There were no little kids with palm fronds – wearing bathrobes and cotton-ball beards stuck to their chins – when the Carpenter from Nazareth rode that donkey into the Eastern Gate of the city, the first day of Passover Week in the 1st Century.
The crowds were going crazy – fulfilling prophecy without knowing it – but their jubilation was fueled by their own speculation about what was happening. For generations, the Jews had been an occupied people, and oppression had haunted them through multiplied lifetimes as they waited for God’s promised Messiah to come on the scene.
Their cheers for Jesus on that Sunday were voicing their zeal for a political savior; within days, His public image would sink as one of His own insiders would sell Him out to the temple leaders and a mock trial would allow the Roman governor to destroy another threat to Caesar’s control.
He had come to overthrow the usurper, but it wasn’t Augustus who was in His crosshairs. The Enemy at war with God was Lucifer, and his long-running rebellion against his Almighty Creator would receive its fatal blow just one week later. The best news the planet ever heard was first announced in a graveyard just outside Jerusalem…
What was Jesus’ Calling? No true believer would fail that pop-quiz: “…the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10). His mission plan was full of details and particulars – including His half-a-lifetime career in Nazareth, in the family business – but the bottom line of His mission was captured in that self-descriptor at Zacchaeus’ house in Jericho: seek and save the lost.
This will be a big week for our church traditions. Palm Sunday; Maundy Thursday; Good Friday; Easter: that’s a historic line-up of awesome remembrances without equal. For too many people, those dates are old-news, but for the dialed-in followers of Jesus, those were foundational elements that frame the basis for their own lifetime Calling, in service to His Cause.
The movement launched by Jesus is important every day of the year, not just Easter. In the same manner that human events – private and public – converged with meaning and purpose for Him, the actions and influences of the men and women left by Him to continue His mission will be remembered and valued 2000 years from now.
A group of men in San Luis Obispo, California – a cohort of 18 men, brought together by The Master’s Program – were impacted a couple of years ago by the strategic importance of expanding the reception of the Easter/Gospel message to a people group who – after 20 Centuries – had no knowledge of Jesus. They joined forces to launch an initiative way outside their normal horizons… and the results have been astounding. Click here to get an insider view of what they’re doing, and the new enterprise they’ve launched – Engaging Nations – that is now one of our TMP family of ministries.
It’s not a new concept – you know it as the Great Commission – but that challenge, issued by Jesus Himself, has become the top-priority for hundreds of leaders through TMP. Men and women, with backgrounds in marketplace and ministry, joining forces to accelerate its completion.
It’s great to celebrate the Jesus holidays that are calendared for this week, but are you current on the progress of what He left us to do?
Click here for a short whiteboard video: it’s the post-Easter State of the World 2018, using Heaven’s metrics. In five minutes, you’ll see what’s happened over 2000 years, and the situational report on the movement Jesus came to launch. He’s handed the leadership to us – that’s right, to you and to me! – and it’s the most astounding delegation of responsibility we’ll ever receive.
Take a few minutes this Easter week to sneak a peek at what my friends in California’s Central Coast are doing; take a few minutes to see what we – Christians in 2018 – have left do to.
Jesus came out of that tomb… and handed us the baton. That’s Easter… today!