John 12:13 (The masses on Palm Sunday)
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
John 19:15 (Five days later)
They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
Matthew 16:13-17 (Point of reference)
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
The irony of unbelief is that it is very much like Stockholm Syndrome, where the people who grumble and complain against the system are very much part of the system and the corrupt syndicates they are in cahoots with, because they each love themselves so much that any threat to their wellbeing is sufficient cause to viciously turn on anything even the truth and Almighty God, as these unbelievers must override even common sense in serving their own selfish interest, especially when under duress of their own wellbeing.
As we go through the Bible, we see God changing the names of people whom He influences… Old Testament Jacob is named Israel (Gen 32:28). Apostle Simon is named Peter (Mat 16:18), while Saul becomes Apostle Paul (Acts 13:9).
Let’s take a look at the meaning of these names-
Jacob: means “supplanter,” which can interpret as a person who seizes, circumvents, or usurps by way of deceit.
Israel: One who strives against God & the world and prevails. Meaning a believer whom God sanctifies in the world, like it were a furnace burning out the impurities in the believer, in perfecting the believer like silver or gold is purified in the furnace. So, when the believer comes out of that furnace, as in crosses the point of the grave, his/her soul reflects the nature of his maker perfectly whose image he/she was made in (Gen 1:26/Rom 8:29/Col 1:13-16).
Simon: means “reed.” i.e. a Reed that is easily swayed (1Jn 5:19) or blows in the direction of the wind.
Peter: means a rock i.e., a life founded in Christ (Mat 7:24-27).
Saul: Asked for (from Sheol [land of the dead]) (Jn 1:12-13/Luke 10:20/1Peter 1:17-19)
Paul: means small or humble. No longer boasting in himself as a pharisee but boasts in the Lord, in being made redundant (small) to the world.
2Cor 5:17 (For Your Reference)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
John 15:18-23 (Also For Your Reference)
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also.
We therefore see- that in the context of 2Cor 5:17, the transforming/redeeming power of the Lord Jesus Christ, wherein a person no longer kisses the butt of the who’s who in this damn world to serve his own selfish interests but finds the strength to stand for the truth and stand up the world because this person has been called out of the darkness into the light of Christ (Jer 17:5-9). So, while the unbeliever wears the mark of the beast (666) on their right hand and forehead (Rev 13:16-17), as Satan gets these to do his wicked pleasure by lighting a fire under their butts, by way of loving themselves beyond everything else, even God and truth for that matter… the Christian on the contrary, wears the Law of God (Mat 22:36-40) on his/her forehead and right hand (meaning thinks and acts according to God’s glory and good pleasure) (Deut 6:8), because he/she loves God/truth beyond all things and in carrying his/her cross and following after the Lord Jesus (Mat 16:24), this true believer becomes a living sacrifice for God’s glory alone (1Pet 2:4-6). This after all is the defining factor of God’s Church/Israel aka Jesus’ sheep (Jn 17:21-23).
Mat 21:18-22 (such is Seasonal faith/fruit aka Lenten faith)
In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.
When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Unlike the world, that exploits its people and leads them to dead-ends repeatedly, while expecting the impossible out of them (Mat 23:4), so as to assert their tyrannical rule over these, by way of unholy fear, the One true Triune Lord our God Almighty, will part the Red Sea if He must, to make a way for His people, because our life, its sustenance, and our salvation is in Him (Jn 14:6) and that will be proven repeatedly as God so wills. The fig tree in the above verse shows us what is typical in a world where Christianity is atypical because the Christian who is acquainted with his Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ through scripture is fully equipped to act righteously for God’s glory and good pleasure alone.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
So, coming back to Palm Sunday, we see Christianity has less to do with going with the flow of this damn frivolous world, like it were some fair-weather friendship with God. Rather true Biblical Christianity is about standing for what God loves and standing against what God hates, knowing there are none who stand with you, because in any case, that life you live as a believer, your only audience is God Himself. So, it follows… that in that stand you take, all you need on your side is Jesus.
This is the Christian life: a living sacrifice, wherein you carry your cross and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, the author and perfector of our faith (Heb 12:2) because Jesus is worthy (Rev 7:9-12), and the payoff is not where moth and vermin can destroy (Mat 6:19-21), nor is the happiness like that which defines self-indulgences, that suffer ludicrous aftermaths like: laughing till you cry, or like hangovers that follow stints of debauchery, or like any other justified withdrawal symptoms that come from living a satanically inspired lie, that says we are gods to ourselves, from the fall (Gen 3:4-5); and contrary to this spiritual crap of the world, the Christian life aka a religiosity based on truth… sees the light of day, not in the mire of this sick world but forever with the Lord, where real happiness has no assuaging factor.
For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Romans 8:18-20, 31
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him.
The above-mentioned verses sum up the Christian life in this world because in Christ we are not encouraged to allow the pursuits of this world to take over our lives (Psa 14:1) at cost of losing our souls (Mat 16:26). So, unlike the world who are held in the sway of the evil one (1Jn 5:19), our sight is fixed on that heavenly prize (Psalm 37:4/Phil 3:14) because that is where our happiness is without any wicked mitigating factor, and the glory all belongs to the One true Triune God Almighty alone, and we are so fortunate to taste that the Lord is good (Psa 34:8/Jn 10:14-15), and know Jesus Christ (aka God-the-Son Almighty in the flesh) as both our Lord and our Saviour (Psa 98:1Rev 5:5), having being counted not only among the called (Palm Sunday crowd) but also among His chosen (Mat 22:1-14/Lk 15:3-7/Jn 1:12-13 & 10:26).