Friday 27 March 2015

We celebrate Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem for the last time when this was a journey to the Cross. It was a journey He could have avoided, but He went voluntarily to fulfil God’s plan, that by His brutal and cruel death, the sins of all people could be forgiven. He could have left mankind to perish, but He did not cling to that right.

But that action of our Lord demands a response, if we are to claim forgiveness. We all need to ask ourselves if I stood before God today and He asked me why I should be allowed into heaven, what would I say.

You see the Bible is all about commitment. We are reminded of the superficiality of commitment in our own time. Less than 10% of people think God worthy of one hour per week to visit a Church. Yet if you were to ask people their religion, the vast majority would reply C of E and seriously consider themselves to be Christians. They would be mortally offended if you suggested otherwise. Yet very few people seem bothered by Jesus

It is easy to say I am a Christian.
Easy to profess being a Christian.
Easy to say I read the Bible.
95% of the population today believe as long as you are honest, kind and helpful to others and do no harm, you are a fully fledged Christian.

Muslims in Islamic countries are Muslims in the full sense of the word, and they find difficulty in understanding how people who live in Christian lands reject their faith so completely. Why, on the Lord’s birthday so many get drunk and engage in orgies. They will fight and defend their faith, and the men will not feel embarrassed or ashamed to be seen going to worship. Put many Englishmen in a Church and they feel lost and disorientated.

Nearly 70 years ago brave young men took to the skies to fight the Battle of Britain against a ruthless foe. Today, as Christians, we need to fight the battle for Britain, against equally ruthless foes who want to drive Christianity out of public life and turn it into a private cult. We are like fighters in enemy occupied territory.

It can be hard to be a Christian in this country at the present time. Any open expression of our faith is likely to lead to suspension or dismissal from work. The Bible is seen as old fashioned and its stories foolish. Children are denied the glory of being told of the stories of Jesus as no one is prepared to tell them.

The government has sold out to the liberal lobby and has taken legal powers to prevent Christians from opting out of that which contravenes their beliefs. How Jesus would weep over Britain today as He did over Jerusalem, as He sees the obstacles put in our way.

The Bible states, "For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God". And He wants you to respond.
What is our response as we ponder the Road to Jerusalem?
We may reject God’s Son as many did in Jerusalem.
We may have allowed our love to have gone lukewarm, even cold.

As we study this story of our Lord’s journey to the Cross we see our forgiveness cost Jesus public mockery, agony, sweating of blood, the most cruel of deaths, and spiritual torment.

It is important for us to understand the lesson we can learn from this event. It is not enough to think positively about Christ. When we get to the last days Jesus is not going to say ‘Did you have nice thoughts about me?’ The question is, have we accepted He is the Son of God and Saviour of sinners, and trusted in Him alone for our salvation. That means we walk the narrow road.

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