Why Is Jesus Weeping?

Examining A Lesser Talked About Part Of The Palm Sunday Story

Pastor Matt Stokes
Mar 28, 2021    39m
By examining a lesser talked about part of the Palm Sunday story, we get a much deeper insight into the emotions Jesus experienced that day. We learn He wept with compassion for those who were going to reject Him as the Messiah, He wanted all to experience salvation and eternal life, but knew that many never would. Video recorded at Ocean City, New Jersey.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Matt Stokes: 00:01 Good morning everyone, happy Palm Sunday, we have these for you when we leave. The staff got together and wove together 600 crosses, 600 plus, to give to you guys. Which I don't know, this is reminiscent of my childhood. I don't know how many of you grew up Catholic here, but I mean, this was a big part, when you were a little kid getting that Palm on Sunday was like, it wasn't Christmas morning, but it was up there, right? And so we took them, and we learned how to weave them into a cross. And then what did we do? Someone telling me. You would stick it behind...well, some of you had a sore fight, like yes, like a wimpy Palm branch, that is true too. Until you sliced your brother with that paper slice, and then it was over. And then your parents said, the fun always stops when someone gets hurt. But for the rest of us, if you're a Catholic, you put it behind your crucifix that was over your bed. Do you remember that? And you would stick it in there, and it would stay behind there until it got like, started to get brittle and curl up and like turn into just, you know, like dust. And then you'd have to wait until the next year.

Matt Stokes: 01:14 But it is a special occasion, today is a special occasion because it's going to be a Palm Sunday message, but maybe a little different than one you've heard before. And also as we close, we're going to give you an invitation to not just receive a Palm, but infinitely more important and that's to receive Jesus Christ. As he rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, we're going to ask and invite you to allow him to ride into your world, ride into your world of sin and stuff, ride into your burdens or whatever it is you're carrying, and take them upon himself as he did on his cross and offer you forgiveness and new life. I love Palm Sunday, it's one of my favorite times of year. And if you're noticing the trees are budding if you look real closely, bulbs are starring, they're blooming and the sun is bringing warmer days with no humidity, except for today. I mean, what's up? It was great the past couple of days, my Irish tan is already showing up, right? This is what I look like all summer, by the way, like I just get pink and stay there.

Matt Stokes: 02:23 But more importantly, it reminds me to look ahead to one short week from now when the red letters of the gospel all seemed to fall into place. And you have that, you have that aha moment when you see that this celebration today leads to crucifixion, but then that crucifixion leads to resurrection. So I'm just going to ask, as we go into this message today, that you'd be praying as you're listening. Praying in your heart, if God's calling you to receive his invitation of his love, and his forgiveness, an eternity, a home with him in heaven, and everything else he poured out from his death and resurrection, it's here for you today.

Matt Stokes: 03:20 Some of you might remember several years ago, we had a Coastal softball ministry. And on one trip, particularly, we went to Florida and we did six prisons in five days, sometimes playing doubleheaders. And we always finished the day with a debrief, and a devotional, and prayer. And I'll never forget this one night being overwhelmed, or overcome with a brokenness that was combined with urgency, in communicating the gospel message to these inmates we were able to visit. We literally had access to thousands of inmates in the course of five days, at one particular prison, there were hundreds scattered in this gymnasium. And this gymnasium was literally a concrete cube, like the four was just concrete, not polished, brushed concrete, just concrete, like the sidewalk. And we got to share the gospel there, and in that moment, I shared a message and a small handful of men gave their lives to Christ. And of course our little group rejoiced because out of hundreds, a handful. In fact, I even considered it titling the message today out of hundreds, a handful, because that's kind of the message of Palm Sunday and this triumphal entry.

