Monday, 20 April 2015

SUNDAY 19TH APRIL WHEN JESUS RIDES INTO YOUR LIFE THINGS CHANGE

On Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem like the hero in those old westerns my Dad used to make us watch.  Many people at the time expected the Messiah to appear just like that, with guns blazing, to restore justice and order. But Jesus had an entirely different kind of victory in mind, he rode into Jerusalem as King of Kings and Lord of Lords on a young donkey knowing that things were about to change for ever.

Jesus saw that the courts were filled with traders who cheated and took advantage of people as they came to the temple.  It was 'wall to wall Wonga'.  A righteous anger consumed him and he drove them out of there. When Jesus rides into our lives he still does the same thing.  We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and Jesus comes and overturns the tables of wrong stuff in our lives. He gets rid of the rubbish and that which doesn't honour or serve God in our lives in order to make room for what does.

He called his disciples together for the Passover feast, a time to fellowship together but he wanted them to understand things were about to change in their lives too.  He sang to them - I wonder if it was Psalm 116 or Psalm 118, psalms of deliverance:

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper.  I look in triumph on my enemies. Psalm 118: 5-7

He asked them to remember him everytime they sat down together and shared a meal.  As they broke bread to remember his body broken for them and as they shared a cup of wine to remember his blood shed for them so they could live free from sin.  What he was about to do would radically change their lives and those to whom they would preach the good news.

Jesus was mocked and flogged, made to carry his cross and crucified like a common criminal, died and was put in the tomb.  Yet three days later transformed by resurrection power he was alive and eating breakfast on the beach with his friends.  Scripture tells us that exactly the same resurrection power lives in us but just like Jesus we have to die to self in order to live in the fulness of that new life and to experience that power at work in our lives.

Two disciples walked the Emmaus road depressed, disheartened, disillusioned - everything they had hoped for had been destroyed when they saw Jesus breathe his last on the cross.  As he walked with them and explained the scriptures about himself their hearts burned inside their chests but it wasn't until he broke bread that they recognised who he was. When Jesus walked in their depression lifted, he lit a fire in their hearts and gave them purpose and vision.  Being with him changed everything for them.

When we truly allow Jesus to ride into our lives as King and Lord everyone will know about it because the change in us will be obvious and as we submit every day to his Lordship he will help us to clear out the rubbish in our lives to become increasingly like him in everything we say and do. Amen.

Dave B