Last week, we talked about living in a cancel culture in today’s society. We mentioned that Jesus is the most offensive person to have ever lived and that to call ourselves followers would be absorbing the persona of his abrasiveness. Now, please don’t misunderstand the message; Jesus is not a threat to any of us. He is quite the opposite, he is our king that came from everything to live as somebody to reach everybody so that a nobody can be somebody in Christ. But cancelling Jesus is the primary focus of the enemy. He knows that cancelling Easter begins with cancelling Jesus.
Jesus began his ministry in the midst of the Jordan. The very cousin that leapt in his mother’s womb at the unborn presence of Jesus is the same gruff spirit-filled baptizer named John that baptized Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River. Jesus left that baptism filled with the holy spirit and went into the desert for a 40-day fast. It was during the last vulnerable moments of that wilderness experience that Satan came forth with his cancel culture. He tempted Jesus with everything Jesus had power over and nothing that he controlled. He tempted him with lies and hollow promises. He knew that cancelling Easter would be easier to accomplish before, rather than later. After all, when would he ever have a better chance for attack? Jesus was on the brink of death, starved, and disoriented. But remember, back 40 days earlier when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove? Yeah the Holy Spirit doesn’t get tired, weary, hungry, or disoriented. That’s why Jesus knew he couldn’t attempt such a wilderness experience in the flesh. He knew,, and we should learn that our own intellect and fleshly desires will deceive us, especially in our weakest moments.
Now let’s talk about cancelling the revolution. This same Jesus, the same son of God, the same wilderness faster, the same healer, gospel foundation, and forgiver of sins progressed his way through three and a half years of powerful ministry, culminating in a village outside of Jerusalem, with a simple humble and unbroken little donkey. When we gaze into Luke’s account, we find in chapter 19 that Jesus says that he needs the animal. This is the only time in scripture that Jesus vocalized that he needed anything from us. And what would that thing be that he needed? A beast of burden. The donkey represented humbleness and was the animal of poverty. The horse represented wealth and pride. A king that rode into town on his noble steed would garner the praise of his people as a celebrated warrior. Jesus didn’t need the pride associated with a warrior; he needed a humble unridden donkey. And the revolution began. People gathered by the thousands, the streets were lined, branches were torn from the trees, and cloaks were muddied in the place of Jesus and his borrowed donkey. Please take note of a few points in this story as it is revealed in the book of Luke. First of all the colt had never been ridden. This is another confirmation that as God, Jesus cannot be second. The seat of authority will be established through humble power and is for Jesus and him alone. The next thing to remember is, according to John 11:57, Jesus was a wanted man,, and to return to Jerusalem would be walking into a trap, yet he entered with a revolutionary gathering that drew all attention to himself. The third thing to remember is a little choice of wording strategically placed by God in Luke chapter 19 and verse 35 where the disciples prepared the donkey to be ridden. They placed their own clothing on his back and then notice that they “set” Jesus on the animal. To sit is temporary. If Jesus had sat upon the donkey he would have only remained there while the party lasted. But to set him was to begin his journey. God was setting Jesus forth as the sacrificial lamb not just for his journey but for ours as well. Without his journey, that began on a donkey, he would have never made it to the cross and without his sacrifice our lives are lost.
But the cancel culture was alive and well and active in verse 39 where the Pharisees called for Jesus to rebuke the revolution. They couldn’t cancel Jesus so they tried to cancel the party. The only way to cancel the revolution is to cancel the followers. Cancel culture attempts to remove anything that disagrees with their agenda. What begins in the river should never die in the streets. Jesus was untouchable until God said differently. Until that time, the religious leaders thought that if they couldn’t silence the man, then silence the people who support the man.
The party didn’t get cancelled that day. As a matter of fact, Jesus told them that the rocks would cry out if the people were silenced, and we saw that come true a few days later at his death. (We will talk about that more next week.)
One thing is true and that is people don’t mind being controlled, they just don’t want to know they are. Cancelling the crowd that day would have incited an uprising and the Pharisees knew it. That’s why they approached Jesus to silence the people instead of doing it themselves. Remember, the enemy knows that to cancel you is to control you, and he knows that if you know it, you’ll rebel. That’s why he does it through distraction. Don’t get so distracted with life that you miss the party. Your revolution depends on it.
Let’s talk more on Sunday. We’re open at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., and we’re located on the square, in Sparta. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.