Matt Stokes: 04:42 What gave me the sense of a broken urgency was the prisoner, as they filed out. As I watched the line of men moving across the room, I had this image of so many prisoners choosing to walk away from a life of freedom that they still could have even behind concrete, even behind bars, even behind barbed wire, because Jesus said it doesn't matter what your location is, if you know the truth, the truth will set you free. And if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed. But they weren't, and as they filed out of the room, I realized they wouldn't be, not that day. Later that night during the debrief, I shared with my team, this strange combination of emotion, urgent, and broken, their need for salvation. And in trying to explain it, I was thinking about it going through my soul, I was hit with a metaphor in the midst, Schindler's List.

Matt Stokes: 05:50 Schindler's List is a movie, I can't believe it's almost 30 years old, now it's based on the true story of Oscar Schindler. So please try and track with me as I'm bringing these things together. Oscar Schindler spent his own personal wealth rescuing over a thousand Jews from certain death during world war II and the Holocaust. But in the midst of their joy, Oscar is reduced to a puddle of tears because he wanted to save more. So if you've seen it or you want to watch it again, you'll see the scene in the history, recounting the saved and the rescue Jews melted down from gold tooth fillings, they melted down the gold and made a ring for him. And they inscribed something special and meaningful on it and put it on his finger. and as he placed it on his finger, you see this moment where he realizes it's worth. He realizes its value in terms of how many more Jews he wanted to save. He looked at the wealth, and he looked at his car, and in the scene, he staggers over to his trunk and he puts his hands on the trunk and he says, my car, my car, I could have saved 10 more with this car. And then he pulls this pin off of this suit, and he says, this pin, I could have saved two more, it's made of gold, and at least one more. And Oscar Schindler breaks down weeping for the more he wanted to save.

Matt Stokes: 07:23 So, what's the connection between my brokenness, and Schindler's list, and Palm Sunday? Let me try to explain it. If you like scripture study, or if you're even into scripture trivia, most of us in this room who are would know the trivia question, what's the shortest verse in the Bible? The shortest verse in the Bible is two words. What are those two words? Wow, way to go second gathering. The first service, like, you know, like the people that got it all together, I'm here at 8:00 AM. They're like, umm, and there was like two people out there. So good job second gathering. "Jesus wept." Now we consider the person of Jesus Christ, and we presume that he laughed, but we're not told that he laughed. However, we are told that he wept. We're told that he wept four times that I counted in the research going through the message, but for what reasons? And I wish I had the time to show you, but all four times Jesus weeps are different, but they're all for the same reason. Jesus weeps, because they just didn't get it, they just didn't get who he was.

Matt Stokes: 08:42 And what I want to say to you now is probably one of the most important things I'm going to say today, and that's this, the heart of Jesus breaks as he longs for every sinner to experience his love and forgiveness. Let me say again, the heart of Jesus breaks as he longs for every sinner to experience his love, and experience his forgiveness. And he still longs for you to know him and experience him, maybe for the first time today, and I hope that you pray and you make that choice to change the direction of your eternity in the midst of this moment.

Matt Stokes: 09:20 Now, Jesus also wept as he approached Jerusalem on this day, this day that we call Palm Sunday, we call it the triumphal entry. It was necessary, this day was critical, this day was essential. It was prophesied that it had to happen, and it had to happen this day, right to the day. Very much like the location of Jesus' birth, where he was born, how he was born, how the Messiah would come into this world was prophesied. Anyone who knew the Old Testament, that is any Jewish national leader, should have known that when Jesus came into Jerusalem on the backside of a donkey on April 6, 32 AD, he was Mashiach, he was Messiah.

Matt Stokes: 10:10 All four gospels narrate this particular piece of history. In fact, outside of scriptures, historical accounts, they reveal that over 2 million people flooded into Jerusalem for this Passover feast. Approximately 250,000 lambs were brought into the city to be sacrificed in the temple for Passover. You do the math 2 million to 250,000, that's the ratio of 1 to 8. Which makes a lot of sense, they're sacrificing a Passover lamb for their family, the average amount of people in a family may have been about 8, so it makes total sense even in secular history. Why is Jesus weeping, 2 million people, a quarter million lambs? Because he knew that they would reject the one true spotless lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.

