Hi Parkside Family.
Well...I must admit I never imagined that I would be inviting you to our "online only" Palm Sunday service. What an unprecedented time we find ourselves living in. I trust that you and your family are staying safe and healthy during this time. As always, please don't hesitate to contact either myself or Roger, should you need anything.
As I mentioned, this Sunday begins our journey together as we take a peek into the final week of Jesus' life on earth. As Jesus prepares to enter Jerusalem, his triumphal entry is a culmination of a long road that began, not in Jericho. It didn't begin in Galilee. It didn't begin in Nazareth. It didn't even begin in Bethlehem. The final week in the life of Jesus here on earth began long before. As Adam strolled the orchards of the garden, Jesus was on his way to Calvary. Jesus took his first step toward Jerusalem with God in his heart.
Today, I feel a little bit like Jesus must have felt as he rode through the East Gate, knowing what painful encounters were on the horizon. As health experts continue to predict that things will continue to get worse before they get better, what lesson can we learn from how Jesus handled his final week. As Jesus rode into the heart of the lion's den, he did so claiming the promises of his Heavenly Father. Let me share a few of these with you.
Tomorrow, when you find yourself marching toward your own Jerusalem, filled with worry, fear and anxiety, put the promises of God on your lips.
Remember to join us on Sunday morning at 10:00am for Parkside Fellowship Online. We will be focusing our time on the story of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus from Luke 19:28-42.
The easiest way to view the sermon each Sunday is to go to our website, parksidefellowship.org. On our home, about halfway down the page is a link to either youtube or facebook. Simply click on one of the links and you will be automatically directed to the sermon.
Hope to "see" you tomorrow.
Jesus knew it. He knew before the war was over, he would be taken captive. He knew that before victory would come defeat. Jesus knew that before the light of Sunday would come the darkness of Friday.
Never had Jesus felt so alone. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak," Jesus confesses. His humanity begged to be delivered from what his divinity could see. Jesus, the human, peers into the dark pit and begs, "Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me."
Did he know the answer before he asked the question? Did his human side hope his heavenly Father had found another way? Regardless, Jesus asked God for an escape plan. He begged for an exit strategy that involved something other than suffering a horrific death on a cross. There's an old hymn titled, "He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels" that speaks to the ability of Jesus to forgo the cross and return to his throne in heaven.
But he couldn't
He couldn't because, as he knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane, begging his father for another way, out of the corner of his spiritual eyes, he saw you and he saw me. He saw you living in a world that isn't fair. He saw you betrayed by those you love. He saw you with a body that gets sick and a heart that grows weak. He saw you staring into the mouth of your own pain and suffering and he didn't want you to be alone.
He wanted you to know that he understands, for he too has lived in a messy, broken world. He too has been plotted against and betrayed by those who claimed to love him. He knows what it's like to smell the stench of Satan. And, perhaps most of all, he knows what it's like to beg God to change his mind and to hear God say, "No."
For that is what God says to Jesus and Jesus accepts the answer. You may have thought the battle was won on Golgotha. It wasn't. You may have thought the sign of victory is the empty tomb. It isn't. The final battle was won on a dark, lonely night in Gethsemane. And the sign of conquest is our Savior, at peace with what lies before him.
It was in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus proclaimed, "I would rather go to hell for you than to go to heaven without you."
Join us tonight as we reflect on this unbelievable act of compassion and love by Jesus. Our Good Friday service begins at 7:00pm. There will be times of reflection around the Lord's Supper, special music by members of Parkside Fellowship and El Buen Pastor and a Good Friday message by Pastor Daniel from El Buen Pastor.
Finally, plan to stick around after our service and join with El Buen Pastor, Anthem Church, Global Community Church and members of Common Ground as we gather in the Fireside room for a time of fellowship.
See you tonight.
Doug Boyd - Sr. Pastor