An Appointment with God

God has appointments with different people, including us. On Palm Sunday, Jesus had an appointment with Jerusalem, as He rode off from the Mount of Olives and through the gate called Beautiful. He came not on a white stallion, but on a donkey. People didn’t have flags fluttering; they had branches waving. He had a message for Jerusalem because He knew that, in a few days, the greatest even in the history of mankind would unfold in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the redemption for mankind. He would bring lost souls into eternity.

The meaning of Jesus’ whole life would be a pinnacle that next week. He had to align a few things in the hearts of God’s people in Jerusalem, so He had an appointment with Jerusalem. I believe that appointment was not only for Jerusalem, but it is for us today, for this year and age. He has an appointment for us to align or recalibrate a few things so that our hearts are right.

Align to the Light

In Italy, there is a port so narrow that if ships navigate just a little bit off, they will hit the crags and reefs underneath. It has taken a toll on so many shops that some of the captains and navigators went into the valley where the port was and lined up three large poles. On the top of each pole was a light so when a navigator would come in with his ship, he would line up his ship with the three lights. As he held that course, it would take the ship right past the crags and through the narrow channel, to the safe port.

We need to dial in three things as God makes appointments with us, as well as with Jerusalem. We need to take some lessons from that so that many who need to find the Savior can find their way home through us, God’s people.

Jesus wasn’t entering Jerusalem to gain votes. He was entering because of an appointment with God. He needed to straighten out a few things because the next week was Easter. He had to dial in their hearts and make three corrections so that people could follow Him to the Cross. He also speaks to us today, for there was not only an appointment with Jerusalem, but also an appointment with us today.

Three Corrections

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, His disciples and many others who had gathered to receive Him shouted, “Hosanna!” The Hebrew word “Hosanna” means “God save us.” Then they said, “Blessed is the King!” They wanted to make Him King. What were their expectations?

Let us talk about the corrections Jesus had to make.

  1. Correct Our Expectations

The people’s expectations of why Jesus was coming were off. He had to make a correction. They had tried to make Him king twice before, but He eluded them because He didn’t come to be their king.

Jesus was saying, “I did not come to remove the Romans from ruling; I came to remove sin from your life. I didn’t come to remove your problems; I came to repair a soul that is broken in your relationship with God. I came to die and bridge the gap.”

If you have the wrong expectation of Jesus, as soon as He doesn’t fulfill the way you think it should be, your praise of “Hosanna!” will turn to “Crucify Him!” The very ones who were saying “Hosanna!” were yelling, “Crucify Him!” the very next week.

Sometimes we think that if we punch in our spiritual timecard, therefore, God will give us peaches and cream for the rest of our lives. But if you have wrong expectations of who Jesus is, your life will be a yo-yo.

Jesus’ goal was not to come to give us a problem-free life. He came to change us from glory to glory into the image of His Son so that when people see us, they will see less of me and more of Jesus. If your expectation of God is wrong, you will love Him one day and hate Him the next.

The first thing God does is calibrate our expectation of who Jesus is and what He will do for us so that we won’t be going from glad to mad.

  1. Correct Our Perspective

Not only our expectations, but sometimes our perspective of church goes off a little bit. We can be like Pharisees. We can come to church and say, “Too many lights; all these people dancing around. What is this all about? We don’t need all of those things. Get rid of all this and just give me the Word!”

The presence of God is worthy of our very best. He deserves our very best attention. He deserves everything that we have, in exuberance.

God’s Word is so precious; we want to honor it in the best way that we can. We are celebrating the presence of the King. It’s not just empty fanfare.

  1. Correct Our Purpose

The very next morning while Jesus was having His appointment with Jerusalem, He went to the temple. He found moneychangers and dove sellers and He drove them out of this area of the temple where they supposedly were allowed to do that. He said, “This is supposed to be a place of prayer for all peoples.”

Here’s what the problem was: it wasn’t what they were selling; it was where they were selling it. They had been selling all of this in a place called the “Court of the Gentiles” that was outside the temple. It was actually a place where non-Jews could come from all nations — anybody who would seek God. It became their court. In other words, the Jews were saying there was no room for non-Jews. They had made the church into a members-only club.

Our purpose is the church. It is not a members-only club. The Lord said, “I am going to put a ‘Court of the Gentiles,’ or make room for those from all nations — all walks of life who are seeking God.”

Sometimes we forget that our purpose is to make room for those who are outside of the Kingdom but are seeking to get in. We need to make room for them and be willing to go to the highways and byways and invite them in and say, ‘There is room for you; God made room for you.” We will always keep our hearts open because there are many of those that He is bringing.

The Lord says, “You are the church. You are the pillar and support of the truth.” When He dials that in, then people will come from all nations to find their place and be at home with Christ.

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