Matt Stokes: 11:06 Most Jewish people of the day, they knew their history, they knew prophecy, they knew their Messiah would enter into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey. It says right here in Zachariah 9, let this blow your mind, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!" Zion is another way of saying Jerusalem. "Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!" There it is again, "Behold, your King is coming to you." Look, obviously he's coming to Jerusalem. "He is just and having..." What? "He has salvation." He's coming to Jerusalem, he's your King, he has salvation, and here's the irony. "He's lowly." He's humble, and besides that, "riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey." That's what a colt is, a colt is a young donkey or horse, that what a colt is.

Matt Stokes: 11:55 They also should have known, beyond that mind-blowing prophecy, their Messiah would arrive according to the prophecy in Daniel, Daniel 9 chapter 25, listen to this. Daniel, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years before Christ ever came, it says, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince." What? Yeah, Daniel hundreds and hundreds of years earlier talked about, you can know the day that Mashiach, that Messiah, that the one who comes from God, and the deliverer, the one who brings salvation, he's going to come. When? "There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. " Add the math at 69 weeks, and by the way, it's not just 69, it's weeks, so it's 69 sets of seven. "The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times." Every Hebrew scholar, as well as Christian scholar, would agree that 69 sets of seven, according to the way that the Hebrews did their math, that would be 483 years. You take 365 days, the Hebrew calendar only has 360 days. So you take that 69 sets of seven, and you multiply 69 times seven, you get 483 years. 483 years, actually comes out to 173,880 days.

Matt Stokes: 13:27 Now what King...do I have your attention? Say yes. What King do you know in history ever looked at the slaves in his nation and said, you know what, I'm going to let you guys go. Yeah, I know our world is better because you serve us like slaves, but I'm going to let you go, and you know what else I'm going to let you go back and rebuild the walls to fortify your city so no one can conquer you, and rebuild your roads. Like that just doesn't happen, but it's happening here, and it happened in history with a King named Artaxerxes. So the day that he decreed that, that I decree that you can go back, not just go back, but go back and rebuild the walls. You start counting from that day, and historically we know when that day was, you count from that day and you move forward 173,880 days, and you come to Palm Sunday, you come to April 6, 32 AD. Is anybody else's mind blown here?

Matt Stokes: 14:27 The Old Testament books of Zachariah, Psalms, Daniel, all contained prophecies that point to an exact moment. What am I saying? I'm saying there should be no question as to who Jesus was, but they just didn't get it. Religious, political, political? And listen, I say political because in their day, religious and political leaders, they were one and the same. It was church and state, no doubt about it. The political leaders, they missed it. When you read the gospels together, you can see that the political leaders were actually trying to not just miss it, they ignored it because the Jewish and the Roman political leaders knew the potential of it. So what are you saying, are trying to like make some kind of like analogy to like what's happening today? Yeah, I am. If you think I'm trying to make some subtle societal segue into our current society, don't let me be so subtle, there is a systematic, strategic, political plan to silence the voice of genuine believers today.

Matt Stokes: 15:34 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and so is sin. And the heart of the believer should break, I know this is Palm Sunday, but please listen, because this is so important, the heart of the believer should break when we see political leaders and so-called spiritual leaders trying to suppress the truth about sin, trying to silence the truth about the savior, trying to seclude believers from meeting with one another. And I know some of you are frustrated about it, I see it on Facebook. It's one thing to be frustrated about it, it's another thing to dispute it, i's another thing to respond to it. So I'm saying, hey, let's all just stop getting angry and talking to each other, and let's really pray about how we as believers ought to be responding to the current condition in which we're in.

