JESUS SOUGHT TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSE Link up with God s Mission so that you fulfill your purpose

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1 JESUS SOUGHT TO FULFILL HIS PURPOSE Link up with God s Mission so that you fulfill your purpose Introduction Mission impossible; all of us have had times in our life when that thought hit us. Times when we believed fully it s an impossible situation, an impossible assignment, an impossible calling. Maybe it s an impossible marriage, loving an impossible child, or an impossible boss, grieving an impossible loose, or living next to an impossible neighbor. Someone has said life is like an adventure. Unfortunately most adventures are not pleasure cruises. Most adventures challenge us, stretch us, and cause us to feel like we just can t go on. After all when the going gets tough; the tough get going. Ya right! Usually when the going gets tough most get going right out the door. That s the way it is with impossible situations.

2 Jesus Christ never handled impossible situations that way. In the face of seemingly impossible situations, impossible callings and assignments, mission impossible from the Heavenly Father, he didn t flinch, but courageously persevered and completed the mission he received. That is why we celebrate him today because that s what Palm Sunday is all about. We are looking at Luke s account of Palm Sunday. You heard it read just a few minutes ago. When Jesus came to earth that first Christmas he had a mission in mind, a calling to fulfill. Remember what the angels sang, Glory to God on High and Peace to God s people on earth. On that first Palm Sunday Jesus came into Jerusalem with that mission still upper most in his mind. He had a purpose to fulfill and the crowd shouted Hosanna to God in the Highest. As we look at Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem I desire four truths take root in our heart about the character of Jesus. I. Christ s calling involved a cross.

3 For Jesus Jerusalem was the connecting point to the cross. Many of us in traveling by air know about connecting points. One time I had to fly to Chicago and then back track to get where I needed to go. Why; Chicago was the connecting point. Jesus knew where his ticket was taking him. He knew that his travel voucher takes him to Jerusalem for Palm Sunday, and ultimately the cross. Palm Sunday was his connecting point to the cross. It was the crowd, even though they did not know it at the time, proclaiming this very fact. They were crying out Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna means save us; save us now. Saved from what? We need to be saved from a very significant problem called sin. We need to be saved from our failure to be all God created and desires us to be, to do all God wants us to do. The reality is none of us are good enough to live forever with a good and perfect God.

4 Calvin Coolidge was not a very verbal person. He was often called silent Cal. One Sunday when he came home from church his wife who was unable to go with him, asked what the minister talked about. Calvin replied sin. His wife asked what he said about it. He replied he was against it. Every day our sin stands against us. It accuses us and condemns us to a life a part from God forever. But Jesus came to save us from that. That s the essence of his mission. We see it in Matthew 1:21: The name Jesus means savior, deliverer. That is what Jesus came to do. On the cross Jesus took our sin that stands against us and laid it upon himself. He took our sins, accusations, condemnation, and our sentence to hell so we could go free. He asks one thing of us and that is to say hosanna, Jesus save me, save me from my

5 sins, now. He will, because his calling involved a cross. That s just what we see Jesus saying to his disciples on the way to Jerusalem, his connecting point in Mark 10: There is a mission impossible for you. Talk about an assignment! It reads betrayal, sentenced, handed over, mocked, spit upon, and killed. Christ calling involved a cross. II. The second truth is Jesus Christ completed his calling. I hope your realize just how tempting it was for Jesus to not complete his calling, his calling to the cross. Virtually every day of

6 his journey on earth the leader of the forces of darkness, Satan, tried to get Jesus to quit his calling, to not finish what God gave him to do, the work of the cross. We see this early on. Jesus is not yet 6 weeks into his public ministry when Matthew 4 happens: In essence Satan says to Jesus forget the cross. You can have all the kingdoms of the earth right now; no cross, no Jerusalem. Just bow down to me right now. Jesus is being tempted away from the cross. But Jesus says, away from me for it is written worship and serve God only. Look at what happened to Christ in the closing days of his public ministry. Look at Matthew 16:

7 Yes Jesus was tempted to quit on his calling, his assignment, and his mission that God had given him to do. But Jesus completed his calling, he persevered. Look at what Jesus said in John 4: And toward the end of his life Jesus could say to his heavenly Father what he said in John 17: And on the cross he cried out it is finished. Christ calling involved a cross and he completed his calling.

