Whoever finds a palm tree first gets a pickle...
I don’t know where my granddaughter Clara came up with this game, but we all started laughing. Five grandkids in the back of our vehicle, only minutes away from our vacation destination. The excitement could not be contained.
It got me thinking about Palm Sunday and the excitement Easter holds, and I couldn’t help but think of the verse~ “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard... the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
I Corinthians 2:9
Do you know what I like about Palm Sunday? Despite knowing the future anguish Christ would endure for all of mankind, God did not stop there. We can praise God for the promise of Easter and the knowledge that one day in heaven we will have eternity to shout Hosanna! So today, I’d like to share with you a place, a problem, a Person and a promise.
I’d like to tell you about a place.
It’s a place that isn’t popular to talk about in this “feel good” generation, when so many are scared to even go out of their homes, and just want to escape into the unreality of television and social media. It’s a place whose destination has been joked about, and even bragged about at times. It’s a place called hell. It isn’t great material for jokes,
it’s a horrifying place of fire and darkness.
It’s real and it’s eternal. (1)
It’s a destination for all sinners. There will be no so social gatherings there.
There will be no parties or camaraderie.
Only torment and pain. (2)
The cost of our sin. (3)
I’d like to tell you about a problem.
The problem that lies within each and every one of us. A problem we are all born with, myself included. (4) That problem is sin. From murdering to the little white lie, sin is sin. None of us are sinless. I am as much a sinner as the murderer on death row or the sweet, little old lady down the street. (5) Being a pastor’s wife does not make me exempt.
No one is exempt. There is nothing we can do, no good deeds we can accomplish, no church we can attend, no charity we can give to that can take away that sin. (6)
And because of the depravity of our sinful hearts, the punishment for that sin is separation from God and eternity in hell. (7)
I’d like to tell you about a Person.
The only sinless Person Who took all our sins upon Himself so that we would not have to face that punishment. That Person isn’t me. It isn’t my pastor husband. It isn’t the priest or the preacher down the street.
That Person is Jesus. (8)
Born in a manger, He took the form of a human baby for the love of a people who don’t deserve it, but desperately need it. (9) Jesus Who, with joy endured the brutal beating and death on a cross to save our wicked souls from eternity in hell. (10) Jesus Who rose again from that death and sits on the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for us, praying for us even now. (11) That person Who we owe everything to.
That person is inviting you to a promise. (12)
I’d like to tell you about that promise.
To have faith in that belief that Jesus took your sins upon Himself on that cross. (13)
To joyfully except His invitation by repenting and turning away from the blindness sin has caused (14) in allowing you to somehow be fooled into thinking that hell isn’t that bad, and heaven isn’t that good, and Jesus death was just a bible story for little kids in Sunday school. The lie that the Bible and church is for religious people or fanatics and that you’ll be just fine, because you aren’t that bad a person. You’re actually pretty good.
There is nothing good about us. (15)
Our hearts need the grace only Jesus can give. (16) Our hearts need the faithful believing that His shed blood on that cross washes away sins. (17) Our hearts need sorrow for that sin and repentance. Our hearts need Jesus. (18)
And once we have Jesus, He promises us that we are forever His child. Nothing will ever separate us from Him. He promises us a home in heaven when we leave this earth. He promises to never leave us or forsake us. He promises to be with us always. (19)
A palm tree and a pickle. A place, a problem, a Person and a beautiful promise. Are you excited about your destination after death? We have hope in the Person and His promise. Freedom from the fear of death. (20)
The hope of heaven and not hell, but so much more that that~
The hope that we get God.
We get Jesus.
Our Father, our Friend, our forgiveness.
We get a love beyond anything our human hearts have ever, or could ever comprehend. (21)
Yes, there is a place and a problem, but there is a Person with a Promise. And that embodies peace. (22)
(1) Psalm 11:6
(2) Luke 16:22-31
(3) Romans 6:23 (4) Romans 5:12
(5) Romans 3:23 Revelation 21:8
(6) Ephesians 2:8-9
(7) Romans 5:10 (8) I John 2:2, 4:9-10
(9) Philippians 2:7 (10) Hebrews 12:2
(11) Romans 8:34 (12) Revelation 3:20
(13) I Peter 2:24 (14) 2 Corinthians 4:4
(15) Romans 7:18 (16) Romans 5:15
(17)I John 1:7-9 (18) 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
(19) Hebrews 13:5 Matthew 28:20
(20) I John 4:18 Hebrews 2:14-15
(21) Ephesians 3:16-19
(22) Philippians 4:7
“I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”