Text: Matt 21:1-11
the first of 3 messages set against the backdrop of Passover
In the great little book, children’s letters to God, we meet up with the impressions of Jesus that find themselves into the mind of a child– and some quite perceptive. With the pressure of the masses closing all around him and the conspiracy in full swing reaching just before him, Jesus prepared to enter Jerusalem and the festive events surrounding Passover… With the intent of ordering the events that would bring you the benefits of eternal life .
Transition: who is he? But who do you say that I am?
Jesus made it very clear to the Pharisees, the disciples, and all of us that all authority resided in Him. Whether we scoff at that authority or fall down before the God-man wearing that authority does not eliminate its existence.( Eric spurning that authority in favor of a works only model). Without an authority in our lives, we are aimless if not useless creatures, wandering throughout life waiting for the next clue for direction or meaning. Genesis 3: an authority figure placed before the garden lest they find no hope in their own steps through the garden. So it’s appropriate and necessary for me to ask this of you? WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?
Can I act judicially over your life?
Can I speak into your life, affirming, even convicting truth… Hold you accountable for weakness and sin in your life… Can I be God to you because I am! ( I judge from my Father).
Can I be example to you?
Follow me. Watch me, learn from me for I am meek and lowly of heart. I have given you as example, whether washing feet or teaching you to pray or even demonstrating great faith in the depths of despair and on the tossing waves of my daily existence.
Am I your action figure?
Do you count on me as your super action figure for the life and death distresses– content then in most cases to have me appear incognito , subservient to your own good stuff.
Am I your marketing piece?
A clever extra edge brought in at just the right time– Jesus lives for all to see, especially before the pastor or that particular religious family member.
Am I your crutch?
Your enabling device, positioned so as not to face life, difficult choices, or the consequence of your actions.
Am I your good luck charm?
Do enough of me and magically your life’s challenges will melt away– w/o even worshipping, confessing, or following hard after me.
Am I your Savior
Do you know that I have bled for you, my life poured out as an offering and substitution to God for you and for your sin.. That I came to die, to descend into hell, proclaim victory over death and the devil– and miraculously rise again. I do what all the Mohammed’s, Joseph Smiths, Hari Christnas, Buddha’s can never do–rise again in defeat of death. I am the unique one, born of a virgin, begotten of God, overwritten in human flesh– fully human– fully God. You need a Savior more than a comfortable home, comfortable living, and nice kids. Be gone ever theology of self help, spark of divinity and inherent goodness.
Am I your confidant?
Will you trust me with your life: with the irreconcilable, the inconceivable, and the unexplainable? Are you so self sustained that you have convinced yourself that you need not the care of a perfect friend. "no one ever cared for me like Jesus?
Am I your friend?
I have walked many miles with men like you, who were my constant companions. But when the time came for their true allegiance, one exchanged for the price of a slave, another denied me by the fire, and the rest all fled. Will you also go away? Do you desire my friendship, my constant presence, and my 24/7 care for your life?
Am I your master?
Your tutor, your teacher, and your guide? Do you find in me a reason to follow, is your quest to find peace and purpose in your life… Belonging, and a contentment from knowing your sins are forgiven and your eternity secure. Do you want to harness your inner passion and quiet those often conflicting rhythms of life.
Am I your Lord?
Am I really in command of your life or is that merely an illusion constructed to convince everyone around you, including yourself.
Am I really in charge? Really, the sole authority for your life?
Am I merely a co-pilot or truly at the helm? Am I any more than a convenient excuse for church attendance at Christmas, Easter and your cousin’s baptism?
Would you confess me among friends, defend be before co-workers, even confirm our relationship if pressed by those who hold the keys to your present and future prowess in your place of employment.
Am I Jesus to you, God enthroned, Spirit directed and Lord of all? In the end, am I worthy of your attention, the Christ of your life?
Mark J. CongrovePastor, Bethel Baptist church
facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/mjcongrove