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Come, Join the Adventure with Jesus

By Lawrence Wilkes

2203 2020-04-22

Well folks, I think most of us enjoy a parade, don't we? A few years ago, my wife and I, with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, who was just in a little baby in arms at that time, went to a place called Canmore, Alberta, and we were there on July1st, which is Canada's birthday. This small mountain town was throwing a party downtown, which included a parade. So, since we had nothing else to do, we thought, let's go and see it.

It was so much fun. You know how small town parades are - everybody's there. I mean everybody. They're either in the parade or they're out on the curb, and everyone knows each other. So as each group goes by, they're all calling out each other's names and saying, "Hi, how are you?" "See you for coffee later!"

First of all, the parade started with the R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) celebrating in their bright red uniforms, coming down the street. And of course, always in a small town, there has to be a fire truck. Every time there's a fire truck, hooting the horn and sounding the siren every so often, the volunteer firefighters all waving to their neighbors and to their families. Then of course, inevitably there are the children on some kind of a flatbed float, throwing out candy. It never quite gets even to the curb, so there's candy all over the street. Nonetheless, they're throwing it out toward the crowd having a whale of a time, and everyone enjoys it.

At the end of the parade, have you ever noticed how people just often fold in after the parade and follow it for a little bit because they want to be a part of the celebration and share the fun that's involved in a parade.

Today, I want to talk about the triumphal entry of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although a bit like a parade, it is better described as a procession. A procession has a very different feeling than a parade, and yet, it is still a celebration. Can you just imagine Jesus riding on a small, young donkey, arriving with the disciples, all in this little procession? Then, people join the procession, some shouting out "Hosanna, hosanna!" as they come alongside, and others folding in and following behind. It must have been quite an event for that day and at that time. People yelling, shouting, calling out with celebration because they were there to celebrate the incoming of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they thought was going to be the King of Jerusalem, the King of Israel, taking His rightful place as the King. They celebrated the arrival of the Messiah with such a rejoicing spirit. It must have been wonderful. Wouldn't you love to have been there, even if you could just look on without being part of it, just to see it? It would be so exciting.

Every parade and every celebration has history to it. The one we saw as a family in Canmore, Alberta, was in celebration of a hundred a forty years of history on Canada's birthday. As everyone celebrated Jesus as He arrived as part of that procession, that triumphal entry, there was also history behind that celebration. Not 140 years, but only three and a half years of ministry behind that great celebration.

Let's just review that for just a moment. Looking through the scriptures, we see Jesus first entering into the story of the gospels with His presence at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. There, He made a miracle happen before the wedding guests very eyes when He turned water turned into wine. You don't see that happen very often. There it was. They ran out of wine at this great wedding festival. I don't know who was being married, but there's a possibility that it could have been a relative because Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there and she seemed to be in control or in command in some way. She comes to Jesus and says, "They have run out of wine." The tone of her voice was probably implying, "Help us; please do something." As she turns to the servants, she says these marvelous, profound words: "Whatsoever He says to you, do it." Great words. May I say those words to you and to me? Whatsoever He says unto you, do it.

The story reveals that some large jars, that should have contained wine for the wedding guests, were empty. So, under Jesus' bidding, the servants went to get water and filled the jars. Then, when they began to dip out of these jars, lo and behold the water had become wine, and not just any wine - it was better than what they'd had been serving previously. Jesus, the miracle worker, was there among them. He is the Creator, our God.

Moving along in scripture, we find Him now talking to the woman of Samaria. A woman of ill repute. She had come during the day to draw water from the well. Jesus is there, and He begins to talk to her. My friends, in that one conversation, her life was totally changed and turned around. It was a miracle of a different sort - a miracle that healed her soul and her spirit, for she was never the same again. An awesome change occurred in her life and in the life, no doubt, of that village in Samaria.

Jesus, as He walked and talked, taught the people in such a way that they understood - they could grasp what He was saying. But it was so different from anything they had heard in the synagogues, or in the temples, or from the religious leaders of the day. It was totally different because what He said made God knowable in a way that was easier for them to understand. They could now enter into the things of the Lord and better apply it to their lives. It was so revolutionary that some said that never had a man spoken like this. It was totally different from anything they had ever heard in their lives.

You may remember the story, as well, of the man whose son was sick and dying. The father came to Jesus and said, "Please, Lord, my son is dying. Please, could You help?" And it was some distance to where the son was.

Jesus said to the man, "Rest assured, your son lives." At that very moment, the son recovered and lived. What a miracle, at long distance, as well. What a miracle. Jesus is Lord.

