An article by .Stephen Leston. for Palm Sunday. 4-14-19

An article by .Stephen Leston. for Palm Sunday.   4-14-19

Posted in a bulletin from an Anglican Church in Australia.

I am sitting in the Copenhagen Airport after spending the last several days in Norway talking with church planters from Norway, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic….As I was sitting and listening to the men speak, I was suddenly overtaken by a passage of Scripture….my mind was drawn to Luke 19. As I reflected on its message, I was filled with awe and worship at the realization that it was being fulfilled before my very eyes.

Luke 19 is a powerful chapter in the gospel – one filled with the seriousness of what it means to follow Jesus. The chapter begins with Jesus staying in the house of Zacchaeus and making the great declaration in v10 that he has come to seek and save the lost. Then Jesus tells the parable of the minas, which is not a parable about how to handle money but actually about how to apply verse 10. Jesus wanted everyone to know that when he enters Jerusalem it will not be the start of a political kingdom, but instead the work of salvation. How that applies to his children is not just that we can be saved – but that once he ascended to heaven, he left us here on earth to continue the work of his   gospel ministry until he returns. If we fail to do this work, and instead take the ministry of the gospel and hide it to ‘protect’ it, there will be great loss at his return. It will not be pleasant!

Then Jesus enters Jerusalem, and after receiving both worship and rejection he cleanses the temple….When Jesus cleansed the temple he quoted a passage of Scripture: Isaiah 56:7. That passage is about the foreigners whom God said could come to the temple and offer praise and worship to him. God so loves the foreigners that he designed a place in his temple for them so that they could have their offerings accepted and their prayers heard. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day took the space designed for the nations and filled it with their businesses….Before Jesus went to the cross, his words and actions made a powerful statement: “The court of the Gentiles is open again, for I am making space for the people of the world!” As I sat there with leaders from several different nations talking about many different countries, I was filled with awe and worship – Jesus made room for the nations to come and they are coming!

As his church we must never lose sight of the fact that we are not to see the cross as ‘my bridge to salvation’. Rather, I must remember that the cross is the path of salvation that draws me into the great work of God calling people from every tribe and nation, until all things in both heaven and earth are summed up in Jesus (Eph 1:10). Easter for me this year has been more than just a reflection on the cross, but a reflection on the mission of Jesus to seek and save the lost. A   mission to draw people from every tribe and nation. A mission that he has left to me and to all of his children here to continue until he returns. May we be found faithful!

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