SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20180325 Celebration before Violence


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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland


              Pastor Ray Scott

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Celebration before Violence



          The fickle crowd with its popular acclaim one day and the next day's blood-thirst for violence is hard to understand. The world worships their chosen ones on whom they bestow their favor. Their favor can turn on a dime. Celebration can turn to violence all too quickly.

          In this morning's Palm Sunday narrative of the last week of Jesus’ life, we see His meekness and the violence that surrounds Him. Curiously, Jesus did tell us that violent people would take His Kingdom.


“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:11,12


          Pardon me, did Jesus say, “violence?” The Kione Greek word here is “Bia-dze-tai.” The violence word here simply means “taking something by force.” I believe the word implies that Kingdom people are those who are able to express strong emotion. Violence here is the very passion of Christ.

          Here is my interpretation, understanding and application of this text: “The Kingdom of God is taken/apprehended by men and women who forcefully seek after it and press into it with the burning zeal of strong emotion. The Kingdom of God is taken by a passionate, impetuous, self-abandoning throng of believers who will stop at nothing until they press into that Blessed Hope and the Promises made by Jesus Christ to His followers. We enter and take His Kingdom by force!"

                    Jesus awesomely illustrates the meaning of Taking the Kingdom by ForceHis last week of earthly life in human flesh.  We see the restraint of the Holy Spirit again and again. We see the conflict as He cries out repeatedly from the cross, reciting the Psalms He loved and learned from His youth. (Psalm 22) He is God’s violence under God’s control. In His restraint He is God’s Holy Warrior destroying the power and



fear of death over our lives forever! He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world! This morning we Celebrate His God-Given humility and His violence as He takes the Kingdom by force!


Pastor Phil  <><<























Palm Sunday  - March 25, 2018

Sheepfold Ministries - Pastor Phil Roland


Palm Sunday

Celebration before Violence

Matthew 21:1-11

"The last week of Jesus’ physical life on earth was contrasted by incredible celebration and unspeakable violence. The Celebration of His Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem leading to the Violence of His Crucifixion." Pastor Phil 


Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!  Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!

See, your king comes to you,  righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”       Zechariah 9:9

5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.    Matthew 5:5

“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”       Matthew 11:11,12



Palm Sunday - Jesus enters Jerusalem
Maundy Thursday - The Passover Supper and Betrayal

Good Friday - The arrest, trial, crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus
Easter Sunday - The day Jesus rose from the grave



Every September in the 7th month on the Jewish calendar the Jews worldwide commemorate their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. . .Sukkot. . .Seven days they sleep in crude, primitive huts overlaid with Palm Leaves. On the Sabbath Day Jewish pilgrims gather around the altar of the Lord waving plumes of Willow, Myrtle and Palm leaves (Lu-labs) crying loudly, “Ho-sho-no!  Rabbah!” (Save us!  We beseech Thee, O Lord!”)



“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”


A. Kings and Nobles rode Donkeys

                    1. Horses were ridden to War, Ridden to Conquer

                    2. Donkey's were ridden as a sign of Peace, Gentleness

          B. Zechariah prophesied Messiah would ride a donkey in 518 B.C.

                    1. The first Entry into Jerusalem was Peaceful



                    2. His Soon-Coming Second Entry will be as a Conqueror

          C. Jesus Triumphal Entry was through the Eastern Gate - Ezekiel 44

                    2 The LORD said to me, "This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened;

              no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the LORD, the

              God of Israel, has entered through it. 3 The prince himself is the only one

              who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD. He is

              to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way."


                    1. The Eastern Gate was closed in 1540 A.D. per Ezekiel 44

                    2. The Gate was shut up by Suleiman the Magnificent

                    3. The Gate was opened to Jesus His First Triumphant Entry

                    4. He will enter it again in His Second Triumphant Entry

          D. The Temple leaders attempt to squelch the crowd - Luke 19:39-40

                    39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher,

              rebuke Your disciples." 40 But He answered and said to them, "I tell you

              that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."


                    1. Pharisees concerned He was accepting the Messiah role

                    2. He could be blaspheming G-d (Despising, Showing contempt)

                              a. No Hebrew word for Blasphemy

                              b. Actually Greek word, appearing 50X in NT

                    3. Levitical Law prescribed Death penalty - Lev. 24:16a

              16 . . .whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death,



9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' Hosanna in the highest!"



A. HOSANAH - “Ho-sho-no!” - “Lord, Save Us!”- Psalm 118:25

                    25 Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.


                    1. They thought Jesus was to save them from oppression

                    2. Actually, He came to save us from ourselves

          B. Believed He was the Messiah, but was to save them from Rome

                    1. Jesus came to save them from a greater tyrant than Rome

                    2. Came to save them from the twin scourges of Sin and Death


”Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”


A. The Violent Shall take the Kingdom - Matthew 11:12

          And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven                       suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

                    1. The Violence of Jesus comes to our hearts as well

                    2. Jesus' Sword Pierces our own Hearts as well



          B. Jesus comes with a Sword - Matt. 10:34; Rev. 1:16

            “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring                       peace but a sword.”