Matt Stokes: 16:28 Because just posting negativity on your Facebook isn't doing much, I haven't noticed. I think I said it a few weeks ago, if someone's actually changed their mind because of what you wrote on Facebook, please come see me, I have yet to see it. But there's something about rising up with the love of Christ, and the justice of Christ, and standing true to the word of Christ, that's going to make a difference in the days to come. I know Matthew Maher, he's ready to take it to the streets. Right? Okay, okay, so take those applause and do something. Oh, I'll do something, Oh, I'll do something, I'm going to post this. No, I'm talking about more than that, I'm talking about you praying and seeking God, because as it goes on and on, I doubt that we're going to go, I guess that went away by itself. It's not. And everyone who calls himself a genuine believer has to decide what we're going to do in this moment, in which we're in right now.

Matt Stokes: 17:40 Now all the gospels make the point that Jesus rode into the city to fulfill prophecy on a young donkey, to make this prophecy known to Israel nationally. It had to be on that day, it had to be, did I make that clear, it had to be on that day. Many times in the gospels, didn't you ever notice, Jesus always says, don't reveal this, my hour has not come, not this day. He said it to his own mother when she wanted to know what to do when they were out of wine, he said to his mother, "Mother, don't you know, my hour has not come." Jesus will say in the gospels, tell no man who I am, my hour has not come. Tell no man what you've seen here, my hour has not come. Not this day, this was his day, this was his hour, the hour had come and now is. Jesus himself, with his own words, acknowledged how specific this particular day was as they worshiped him. By the way, no one is worthy of worship, read the scriptures. No one is worthy of worship, except Almighty God. Except Jesus allows, on this day, himself to be worshiped, he doesn't stop a single person from worshiping him. That means, and you may have heard this before, that means that he is either a psychopathic liar, or he's the Lord God in human flesh,

Matt Stokes: 19:05 Listen to this in Luke chapter 19, Jesus, when he approached Jerusalem, he saw the city and he wept over it. Klaió is the word in the Hebrew, it doesn't just mean to cry, or I cried out, it means to sob, it means to be weep like convulsively. The word. klaió is the word that you would use to describe a mother who was weeping for a lost child, that's the kind of crying it says here. Yes, Jesus wept when Lazarus die, but Jesus weeps here as he comes into the city of Jerusalem, and this is what he says. “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace!" The things I had planned for your shalom, I wanted today to be your shalom. "But now they've been hidden from your eyes."

Matt Stokes: 19:56 In fact, even certain Gentiles, okay, people that were just ungodly, far from God, totally pagan, they were coming to understand Jesus as Messiah. Listen to this in John chapter 12, "Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified." Imagine this moment, they come to Phillip, Phillip calls, Andrew, Andrew and Philip run to Jesus. Jesus spins to his disciples and says, you remember all that I was saying before, okay, change of plans, the hour's come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Matt Stokes: 20:46 And I'm sure as I look at this, Jesus is weeping, and he's weeping because he has compassion for those who he knows are going to reject him. Because the son of man, what did he say? He came to seek and to save those who are lost. And I am sure that Jesus weeps today for those who reject him, is he weeping for you? Will you receive him today, receive his love, receive his life, receive his light? Why does he weep? Because he knows the alternative. What's the alternative to not receiving Jesus Christ? What's the alternative to his love and forgiveness? It's to be lost in sin's punishment forever. And do you know what sin's punishment forever is? It's not just being lost in some kind of nebulous Christ-less eternity, which wouldn't be so bad if you're an atheist, because if you don't know who Christ is, who cares if Christ is in your eternity? No, it's not a Christ-less eternity, it's called hell. It's a place prepared for Satan and his angels who rebelled against him and who rejected him, and it's the place that all go, who reject the love, and mercy, and grace, and forgiveness, and the work of Christ, the sinless Savior, on the cross.

