to 4 is not vague, “’If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, “The Lord has need of them,” and immediately he will send them.’” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: [What prophet? Zechariah–500 years before, Zechariah said . . . ] 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.”’”

The Lord Jesus is coming into Jerusalem in fulfillment of prophecy–that’s why point #1 is the Faithful Arrival. It is not a true coronation, but it is a true fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture written 500 years before it actually happened. Jesus comes humbly on a colt because He’s not come to reign, rule or overthrow Rome, but Jesus has come to die. He doesn’t come as a sovereign, but as a Savior. He doesn’t come as the King, but the Lamb to be killed.

But His disciples don’t get it. Did they see His omniscience? They must have. But they didn’t see this as a fulfillment to prophecy. John 12:16 informs us, “These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.”

The disciples later understood that this cosmetic coronation was the fulfillment of prophecy, but they didn’t get it at the time. In fact, not only does Zechariah describe it, but so does the better known Daniel 9. In fact, the truth is, Daniel 9 actually prophecies the exact day this entrance into Jerusalem takes place–to the day. In Daniel 9:24 to 27, Daniel informs his readers it will be 483 years from the decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem in 445 B.C.–it’ll be 483 years until the arrival of Messiah. If you do the calendar work on that, 483 years from the decree of Artaxerxes lands you on this exact day when Jesus entered into the city.

God’s timing is perfect, down to the minutest detail. The Lord arrived faithfully right on time. Our Lord was faithful to the Father’s divine purpose, the Bible’s specific prophecy, and the Spirit’s exact timetable. As they get ready to enter the city, what do they do? Verse 7, “They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it.” That would be like putting a blanket on the back of an animal in order to provide more comfort, both for the animal and for the rider. The Faithful Arrival leads to . . .

#2  The Faithless Approval  Verses 8 to 10

Verse 8, “And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.” Why would they spread their coats in the road? That was an ancient custom that showed submission. “You can walk on me, you can step on me, I’m below your feet.” Kings were always elevated, and people were under their feet. And this was a way to symbolize that–you can walk all over me, I’ll do as you say. I place myself under your authority. I affirm, at least superficially, you are my King.

The hope for the Kingdom was high, but they only thought of the Kingdom as throwing out the Romans so Israel could rule herself. Return us to our place in the world, and fulfill all the promises of the Old Testament to us. Their hopes were all that superficial. This entourage coming up the hill is massive by now–the crowd is swelling. The enthusiasm is growing. What caused that?

Luke 19:37 tells us, “As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen.” The crowd is going wild because of the miracles they’d seen. Come on FBC, they knew Bartimaeus was blind, and now he can see. They knew for a fact Lazarus was dead, and now he is alive. So what do they do, and what do they say?

Verses 8 to 10, “And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!’” What does this say?

Wow– they know Jesus is powerful, they know He is able, they know He fits the description of the Messiah. They know He’s got the right lineage. They’ve been trying to force Him to be King. They’ve tried to have Him wipe out Rome and re-establish Israel as the chief and the greatest of all the nations–and now it seems Jesus is willing, so let’s go for it!

They show their allegiance to Christ by spreading leafy branches under Him. John 12:13 says, “They were palm branches,” and palm branches in Scripture are often symbols of salvation joy. Get this, even in the future, when standing before the glorified Christ, we will be waving palm branches. Look at Revelation 7:9, “Behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes … standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.” So throwing down these branches is a symbol of joy. “You are our deliverer. You are our source of joy.”

Verse 9 tells us Jesus was in the middle of this huge crowd. “Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting.” They’re surging all around Him, shouting with charismatic emotion, yet underneath this celebration, something sinister was up. John 11:57, “Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he was to report it, so that they might seize Him.”

The crowd had long forgotten that warning–they were caught up in the drama, the emotion and the hysteria of this moment. Look at verse 9—those who went in front and those who followed were all doing the same thing. They were all praising Him. They were shouting, “Hosanna”. That isn’t indiscriminate shouting, or merely excitable noise–no! Hosanna is a cry of request–“Save now, deliver us now.” Of course they’re talking about an earthly, political, military deliverance.

The gospel of Matthew informs us they said, “Hosanna, save now to the Son of David,” identifying Jesus as the Messiah. Save us now, Messiah. Then adding at the end of verse 9, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” They’re shouting Psalm 118:26, a psalm of salvation, sometimes called, “The Conqueror’s Psalm,” which a hundred years before, the Jews shouted at Maccabeus because he was winning the war over the Syrians for Israel’s independence, for a hundred years before Rome.

John tells us the Pharisees are despairing here. Luke tells us they tried to silence the crowd. Then verse 10 tells us they were shouting, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; hosanna in the highest!” They’re shouting messianic accolades at the top of their voice. Luke adds, they even shouted Luke 19:38, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; peace in Heaven and glory in the highest!” This is mob hysteria.

They know these truths point to the Kingdom. The Kingdom will be a Kingdom of salvation. The Kingdom will be a Kingdom over which the Son of David rules. The Kingdom will be the promised Kingdom–promised to the line of King David. The Kingdom will be a Kingdom of peace, and the Kingdom will be a Kingdom of glory. Everything shouted is true, scriptural, quoted accurately right out of the Old Testament. This is God’s King—but this is not God’s time.

