The Palm Sunday parade as Jesus entered Jerusalem for the week of Passover was exciting. It was also a little strange - Jesus' steed being a little donkey. And it was ominous as well. Watching the parade were Jesus' opponents, the Pharisees, who would see to it that He would be silenced by week's end. While the multitudes were captivated by Christ, Jesus' enemies were plotting how they would cancel Him, once and for all. They were willing to do anything to make this happen - arranging backroom bribes, cooking up false testimony, even freeing a murderer in exchange for Jesus.
In their minds, Christ HAD to be cancelled, killed, crucified! Religiously, they saw Him as a blasphemer - pretending to be the Son of God. Personally, they saw Him as a threat and a competitor to their power and influence ...
"Cancel Culture" has been a hot-button topic over the past year. Celebrities who say or do politically incorrect things, or who may have said or done such things in the past, risk losing roles, contracts, opportunities, and more. The same can happen to average folks, too.
You could get "cancelled" in some way or another just for believing and referencing the Bible. And this "Cancel Culture" doesn't show any signs of letting up anytime soon.
Should we be surprised? Didn't Jesus say that the world will try to cancel Christians, that we will face tribulation, hatred, or potentially worse just because we belong to Him?
From mid-afternoon on Good Friday until early Sunday (Easter) morning, Jesus' enemies thought they had bested Him and gotten rid of Him for good. But the Good News in Jesus' case is that those who thought they had succeeded in cancelling Him were dead wrong! They had nothing on Jesus!
What a shock when the news began to break on Sunday morning: Jesus was Risen - not cancelled! And the Risen Jesus changed the lives of His disciples forever. The message of their Living Lord would consume them for the rest of their days. They knew that this Gospel had to get out, far and wide! Jesus commissioned and empowered them to take the message of His death and resurrection to the ends of the earth.
We still hear the Good News proclaimed by the Apostles as we read their words today in the New Testament. They share the Good News with us that Jesus voluntarily died an excruciating death for you and me on the cross. (In our day, when volunteerism is on the decline, can you imagine volunteering to die in place of someone else?)
But the Good News gets better: Jesus overcame death on Easter Sunday, He is alive forevermore, and He has prepared eternal life for all who trust Him! This is God's Greatest News - for you.
As Christians, we may be looking at today's culture with wary and even fearful eyes. One of Jesus' promises from the original Holy Week is fitting for us: "In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33)
Amazingly, in being overcome on the cross, Jesus was working toward overcoming death itself - and He did! In truth, He overcomes everything that stands in His way.
Not even Satan at his "best" can overcome Jesus at His "worst." When Jesus was fasting in the wilderness to the point of starvation, Satan threw his best temptations at Him, but Jesus just swatted Satan away by speaking the truth of His Word.
Another Word of promise from Jesus to His people is this: the gates of hell shall not overcome His Church (Matthew 16:18). The world can try to cancel Jesus' message, but it will not ever fully succeed. Jesus is un-cancelable! You can't cancel your Creator. You can't silence Almighty God ...
Jesus' Palm Sunday parade was ultimately His parade to the cross, and we thank our Lord that it was. A week after Palm Sunday, there was another parade, a victory parade through hell itself, as the Risen Jesus showed Satan and the forces of evil that they did not and cannot cancel Him!
Christians, your Savior is on your side and at your side in whatever struggle or opposition you are facing as you follow Jesus today. In Him, you will always be free to be faithful! So fear not! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Amen.
(based on Pastor Kory's Palm Sunday sermon, 3/28/21)
Posted on April 01, 2021 4:13 PM