Matt Stokes: 22:10 Anyone choosing to walk out the door, who sees Jesus for who he is, and just walks away, leaves me, and other believers, brokenhearted. But I assure you that the brokenness of man is an infinitesimal shadow compared to the heart of the one who made you, and who loves you, and who knows what's best for you, and has the power to save you, and his name is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the solution to every problem. Jesus Christ is the answer to every question. Jesus Christ gives the Supreme ultimate answer to everything regarding your origin, and your meaning, and your purpose, and your morality, and your eternal destiny, that's Jesus. The hearts of believers may break because we know the urgency, but what does that infinitely, more significantly, it breaks the heart of their would be Savior, and Jesus weeps. It breaks the heart of there could be Savior, and Jesus weeps. There should be Savior, and Jesus weeps.

Matt Stokes: 23:32 Okay, what about all those that were cheering? I mean, isn't this called the triumphal entry because all the people were chanting in the crowd. Yeah, Hosanna, ,Hosanna, as we say, Hosanna, means save now or rescue now. It was a messianic cry to a King that they believe would save them from Roman tyranny. "Blessed it as he who comes in the name of the Lord. [Foreign language] Hosanna in the highest." Rescue us, you who come from the highest place. They didn't get it. They seem like it, they were saying the right words, they were singing the right song, they were laying down their palms. And if you read the passages in all four gospels, they even took off their coats. I don't think we realize how valuable your coat was in that day, but they took off their coats and laid them in the street because they thought that this King was so worthy they didn't even want his donkey to have dirt on his hooves.

Matt Stokes: 24:47 I mean, didn't you ever wonder why we lay palms down on Palm Sunday? Like when they saw him coming, they like pulled down the tree branches, and took off their coats, and started like laying them across the ground. You are so Holy, the King has come into his Holy city. The anticipation of the new King was palpable, it was almost tangible. They were thinking they had a new King that would heal people, and raise people from the dead. John's version of the triumphal entry says that they were there because they saw Lazarus' miracle, and that they were so excited. Look at this, John chapter 12, I'll just read a portion of it for you. They actually followed Jesus into Jerusalem, because they were following him from Bethany when he healed Lazarus, because they were amazed at what he did. It says, "For this reason, also the people met and went with him because they heard that he had performed this sign."

Matt Stokes: 25:40 So why are they really following Jesus? Are they following Jesus because of what he did, or are they following Jesus because they know who he is? See blind Bartimaeus, who was healed of his blindness from birth, he knew who he was. Jesus said, I'm the one you're speaking with, I am the Messiah, the one that has come. And says that, "And Bartimaeus followed him in the way." So I'm saying out of the hundreds, there's a handful, there's a handful of faithful in here, Bartimaeus is one of them. But there's also a number of people here that are amazed at what Jesus does, but they just don't get who he is. And much like fair-weather friends, who many of us here may have or have known, once they saw that Jesus could be arrested, could be stripped, could be beaten, could be crucified, their hopes for that King that they were looking for were gone, they were dashed in a thousand pieces on the ground, and they just didn't get it.

Matt Stokes: 26:37 Even the apostles didn't get it, his closest friends were told the exact scenario by Jesus. Jesus turned to them and said, there's going to come a day where the Son of Man is going to experience rejection, persecution, crucifixion, but then resurrection. Guess what? They still didn't get it. Matthew 16, Peter's like, that's never going to happen to you. Did anyone get it, religious political leadership, crowds of people? Well much like the thousands of inmates in Florida ho walked away hopeless, out of millions who were there for this triumphal entry, only a handful came away faithful. Does anyone get it today? Do you get it today? Are you getting it right now? Like some of those prisoners, out of the many, there are the few, and maybe one of them is you. My prayer is that when you walk out this door today, your hope will lie in the person of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice for your sins, Jesus Christ, the lover of your soul, Jesus Christ, your resurrection and your life and your light. Jesus Christ, your friend, Jesus Christ, your Savior.

Matt Stokes: 28:06 If you're not a follower of Christ, you're here, you need to get this. They didn't get it, you're here, get it. If you're sitting here now, and you think you're getting who God is, but you're not getting who Jesus Christ should be in your life. Get this, get this, what we're talking about right here, right now, today. This speaks to me, this should be speaking to every one of you. It rings so loud in my conscience, in my soul, in my spirit, in my mind, the same bell rings clear in the conscience of every genuine believer, I hope you're hearing it right now. And I'm saying, in these three gatherings, there's got to be some of us here who are hearing this for the very first time and saying, oh my God, I get it. I need it, forgiveness, Jesus, I get it.