In reality, this is a faithless approval. This crowd is fickle. This event will quickly fizzle, and the next day, when Jesus attacks their religion by attacking the temple, they begin to struggle. When Jesus doesn’t do what they want, they’ll turn on Him. And by the end of the week, they’re screaming, “Crucify Him, crucify Him, we’ll not have this man reign over us.” Just a few days later, they completely reversed their sentiments. Why? Because Jesus didn’t do what they wanted Him to do.

They wanted Him to attack the enemy, but Jesus attacked them. It was definitely a faithless approval, leading to . . .

#3  The Fateful Appraisal  Verse 11

What happens next is surprising and foreboding. Surprising, in that the super exciting entry just fades. Like a sudden calm after a storm, it just disappeared. And foreboding, because of the fateful appraisal Jesus makes in verse 11. “Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.”

This event is not a triumph, this is a tragedy. Where’s the crowd? Where’s the loyalty? Where’s the coronation? It was all surfacey, cosmetic, empty–just an emotional high. Verse 11, talk about a blah ending to a coronation. Talk about dull. Jesus didn’t crush the Romans with His miraculous powers, so let’s all just go home–nothing to see here folks, it’s over! The problem is, they don’t understand Jesus’ purpose here–to be the perfect and final Passover lamb, to finally take care of sin.

He’s not there to kill Romans, but to kill the punishment for sin. It wasn’t a true coronation. Jesus isn’t embraced as their King. Mark is telling us in verse 11, “The Lord entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything”–what’s He doing? He’s casing the joint. He’s planning a strategy for the next day. And what happens on Tuesday? Mark 11:15, “Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers.”

How do the leaders react to this? Mark 11:18, “The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.” They’ve got a problem now. The Lord will expose their heart–Jesus will attack the leaders at the very core, the temple.

Yet the Lord stirs up this massive crowd. So now the leaders are ready to kill Him, and all of this was by God’s design to hasten His death on Friday. So Jesus goes to the temple in verse 11–I believe He’s checking it out to see if there’s been any repentance. The Lord cleaned the temple out at the beginning of His public ministry. But they’ve not changed at all–there was no repentance. The nation had not turned from their distorted faith, nor from their evil greed, where the religious leaders were extorting God’s people into paying for worship and turning the temple into a swap meet.

They knew Jesus was right to clean out the temple the first time. But now verse 11, He is checking it out to see if there’s a change. But there is not–they have not repented. There has been no change, so our Lord is developing a strategy in verse 11 and came into the temple. And after looking around at everything, the next day when He goes to the temple, Jesus assaults the place.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, they were ready to hail Him as their Messiah if He did for them what they wanted. But when He didn’t, they turned on Him and cried for His blood. So Jesus left at the end of that day, went back to His friends’ house, verse 11, “He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.” It’s already dusk, and since once it’s dark there’s nothing to be done. The crowd already gave up, the cosmetic coronation faded–like the ripples of a pool it faded away, so Jesus just left.

He had made His appraisal of the horrific corruption of the temple and the Jewish faith–and when He comes back, Jesus is going to let them have it, plus seal His predetermined death. You cannot miss next week–it is amazing! But are you getting it? Do you understand what’s happened? Are you embracing what this says about so-called Christians today? And are you actually seeing yourself in the crowd? You should.

If Jesus doesn’t do what the sinner wants Jesus to do, the sinner turns on Him, or demotes Him, or ignores Him. Do you realize, false coronations like this go on every day, all the time? Anytime there is a group guided by emotion over truth, the result is the same–everyone feels the high, then fades away and behaves just the same as they were.

I fear for worship services where it’s all about what you feel, and just like the crowd in these verses, they walk away unchanged. Friends, it is God’s Word that saves non-Christians, and it is God’s Word that changes Christians, not feelings, not desires, not events, not emotional highs. You’re saved by God’s Word. Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” You’re sanctified by God’s Word. John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”

Have you made a god out of your glands, or are you truly dependent upon the sufficient Word of God? Are you dependent upon the next experience, or relying on His truth? Are you looking for Christ to fix your external problem, just like the Jews wanted Christ to fix their Roman problem? Or are you looking to Christ alone to rescue you from your internal sinful corruption and rebellion, to wash you clean and make you a new person now and forever? Turn from your sin, and depend on Christ today–cry out for mercy.

Maybe you don’t understand what God is doing? They thought Christ was coming to rule, but He was coming to die. Maybe you’re asking, “Why is God doing this to me right now? Why this health issue, job loss, school pressure, friend betrayal, child rebellion, or stress in our family right now?” Today, will you tell Him you trust Him, even when it is difficult? That you still love Him, because you know He loved you first. That you may not understand what He is doing, but you know He has higher and greater purposes for His glory and your good.

God knows the big picture of this world and your life–and He knows all the details, student, collegian, senior and housewife. Listen! God’s in charge of everything. His timetable is perfect. And when you truly crown Christ as your King, when you genuinely put your trust in Him, a true believer will say, “Lord, give me what You want me to have. Rule my life according to Your will, not mine. Your will be done, so You are glorified. Not my wants, but your Word followed and obeyed in my life.”

In your outline, do you have genuine salvation, where you want what Christ wants? And today, Christian, are you wanting what Christ wants still? Let’s pray.

 

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ABOUT THIS PREACHER

Chris is the teaching pastor at Faith Bible Church – Murrieta.

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