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March 20, 2005

Palm Sunday
"Who is Jesus?"
March 20, 2005. Pastor Matt
 

Matthew 21:1-11

 

“When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" (10)

 

Who do you say Jesus is? 

 

Many thought He was going to be their next king

-         a king who would bring peace

-         a king who would save them

o       “Hosanna!” means “O save!”

o       Save us from the Romans, save us from this unrighteous world

        They were still looking for an Earthly king to rescue them from this world

 

"This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." (11)

 

Many thought He was a man, with a name, who came from a place

 

A similar question was asked in Matthew 13:54-55. 

 

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked.  "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?

 

Many thought He was a carpenter’s son, someone’s child, a brother

 

 

John 12:17-18.  Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.  Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him.

 

          Many thought He was a miracle worker

 

Let me challenge you for a moment:  They followed Jesus because He was meeting their physical needs.  They left when He was no longer there to support their physical needs.  Our needs are important to Him.  However, our soul is more important.  At some point in our Christian maturity we have to realize that we believe in Jesus not because of what He can do for us but because of who He is.  Jesus promises to take care of our needs but He also tells us not to worry about our needs.  Our focus is not physical.  It is spiritual.  If God wants us to live in a cardboard box and wear ratty clothing, then so be it.  He did not come to be a tool for us to have a cushy life.  He is not here to serve us.  He came to save us from our sins.  If you were to lose everything in this world, would you still have your faith?

 

 Do you turn your back on Him and curse His name when He does not do what you expected Him—one week later the same crowds that shouted Save us!! Shouted crucify him!!

 

When the nailed Him to the cross, they had a sign made….they were making fun of “who Jesus was”

 

John 19: 19.  Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

Matthew 28:12-15.  When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, "You are to say, `His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.'  If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."  So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

 

 

A religious nut?

          A sincere prophet? 

A deeply religious man who challenged the religious and political authorities of his day? 

A man blessed in a unique way by God Himself?

                                      A story book/ fairytale figure?

 

 

Today we are going to remove all doubt as to who Jesus is. 

 

 

Then you are going to be faced with a question only you can answer:

 

Who do you say Jesus is?

 

Let me help you find an answer to that question.

 

We can find our answer by asking three people

 

 

I. Who do the people at Westwood Baptist Church say Jesus is?

 

Romans 8:16.  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.

 

Ephesians 3:20.  tells us that God …“is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

 

(New Living Translation) 1 John 5:6-15 And Jesus Christ was revealed as God's Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross--not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit also gives us the testimony that this is true. 7So we have these three witnesses-- 8the Spirit, the water, and the blood--and all three agree. 9Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. 10All who believe in the Son of God know that this is true. Those who don't believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don't believe what God has testified about his Son.

 

Simply put…We choose to put our faith in Him and as a result, His Spirit within us continually reminds us of how real He was and how true “His story” is.

 

 

II. Who does Jesus say He is?

 

John 8:21-25.  Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come."  This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, `Where I go, you cannot come'?"  But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be],  you will indeed die in your sins."   "Who are you?" they asked.   "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied.

 

Jesus says:

 

-         He is from Above

-         He is not of this world

-         if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be],  you will indeed die in your sins." 

 

Who did Jesus claim to be?

 

We must look at the Words in red to get our answer

 

John 3:13-18.   

 

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man.  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,  that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

 

Jesus, in talking about Himself says…

He is God’s only Son

He is the one who was sent to die on the cross as penalty for our sins

He is the one who came to save the people of the world from their sins

He is the one you must believe in if you want to not be condemned for your sins

 

 

John 5:24.

"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

 

 

John 6:35,

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

 

Jesus is the one who provides spiritual fulfillment no more longing to fill that hole in your life

 

Have you been eating of His bread or are you starving spiritually?

 

John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

 

John 7:37-38.

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." 

 

John 8:12.  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

 

John 10:7-11,

Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

 

John 11:25-26,

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 

 

John12:44-46

Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.  When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

 

 

(Regardless of what terminology He uses, He is always talking about His death and resurrection for our sins.)

Our faith is simple. 

We are all sinners and we all need someone to save us from our sin. 

That someone was and is Jesus.

People need to hear (in love) that they have sin and need a savior.

 

III.  Who do you say Jesus is?

 

Luke 19:41-42.  As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.

 

Do you know of Jesus and still deny Him and who He is, why He came??

 

Is He your savior?

 

Do you need to thank Him? 

 

Do you need to repent that you have made Him into something that He is not?