On this Palm Sunday we remember how the people received Jesus in Jerusalem.
It was a day of celebration and joy. “A great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him.’ “So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and He sat on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen saying:
‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD! ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
“Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
(John 12:12-13; Matthew 21:6-11; Luke 19:37-38; John 12:15 in the Holy Bible)
When the religious leaders complained about how welcoming the people were of Him Jesus said,
“I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40 in the Holy Bible)
Of course the religious leaders of the Temple did not welcome Him but I want to focus on the people that ‘did’ welcome Him.
A number of years ago I was in Washington D.C. for the Presidential Prayer Breakfast. One of my friends had an appointment with the ambassador of a very large country from Africa. We were received into the beautiful embassy and then into the spectacular office of the ambassador. He showed us the beautiful pieces of art etc. in the office. I noticed a ‘straw donkey’ in the office but he never spoke of it.
We had never met personally but he had assisted me in two countries in Africa.
Me being the person I am enquired about it. The ambassador became very emotional and took my by the arm and said, “let’s sit down now and talk to your friend. After we have finished I will tell you the story.’ After my friend’s visit the ambassador turned to me and told me this story:
“I was studying in England and was attending a special service at Westminster Abbey. The minister brought a very short but powerful message. It was about Jesus arriving in Jerusalem riding on a donkey. “Why’ he asked do you think it was a donkey. God Almighty could have prepared a beautiful white stallion or a golden chariot for Jesus the Son of God to ride in. But no, it was a donkey. Why?
The minister went on to say that he believed it was because, had Jesus been riding on anything stunning or outstanding people with have been looking at what He was riding on or in. But with a donkey, considered by most to be associated with ‘dumb as a donkey’. Every eye was on Jesus!
He went on to say that in his nation when the now ambassador was the vice-president, he went to open a native craft market. He was given the privilege of choosing anything as a gift. There were ivory and expensive gifts but when he saw the simple straw donkey that was what he wanted.
The ambassador with tears filling his eyes said, “I want to be a donkey for Jesus!’ I want to live in such a way that every eye is focused on Jesus. I want to lift Jesus up for all to see.’
I too with tears flowing from my eyes said “I too want to be a donkey for Jesus, lifting Him up for all to see.’ In some small way I have been that. Like a donkey, carrying a wooden cross around the world lifting up Jesus for people to know and follow Him.
Mary welcomed Jesus! The shepherds welcomed Jesus! Simeon in the Temple welcomed Jesus! Anna a prophetess in the Temple welcomed Jesus! The wise men welcomed Jesus! John the Baptist welcomed Jesus! The sinner woman welcomed Jesus by washing His feet! Jesus was called a ‘friend of sinners’!
Many people as recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John welcomed Jesus and committed to believe in and follow Him.
After Jesus was crucified and buried and was raised up on the third day many welcomed him during the next few weeks.
After Jesus ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost three thousand welcomed Him into their lives that Day.
The Book of Acts in the Bible tells of the people in the Middle East, Asia and Europe welcoming Jesus into their lives as Savior and Lord.
Men, women and children became followers of Jesus. The power of the Holy Spirit filled their lives and they went to the world as Witnesses of Jesus.
The last two thousand years is a record of people becoming ‘believers in and followers of Jesus’!
Oh but you say most people have not believed in and followed Jesus. Yes, but today we will focus on those that did welcome Jesus.
When I was 7 years old as a barefoot boy in a car park a traveling evangelist talked to me and I prayed and welcomed Jesus into my heart and life! I have followed Jesus ever since. At the age of 15 one night as I lay in bed I felt Jesus call me to preach. I said, “yes’ to the call of God. I welcomed God’s call on my life.
As a young evangelist I felt the call of Jesus to go to Hollywood and minister to the hippies on Sunset Strip. I welcomed that call of Jesus in a great change of direction in evangelism in my life from a focus on organized meeting to spontaneous witness.
In 1969, one night at 5am in the morning Jesus clearly spoke to me as I was kneeling by my bed praying.
“Arthur, take the cross off the wall of your building and carry it on foot across America and identify my message in the streets were the people are.’
That very night I welcomed the call of Jesus to carry the cross.
Later Jesus said to give my life to carry the cross in every in every nation before the year 2000. Again I welcomed the call of God. By the grace and mercy of God this mission was accomplished by September 1998 as I had carried the cross in every sovereign nation earth. Jesus did it! All glory to God.
Now Jesus has called us to give our lives to carry the cross in every remote inhabited island group and other places. My wife Denise and I welcome the call of Jesus.