Matt Stokes: 29:10 I'll get to the point of the message, and we'll close here. Jesus is weeping, literally in the Greek, he sobbing. Sacredly, ironically, just before this messianic entry comes, this parable he told. And I don't have a lot of time to get into it, but the verses read and say that Jesus, when he came, there was this air of salvation and anticipation that was all around the Passover. The Jews knew it, it even says the Romans knew it, and they were like extra on guard.

Matt Stokes: 29:38 Listen to Luke 19, it says, "As they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately." What's the parable? So you look in Luke 19 and you'll see the parable is the one that he tells where he says that a man came, that had a certain amount of riches, he had a certain amount of value. And he gave that value to some, he gave some up to others, and he gave a little to others. And the ones with a lot, did a lot with what they had, and the one that had the least did nothing with what he had. And then it goes on to say in the parable that the one who had a lot, even more was given to him, and the one who had almost nothing, he had very little, even what he had was taken from him. And Jesus closes that up by saying this, "Him who has even more shall be given. He who has not, even what he has, shall be taken from him." When you read the parable, at first glance, you might think it's about money. It's not, it's about knowledge. The one who has knowledge about who Jesus Christ is and does something with it, more knowledge will be given to him. The one who has a little bit of knowledge about who Jesus Christ is, he's got a cursory glance, he's got just a superficial knowledge, but he doesn't do anything with it, even that's going to be taken from him.

Matt Stokes: 31:10 Just think about it, that's the parable he told just before he entered into this city. Because of all that Jesus had done to this point, many of Jesus' friends and enemies had a sense of something, the possible return of the long awaited Messiah. I mean, come on, if you know your scriptures, it's been 400 years since anyone heard from God and all this tension is now coming to a breaking point, it's coming to a head. Jesus wept when Lazarus died because of a lack of faith in the people, they didn't know who he was, that's why he prayed out loud. He even said that, I'm praying out loud, not because the Father has to hear me, but so that you can hear me and know that I'm connected with the Father. And that's why I'm going to say this, Lazarus come forth.

Matt Stokes: 31:54 Jesus wept when he looked at his own people, he wept when he came into his own town, knowing that we're going to reject him and crucify him. And how often I imagine does the Lord weep today, as he sees so many globally, turning their backs and walking away from the truth of just who Jesus is. I'm willing to beg you not to do that today, for your own sake, and for God's sake. Did you ever hear that? For God's sake, like people say that all the time. I grew up in a family, like relatives, they said for God's sake, like all day, for God's sake, this for God's sake that. I'm saying, literally for God's sake, don't do this, don't walk away from the love of Christ that's being shown to you today.

Matt Stokes: 32:37 As the crowd was chanting Hosanna in anticipation of the incoming reign of this new King, the Pharisee's, they ordered the people to stop. They actually rebuked Jesus, telling him to rebuke them. Listen again to Luke 19, "Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, teacher, rabbi rebuke your disciples. But Jesus answered. I tell you if these become silent, the stones will cry out." Wow. In effect, Jesus is telling them that you are dumber than a pile of rocks, if you don't see the significance of what is happening right here and right now. I've given you the prophecies, I've given you the scriptures, I've given you Daniel, and Zachariah, and the Psalms. And then Jesus goes on to say as he enters into the city, again, Luke 19, "If you had known, even you, especially this your day, the things that make for your Shalom. But now they are hidden from your eyes." So I love you enough to tell you, there comes a point in every believers life when he sees and receives Jesus Christ. But there's also a point in every unbeliever's life, after they've heard the word, think about the parable from Jesus, there comes a point in every unbelievers life when they make a decision, and now that decision, over time, is no longer yours to make. And just like Pharaoh, if you know your Old Testament history, God, ratifies your decision of your hard heart, of your closed eyes. That's why, on this day, Jesus wept.

