At the beginning of this new week, the news is as grim as ever. I know you have been watching the spread of COVID-19 and the pandemic that has swept our world into action. You’ve adjusted your lives but it’s harder to adjust your habits. You’ve made decisions about how careful you will be to avoid contact. You’ve wondered about when this might be over, or what things will look like when it is over. We are facing a crisis, and it has not yet come to full effect. My message today is that Beyond the Horizon, Victory is Certain.
Our text is Mark 11:1-11 – the Triumphal entry – recorded in all four gospels.
When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.’” So they went and found a colt outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They answered them just as Jesus had said; so they let them go. They brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and he sat on it. Many people spread their clothes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted: Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven! He went into Jerusalem and into the temple….Mark 11:1-11a, CSV
This begins the week many refer to as “holy week”. It counts down the events that occurred in the last week of Jesus’ life. Today is Palm Sunday, a day that Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem. Next Sunday is Resurrection or Easter Sunday, a day that Jesus triumphantly rose from the grave. Though many families and churches will have to give up their traditional observations of these days, no Christian gives up the rich meaning of them. There’s a message of hope here that I want to share with you this morning.
VICTORY IS BEYOND THE HORIZON, BUT WE EMBRACE IT TODAY.
Jesus is very aware that this is the last week of His life. He has, several times, indicated to his disciples that the end is near, that he must die, that he will raise from the dead on the third day. He is about to institute the Lord’s Supper. A remembrance of the body and blood. A reflection on what happened at Calvary. A reminder that He will rise again, and He will come again. Yet he rides into Jerusalem with honor and celebration.
Because we are people of faith, we do not have to wait until the victory arrives to celebrate and appreciate it – to let it define our lives and our outlook. That does not dismiss the hardships along the way. That does not dismiss our fears and anxieties. That simply says that in spite of the troubles ahead, down deep in our hearts we know that nothing can take away the ultimate victory we have in Christ.
VICTORY IS BEYOND THE HORIZON, BUT WE TRUST GOD’S POWER. (1-7)
As Jesus prepares to ride into Jerusalem, the disciples receive the plan from the Savior. Jesus is confident that there will be a colt, what to say, and how it’s going to be accomplished. That’s the way it was. Jesus had an amazing ability to know things beyond human knowledge. Jesus could see beyond the horizon.
The horizon in front of us is the end of our vision field. We do not know what lies ahead. We do not know how this will impact all of our lives and our family. One thing we do know is that God knows. It may seem premature to talk about victory, and it is if we are only talking about what we perceive. However, God can see beyond the horizon and victory awaits us there.
VICTORY IS BEYOND THE HORIZON, BUT THE CROSS COMES FIRST.
Jesus accepted the praise of those who shouted out to him as he arrived in Jerusalem. It was an exceptional moment – one that confused the disciples.
His disciples did not understand these things at first. However, when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.John 12:16
In spite of this, the tide will quickly turn. The Triumphal Victorious entry into Jerusalem by Friday will turn into Jesus carrying his cross out of the city onto Golgotha.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them the things that would happen to him. “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Gentiles, and they will mock him, spit on him, flog him, and kill him, and he will rise after three days.”Mark 9:32-34
He will rise again, he promised and he did. The victory that is coming does not diminish the hardships we may face now. Nothing can take away the promises of God that are ahead for us. One of those promises is that we do not walk alone – He is with us. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the promise we need to hold close to us no matter what the future brings.
Victory is Beyond the Horizon
- But we embrace victory today – nothing can take it away from us.
- But we trust God’s power – He already knows the end of the story.
- But the cross comes first – hardships do not win the day
The horizon blocks our vision for the future, but while we move forward…
Continually remind yourself of the FACT of the victory promised.
Remember that the victory is in Jesus, not in our circumstances or self.
Remember the victory is an ULTIMATE victory – the resurrection promises eternal life and that’s the victory that is just over the horizon of our lives.
This week as we reflect on the last week of Jesus’ life, the darkness of Good Friday, and the joy of Resurrection Day:
Do what you can to live in health today – for yourself and for others.
Look for ways to encourage and bless others from a distance.
Stay informed, but not obsessed with the news.
When you are feeling low, discouraged, worried, or anxious, I encourage two things:
- Remember you are human, and don’t beat yourself up over those feelings.
- Remember you are a victorious child of the King and nothing can take that from you.