As Jesus and His disciples walk and talk with all of the people, they came to a man beside the pool of Bethesda. The man was so ill and so infirmed that he couldn't even pick up his mat and walk. He couldn't even get up. No doubt, family members had come day by day to help him move to and fro, and to feed him. He was so infirmed. Then, Jesus came along and healed that man. He says to him, "Arise, take up your mat, and walk." This man, who had been so very, very ill, and so weak, immediately stood up, picked up his mat, and began to walk.

Let's walk with this man and imagine what it would have been like for him. He heads for home, maybe skipping along the way with such joy, and happiness, and thanksgiving, seeing along the way neighbors who'd written him off as that ill person. Now they see him waving to them, saying, "I'm healed! I'm healed! Jesus healed me!" When he got home, the family, I'm sure, couldn't believe their eyes. Their lives were changed. That man's life was changed forever. Never would he be the same. They made a believer out of him. Jesus did. And he was changed in his life, his heart, his purpose, his direction.

Then there's that story of the blind man. Born blind. Can you imagine being born blind in a day like that? There was no Braille, so he could not learn to read. There was no government assistance as we have in these days for people with disabilities. There was nothing to help a person such as this, totally dependent on his elderly parents and other family members that might have pitched in when they could. Dependent in that way, Jesus sees him, comes to him, and says, "What would you have me to do?"

The man said, "Lord, that I might receive my sight." Jesus, putting paste on his eyes, tells him go wash. Once he had bathed his eyes, removing the paste, lo and behold he could see. For the first time in his life, he could see. Can you imagine the change that that would bring about in that man's life? No longer dependent on his parents, but now he could go and get a job, and help his parents, and perhaps help them in their older years, looking after his family and being a part of society as it was meant to be. This man, I'm sure, had nothing but praise on his lips continually. God is an awesome God. He would never forget.

What I'm saying, my friends, is that whenever Christ comes into your life, into anyone's life, there is a change. God does a new thing. Away with the old and in with the new...in with the change that comes.

A number of years ago, there was a young man about 20 years old. Like so many people in this world, he went through school and he got a job. The job was going well as he began going up the ladder of success. However, one day he thought to himself, "All of this seems so utterly purposeless. What's life all about? There's got to be something more to life than what I know and understand. You're born, you go through school, then you get a job, you get married, have children, you bring them up, then you get old, you retire, and then you die. And it's all over. What is the purpose of all of this?"

As he began to search and seek, that young man, through the Spirit's guiding, began to read the New Testament, a Gideon New Testament that was given to him in grade five or six. He'd never really even opened the book whatsoever. He just got it because it was free. As he began to feel that there was a very important dimension in his life that was missing, he innately knew that it had something to do with his relationship with God. So now, at long last, he began to read his Bible.

As he read that New Testament, particularly the four gospels, he saw the life of Jesus Christ unfold on the pages. He was in awe because he knew that Jesus Christ was a real person. He knew that Jesus was born at Christmas. He knew that He died at Easter. However, he previously had no knowledge whatsoever of what happened between Christmas and Easter. And how many years it was in between. He knew none of that. He did not know Jesus as the Healer, as the Savior, as the person that gives purpose and direction. He knew none of those things.

But as he read that New Testament, he fell in love with the person of Jesus Christ, of God in the flesh, a man who walked among the people, who loved to be with the people, who changed lives. His compassion was obvious and evident as He touched people and their lives were changed, and they were healed and restored, forgiven, and given renewal and rebirth. All of those things took place and he saw that. And he thought to himself, "Oh, that I could be a follower of that Jesus. But its 2000 years too late."

He began to go to church because he thought, "There's got to be some answers to my questions about life." After reading the Bible, he thought, "I think I'm on to something here." At church, he heard the gospel preached, and finally one day, one glorious day, it dawned on him what it was all about. In the privacy of his bedroom, he came before the Lord, recognized himself to be a sinner, repented, and asked for forgiveness of his sins. He asked Jesus to come into his heart and into his life. When that happened, my friends, that young man had a purpose, had a new direction, sensed a call from God into the ministry, and it changed his life entirely forever. And that young man is the old man that's standing in front of you right now.

My friends, I invite you come, join the adventure with Jesus. Join the procession! It's awesome. No matter how old or how young you are, He'll change your life. Change your purpose. Change your direction. Give meaning to life. You even get to pay your taxes and smile doing it. I just did mine last week. He changes our attitude, my friends, and life becomes not a journey but an adventure with Jesus Christ as our pilot. I invite you to come to Jesus. Will you join me in prayer?

Now, dear Lord, we pray that You will take these thoughts, these ideas, use them for Your glory, for Your purpose, and bless them. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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