Palm Sunday is a glorious Sunday, when we recall that triumphal entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. At that momentous point, the people recognize that Jesus is the Messiah, the King that was long promised in the writings of the prophets. As I was studying Luke's account of Palm Sunday this week, it struck me just how different that day was for Jesus in contrast with the crowd rejoicing about Him.
I visited the U.S. Capitol this week with a group of pastors from all over our country. I've toured the Capitol several other times, but this time I had the unusual experience of going into the very belly of the belly of the beast – the chamber where the U.S. House of Representatives meet, and not just in the gallery, but down on the floor.
I got to stand in the well of the House and stand before one of the two podiums at which Representatives give their speeches. To sit in the overstuffed leather chairs where our Representatives sit and debate. I was able to run my fingers over the four buttons they used to vote, and I was surprised that there were four, Aye, Nay, Abstain, Present buttons. I looked around that famous room where perhaps you've watched the State of the Union address being delivered, where the Representatives debate and cast their votes. That room seemed different than it appears on T.V. It seemed smaller, drabber and less glorious.
You might excuse it by the lateness of the hour when we visited, but I think there is more. As I sat in that leather seat, and ran my fingers over those buttons of power, I thought about what takes place in that room – the unrelenting evil which emanates from that space. We were told that four votes were cast earlier on the day we visited. It reminded me that, in that room, those votes cast continue the federal leviathan spending 40% more than it takes in.
What if a family tried to live 40% above its income? Borrowing the difference would soon find that no one would lend them any money. This has been going on in Congress for so long that we are at a point where the debt cannot be repaid. Which means Congress has mortgaged the future, robbing future generations yet unborn, in fact, consigning them to eternal debt slavery. Then it dawned on me that where I was sitting is what Jesus called on that first Palm Sunday, a den of thieves.
That is why the place has a drab and gloomy pall overhanging it. It is the source of great evils that are a plague not only on our country, but indeed a plague to many countries around the world. I was brought back from my reverie by a fellow pastor who asked if we could pray. We got down on our knees in the den of thieves and prayed for revival, prayed for repentance, and I prayed for God's deliverance from that den of thieves.
What happened 2000 years ago on Palm Sunday is happening today. Jesus came to a point in the road as Jerusalem came into view. The road curves around the shoulder of the hill on which the garden of Gethsemane was, and we are told from eyewitnesses that there is a point on that road where Jerusalem suddenly comes into view. Eyewitness accounts from that time tell us Jerusalem was spectacular and resplendent, especially the temple. Mountains of white marble decorated lavishly with gold. When the sun hit that temple it was blinding to the eye.
All this beauty covered over the deep moral corruption and decay. All the pomp and power, all the grandeur and pride were about to come to a catastrophic end. Why? Because Jesus came, the Messiah, He came; the fulfillment of all the prophecies. He came, the Savior, and they would reject Him, spit upon Him, beat Him mercilessly and in a few short days they would crucify Him. Jesus foresaw what that would mean for the city of Jerusalem. All this glittering marble and gold, all the pride, all the wealth, all the power in less than 40 years would be completely destroyed.
What our dying land needs is true disciples of Jesus Christ, who because they are infused with the Word of God, and are applying it in their own lives, are able to lead others to faith in Christ, make disciples of them and see what needs to be done in society to turn families back to God's Law, the Churches back to God's Law, and indeed the Civil government back to God's Law. Will you join with me on this blessed pilgrimage?
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