Matt Stokes: 34:25 Instead of religious and political leaders really seeking the truth. These leaders, these leaders, denied, they ignored, they suppressed, and they attempted to silence the truth from being known. Does that sound familiar to anybody? So many would reject him, so many would die without surrendering to their Savior. And I'll just say, here's what our country's founders were trying to protect. What? Political leaders trying to force restrictions. What? Political leaders trying to spiritually mandate, spiritually legislate, political leaders who have the power to influence many. And as a result, many would reject the true Messiah. And I'm saying to you, what a terrifying position to be in if you are a leader, if you are an influencer, and you actually guide the soul of a man away from Christ, and forgiveness, and eternity.

Matt Stokes: 35:28 So, is he still weeping out of compassion for those who've chosen walk away? Yes. However much like these inmates that I'm sharing with you, many choose to dwell in the prisons of their own faithlessness. They hear the word, they meet followers of Christ, they witness transformed lives, long awaited prophecies continue to play out, yet, most of the world continues to not get it. There are many religious people today, many fair-weathered followers, who are saying, Hosanna. But I'm saying to you, what will you do with what's being placed in front of you right here and right now, will you get it? Because Christ is offering it, I'm talking about forgiveness, salvation, your life glorifying him.

Matt Stokes: 36:29 If you're one of those, please hear me today, open your heart to the compassion of Jesus, who weeps for the souls of those that he loves. If you're one who gets it right now, join me please, in taking the most precious promise of Jesus. "For God so loved the world..." Jesus said, this is coming out of his own mouth. "He loved the world so much that he gave His one and only Son that..." That, so here's the reason why, "That whosoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life." So I challenge you with everything in my being, make the most of this precious gift right now called the gospel, it's your day, it's your Shalom. Just like Palm Sunday was Jesus' day, this is your day. This is the day of your peace, your Shalom, the day of your infinite rebirth, renewal, restoration, reconciliation, and redemption. Today is the day, I've asked every believer connected to Coastal to pray, today is your Palm Sunday. Today is the day that the savior comes riding into your world with a heart breaking, and longing for you to experience his love and forgiveness. Don't put off giving your life to Christ today.

Matt Stokes: 37:47 So as we close, we're going to sing, and I'm going to ask you to remain seated, and here's why. Because in the midst of this song, if there's anyone here that's going to make that decision to get every fear of man issue behind them, to get all the insecurity that might be within you, behind you. And I'm going to ask that individual, or individuals to stand and give their life to Jesus Christ right now, and experience the greatest triumph you could ever experience in all of time and eternity, as you change the trajectory of what's going to be your infinity. When you believe that Jesus Christ died on that cross, and he died for your sins, and he died in your place. And then he rose again, three days later to show you everything I said about truth, and my love, and my power, and my wisdom, and my forgiveness, it's all true. How do you know? I rose from the dead, that's how you know.

Matt Stokes: 38:51 If you're here today and this is taking up residency in your heart for the first time, Jesus went public for you on the cross of Calvary, will you go public for him. In the midst of this song, I'm going to come back in just a moment, and when I do, I'm going to challenge you. And it is challenge, I recognize that, all of us who have made this choice recognize the challenge that comes with it. I'm going to challenge you to stand in front of every stranger and friend in the room, and in front of every angel and devil, in front of everything, seen and unseen, and say, I belong to Christ, he's my Savior and he belongs to me, I am forgiven. If that's you, I want you to be praying right now, and waiting for this moment. In just a minute, I'm going to ask those of you who can sense God pressing it into your heart right now, I'm going to ask you at that time to stand. Right now, let's pray in our hearts, and let's worship.

Recorded in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Read More
Coastal Christian Ocean City
300 E 8th Street
Ocean City, New Jersey 08226