         1. The Greek/Roman Two-Edged Sword was a warfare weapon

                    2. The Roman "gladius" was a double-edged blade of a length                           between 12 and 20 inches. It was used in close combat

                    3. The Sword of Jesus Pierces our own Hearts as well

                    4. We think that Coming to Jesus will bring Peace

                    5. We often find a war waiting for us - Text vs. 35, 36

"For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against

                         her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law';

                        36 and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'"
6. Christianity is not a pacifistic religion

                    7. Can't play "Let's make a deal with our enemies"

8. Kingdom of God is not a Playground, but a Battleground

C. When we follow Jesus there will be divisions / contentions

            16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-

            edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.

         1. Jesus didn't say we are the "Sugar of the Earth"

                    2. When He is present their will always be Polarity

                    3. The end of the Bible says, "We Win!"

          D. We will prepare for adversity - Luke 22:36

            “Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it                    and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his                              garment and buy one.”



22 Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let Him be crucified!" 23 Then the governor said, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, saying, "Let Him be crucified!"    Matthew 27:22-23


A. Controlled Violence as Jesus makes no defense - Matt. 27:12

                    12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He

              answered nothing.

                    1. How do you handle Injustice?

                    2. Loud self defense or Spirit-Controlled Restraint?

B. “Holding Your Power Knowing God Will Make It Right!”

                    1. Without Jesus I am Out-of-Control, worldly violent

                    2. With His Power of Restraint I can Take the Kingdom!   

          C. The ultimate worldly violence of the Cross awaited Jesus

          D. What about you? Are you ready to follow Him?  Luke 9:23-24

                    23 Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him                          deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever                      desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake                      will save it.

Celebration before Violence, TEXTS:

Matthew 21:1-11

 1Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to

Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,

2saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and

immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.

Loose them and bring them to Me.

3And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say,

‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

4All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

5“Tell the daughter of Zion,

   ‘Behold, your King is coming to you,

        Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,

        A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

6So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt,

laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.

8And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road;

others cut down branches from the trees and spread    them on the road.

9Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David!

   ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’

   Hosanna in the highest!”

10And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was

moved, saying, “Who is this?”

11So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”





Zechariah 9:9
9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.


John 12:12-15
12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' The King of Israel!"
14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt."



42nd Psalm Sunday Sermon in Career












          The Christian relief team heard about the needy Syrian widow living outside a Lebanese Muslim village near the Syrian border. So they took food to her.

Apparently, Jesus had been there first.

          A refugee from the civil war in Syria, the Muslim widow, along with her three children, had sought shelter in Lebanon -- like more than 100,000 other Syrians. She was observing a traditional 40-day period of solitude to mourn her dead husband, so she had received nothing from the local Islamic aid society.

          When the Christians knocked at her door, the widow appeared fully covered in black, including an opaque veil over her face. She explained her period of self-isolation. They offered to leave the food outside, but she unexpectedly invited them in. They sat with her and her children on the floor of the temporary dwelling.

"Who are you?" she asked anxiously.

"You don't know us, but we have great love in our hearts toward you," the team leader answered, explaining their reasons for helping Syrian refugees. "That love comes from God, who has worked in our lives."

          To their amazement, she responded by removing her veil --— unheard of in her conservative Muslim culture. Then the words came flooding out.

"I want to tell you what happened to me yesterday," she said, her voice trembling with emotion. "As I was sleeping during the night, someone knocked on my door. I was so scared, but I opened the window to see who it was. No one was there. After a while, I heard the same knocking. My heart was beating so fast, so I went and sat beside the door, and I fell asleep there.

"As I was sleeping, someone put His hand on my shoulder. He said, 'You don't know Me. You have passed through a great pain. I experienced a great pain, also. But I will not leave you alone. Tomorrow I will send you someone who will tell you about Me. Listen to him.'"



Closing Illustration, p.2


          When she finished the story, she began to weep. She turned to the team leader and said, "Tell me about this person that I saw in my dream."

          Through his own tears, the leader told her about Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the friend of widows, orphans and outcasts. "This Book that I'm going to give you will explain to you about God's love," he promised, giving her a Bible along with additional aid to help her and her children survive the mourning period.

The widow later returned to Syria. No one knows for sure what has become of her. She now belongs to God and she is in His hands.

NOTE TO READERS: The deepening crisis created by the civil war in Syria poses a major threat not only to the continued existence of that nation but to the stability of an already chaotic Middle East. This story and the following other stories cover the growing Christian ministry to thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing into neighboring countries.

As Syria disintegrates in war, Christians give refugees hope

Wounded warrior learns power of forgiveness