Whatever the call of Jesus, Wherever Jesus my lead,
I want to welcome His call and commit to do His will.
My passion and thrill is to know and do the will of the Father!
Jesus’ call in my life has taken me through 50 nations at war. It has led me to be arrested 24 times around the world (but not for crimes on for the cross and witness).
The call of Jesus has led me to carry the cross through deserts, jungles, city streets and into lovely churches.
I have lived with and slept and ate with the poor and the rich. From some of the worlds most famous and infamous people! I have slept on some of the finest beds in the world and also slept on to of a pig pen in the Darien jungle and on a blown up bus bench in the Golan Heights.
The call of Jesus has led me to drink from fancy glasses to water from which I had to push back the green scum in order to get to the water! I have eaten some of the best tasting food on earth and also eaten things I did not even want to touch.
But I have always welcomed the call and will of God.
Many things I do not understand but this I know:
The only place I desire to be is in the will of God!
The only way I desire to live is in the will of God!
As I have carried a 12 foot cross the call of Jesus sent my wife Denise and I into Iraq and we lifted the cross above the walls of Babylon in 1998. That call led us to carry the cross in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and North Korea! But also to Tahiti and Fiji and the Bahamas and every nation!
I have carried the cross around the world and I can truly say I have seen the cross welcomed my millions around the world. In the memory of my mind I can see the crowds lining the highway in the nation of Kiribati waiting for the cross. Many even climbed in the trees in order to see the cross. I see the thousands along the roads in India with and estimated twenty to thirty thousand a day touching the cross and me. I see the three hundred thousand people in a protest rally in Leipzig, East Germany during the time of the revolution against communism taking the cross and passing it hand over hand to the front of the crowd. As the cross reached the front and was raised up the crowd was shouting in German “The cross, The cross, lift it up, lift if up’! I see the crowds of people with the cross in Poland stretching out almost fifteen miles with 70,000 people on a weeks pilgrimage from Warsaw to Czestohova.
I see entire villages, towns and cities across Africa pouring into the streets to welcome the cross. I can hear the shouts in the jungles of people calling in their native tongues for people to come to the cross. I see the mass of people waiting in a South American town for the cross to arrive. On and on I could go.
I see Yasser Arafat coming out in the battlefield of Beirut to welcome the cross. I see the door open to the home of the Prime Minister Begin of Israel open for the cross to come in. I see Egypt giving the Sinai Peace Medial for me bringing the cross to their land. I see the U.N. welcoming us. I see Pope John Paul welcoming the cross at the Vatican. I see the Moslem villages and the Hindu cities welcoming the cross and us. I see the welcome of the cross in Buddhist Temples as we carry the cross in.
All over the world people are welcoming Jesus. All glory to God.
This is Palm Sunday the day we remember the welcome of Jesus into Jerusalem.
What is your welcome to Jesus ‘Today’?
Mary the mother of Jesus said
“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
(Luke 1:38 in the Holy Bible)
Isaiah the prophet in the Old Testament said,
“Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 in the Holy Bible)
Paul the evangelist in the New Testament said, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.’ (Acts 26:1)
“So now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ (Philippians 1:20-22 in the Holy Bible)
I love this beautiful response given in the Book of Romans in the Bible to the welcome of Jesus in our life:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’
(Romans 12:1-2 in the Holy Bible)
Today you can make your heart a ‘welcome place’ for Jesus.
Ready to live in all the fullness of Jesus!
Ready to go in the power of the Holy Spirit!
Ready to witness to anyone at anytime, anywhere!
Ready to love, and care and give and go to a hurting world’¦next door or in a foreign land
Jesus is calling you! Say ‘yes’ to Him now.
Receive Jesus who died but also arose again to live forever more as your Savior and Lord.
“Dear Jesus I believe you lived without sin, died for my sins and arose again. I believe you ascended to the Father and will hear my prayer. As best as I know I repent of my sins and ask you Jesus to forgive me and save me. Come to live in my life. I give my life to God. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and write my name in Your Book of Life in Heaven.
Thank you Jesus,’ Should you already be a follower of Jesus please welcome the will of God for your life just now.
“Yes, Lord Jesus by your strength and the power of the Holy Spirit.
I will Preach’
I will Witness’
I will forgive’
I will love’
I will enroll in Bible College’
I will start that outreach’
I will teach the class’
Jesus I welcome you and your will for my life!
Pilgrim followers of Jesus
Arthur and Denise Blessitt