8 How was he able to do that? Here s how! Whenever Jesus talked about his crucifixion he also talked about his resurrection. We see it in Matthew 16 where he says he will be killed and on the third day rise. The reason why Jesus was able to complete his mission impossible is because he kept his eye on what was beyond, a better day. He kept his eye on the joy of resurrection day when the power of God would break through and something new would come into view. That is what enabled him to persevere and complete his calling. Look at Hebrews 12: That is what Palm Sunday is all about. Christ calling involved a cross and Jesus Christ completed his calling. These first two truths are very important, but they are theological and historical. The next two truths are very practical for our life today. III. Your calling involves a cross,

9 Our calling from God also involves a cross. It s what Jesus said to Peter when Peter tried to tempt his away from Jerusalem and the cross. Look at Matthew 16: That really fly s in the face of our society and culture that says self-first, cover your own defense, and protect yourself at all cost. Life should be easy and when the going gets tough, get of the door philosophy of today kicks in. When our calling, our mission in life given us by God starts to involve trouble or difficulty, or adversity, we start to think something is wrong and that we must be out of the will of God. But God becoming more a part of our life will involve problems not just solutions, challenges not just comfort,

10 setbacks not just successes, loose not just gains. At age 7 his family was forced out of their home on a legal technicality and he had to work to help support the family. At age 9 his mother died. At 22 he lost a job as a store clerk, at 23 he went into debt to become a partner of a small store. At 26 he went bankrupt and at 28 after dating a girl for 4 years he asked her to marry him and she said no. At 37 was elected to congress but the next attempt he failed to get reelected. At 41 his 4 year old son died. At 45 he ran for the Senate and lost. At 47 he ran for vice-president and lost. At 49 he ran again for senate and lost. At 51 he was elected President of the United States. He is Abraham Lincoln and some people get all the breaks. Listen, God calling and working in your life more will involve adversity, trouble, difficulty, problems, setbacks, and loses. Your calling involves a cross. Christ said it would be that way. But remember God uses those things in our life to shape, mold, refine, and make

11 us a mature and complete. That s what James says in chapter 1: Just like Jesus, we will be tempted to quit our calling, bail on a difficult situation or circumstance. Just give up. That the temptation. But remember the first three truths: Christ calling involved a cross Christ completed his calling Our calling involves a cross And that brings the fourth truth on this Palm Sunday. IV. You can complete your calling to. Jesus did it and we can too. Maybe your calling right now is dealing with a difficult marriage, or difficult child, or boss, or a difficult neighbor. And maybe it seems totally impossible, and you feel like you are standing all by yourself, all alone. Maybe it seems like that man in Tiananmen Square

12 in China standing in front of a long line of tanks all by himself. But remember not only does Jesus stand against your sin, he also stands for you and when he is part of our life, he stands not just for you, but also with you. Just like coming into Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday he comes into our life as we yield to the Holy Spirit at work in our life, Jesus comes into all those impossible assignments and missions that we wrestle with. He comes into every one of these. A six year old boy was left at home on Palm Sunday with a babysitter while the rest of the family went to church. After the service the family returned home carrying palm branches. The boy asked about the branches and was told they got them at church and waved them as Jesus went by. The boy replied, wouldn t you know the one time a miss church Jesus shows up. Because of Jesus love for each one he always shows up no matter what. He says to each of us look up, look up to a better day, see my victory and my power break

13 through and something new comes into view. Just as God s Word says in I Corinthians 2: Conclusion There was a Floor Company sign hanging in the window of their office which said Finishers Wanted. In the Kingdom of God the finishers wanted sign is always out. Just like Jesus our calling involves a cross and because Jesus completed his mission we can too because he lives in us and we can complete what seems as impossible. Palm Cross

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