Palm Sunday marks the triumphant entry into Jerusalem by Christ. God in his divine wisdom had a purpose for sending Christ into the world. He came to suffer the rejection, disgrace and the torture that humankind should have gone through for a good purpose. So, he will redeem us unto God and give the Christian hope.
Since Palm Sunday begins the start of the Holy Week, all Churches across the world marked the day with jubilation and expectant spirits as Christ enters Jerusalem for the important sacrifice of God to take place for the redemption of mankind. One country in which Palm Sunday comes alive is Israel. We share with you a picture from twitter on the likely path Jesus used on the original Palm Sunday.
Preaching at the English Service at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, in East Legon, Accra on the theme the “Purpose of Suffering” brother Wisdom Hammond called on Christians to follow the footsteps of the servant in the first reading 1st Reading: Is. 50:4-9a who enumerates his unpleasant experiences (V6) yet he did not complain. The suffering did not deter him nor was his shaken faith in the Lord shaken.
Instead, he speaks of God’s wondrous deeds in his life, help from God, believing he will not be put to shame because he has great trust in God’s saving hands and dares his accusers even in his time of suffering.
Our country may have challenges today yet, the honour lies on Christians and us all to be steed fast in prayer and improved resourceful attitudinal change right from the church which must reflect in our work, behaviours, walk with God and all we do as a country.
This is an indication that as Christians, we have to hold on to the faith and not let it wither in trying moments. He admonished worshippers to use the moments of suffering are moments of learning. In tough times having a constant connection with God keeps you afloat in the midst of the suffering he added.
We suffer as Christians because we dumped God and not the other way round. He reminded Christians of the fact that Suffering is a call to TRUST GOD till the end focusing on the outcome and not the tough moments.
Christ as the one to emulate did not regard himself equal with God but rather he emptied himself of all the rights and privileges as the second person in the Trinity. To come into this evil world as a child born in a manger and to serve.
Thus he humbled himself as a servant and was obedient knowing that suffering for the faith comes with a reward in heaven which makes up for the loss here a 1000 fold. We are being called to exemplify Christ in our walk with him.
In the gospel reading, 3rd reading Luke 22: 14-23 Christ leads his followers (disciples) onto a journey of redemption of their souls that gives meaning to the Christian Faith. He prepares their mind about his inevitable suffering and recalls the liberation of Israel as a way of informing his people that His suffering to come will lead to the liberation of the souls of men.
Christ, knowing the purpose of his suffering, took it upon himself to suffer. His body to be crushed and his blood for the atonement of our sins was represented with bread And Win.
We as Christians are to do the same as often as we can in his remembrance. When we do this, we are giving to Christ our bodies as witnesses to his love and redeeming gesture. To be a child of God, there is a need for repentance. Without the shedding of his blood, there is no forgiveness (Heb 9:2)
He was ready to suffer for the Good of mankind and to please the father. His wiliness to suffer confirms that GOD sent His SON not to come and party here and depart via the cross but to suffer so that, our suffering as Christians would not be God’s condemnation.
Christ purpose for suffering to YOU AND I are
- To aid in our REPENTANCE process
- Learn to RELY (RELIANCE) on God in times of trials
- Learn to be RIGHTEOUS and disciplined so as to share in the goodness of God’s grace.
- Suffering for the faith comes with REWARDS in the life after which will make up for the loss here on earth.
- It reminds us of God’s gift to the world-Jesus to suffer for our sake
Hold on to the faith and let the journey of Christ into Jerusalem (Our lives) bring the benefits of his suffering into your lives. Amen