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Friday, March 31, 2023

Lancaster County barn
This barn is near the Lancaster Junction rail trail, one of the closest trails to our home, where we often ride our bikes.

"Christ Has Triumphed!"

Message summary: "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9). "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).

This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, a day when we commemorate our Lord's Triumphal entry into Jerusalem. I have the opportunity to teach our Sunday School class, known as an Adult Bible Fellowship (ABF) in our church, and will be using selections from the Minor Prophets in relation to Christ's triumph. Certainly today's first text fits as it pictorially describes what we commemorate on Palm Sunday.

The name "Palm Sunday" comes from the palm branches that were laid before Him. His entry was indeed triumphant due to His forthcoming ultimate victory!

Now the iron bars are broken, Christ from death to life is born;
Glorious life, and life immortal, on this resurrection morn.
Christ has triumphed, and we conquer
By His mighty enterprise; we with Him to life eternal
By His resurrection rise.

Voddie Baucham
Today we seem to be in permanent campaign mode as a country and someone is always running for something. Years ago I attended a banquet where evangelist Voddie Baucham spoke. He made a brief allusion to the presidential campaign at the time with this simple reminder, "God is not running for God".

Isaiah 45:22Indeed He is not! Our God has spoken in finality, "I am God, and there is no other". Our proper response is to turn to Him and be saved. That's the timeless appeal from God Himself recorded in Isaiah some 2,700 years ago and applicable to the ends of the earth and to all generations. “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other" (Isaiah 45:22).

So many in the crowd on Palm Sunday had the mistaken notion about Christ being a political savior. In our own time many seem to be looking for a similar political savior. They express a practically worshipful attitude toward their favored candidate. But no politician can truly save us.

1 Corinthians 15:57Today let us focus on this simple straightforward truth: "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

We enjoy a song with a familiar tune but different words written to Beethoven's tune, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee", so the melody is familiar. This song, "Alleluia! Alleluia!" was written by Christopher Wordsworth and has a line that especially blesses me. "Christ has triumphed, and we conquer by His mighty enterprise."

Whenever we read of our Lord's suffering for our sin, we know the rest of the story - Christ has triumphed.  But try to imagine what it would be like if we did not know the outcome. Although Messianic prophecy and our Lord Himself had promised His resurrection and victory we know the despondency and deep despair that overcame His followers at the time of the crucifixion and before Christ's resurrection.

He spent His final hours with the disciples teaching, sharing His love and instituting the Lord's Supper. Later that evening Jesus prayed in the garden and then the definitive betrayal would follow. Knowing just this and the horrible events that follow is a heart-wrenching story where we would all cry out, "foul"! But we know the rest of Story - Christ has triumphed!

Romans 8:37He not only triumphed over the grave at His resurrection but the Holy Scriptures also promise His ultimate triumph and that we will conquer as well (see Romans 8:37 for one of many such promises). But today some of you are going through a deep, discouraging night season of life and may find yourselves in despair, similar to the disciples during the time of our Lord's suffering, prior to His resurrection. Like them you've heard the promises of triumph but that's sure not what you feeling right now nor are you seeing evidence pointing you in that direction.

Yet we indeed conquer by His mighty enterprise. In life there is an overarching story, a meta-narrative, which supersedes all the confusion in the world that we presently observe with our physical eyes and may very well be personally experiencing.

We conquer! "Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to heav'n and voices raise;
Sing to God a hymn of gladness, sing to God a hymn of praise.
He who on the cross as Savior, for the world's salvation bled,
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, now is risen from the dead.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen and Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, help me to trust You even when circumstances would lead me to feel that You are distant and unaware of my circumstances. When I am focused on the difficulties in life I can easily become overwhelmed, fearful and confused. But when I look to You, my victorious risen Savior, who endured affliction, rejection and times of testing by spending extensive time in passionate prayer, whether it was the 40 days in the wilderness when You stood strong against Satan's frequent temptations or when You prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, I am strengthened and encouraged by Your example. When You were overwhelmed with sorrow even to the point of death You fell with Your face to the ground and surrendered Your human will to the Father's plan which included unjust suffering and even death. And, whether we like it or not, Scripture tells us if we are to share in Your glory we must also share in Your suffering. Help me, Jesus, to watch and pray so that I will not fall into temptation during those experiences that involve suffering, but rather that my spirit and flesh will be strengthened so that I am strong in You, Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior and conquering King, for it is in Your name that I pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"King of Kings"   Click to listen on YouTube    Praise and Harmony Singers

Major Events of the Passion Week

The 4 gospels cover the life of Christ, a period of about 33 years. Most of this material deals with the 3˝ year period of His ministry. However an astounding 30 of the 89 accumulative chapters in the gospels deal with the period from Christ's triumphal entry through His resurrection and post-resurrection appearances. Mathematically this means that approximately 33% of the written material in the gospels deals with a mere .05% period of His life! In the providence of God we have a much greater proportion of material dealing with God's greatest act of mercy in providing our redemption.

Here's an interesting chart from
the Life Application Study Bible that may be helpful as you study the Bible during this time. It sure helps me to have a sense of when the events took place and is inspiring to read these Scriptures in the daily sequence leading up to Easter.


Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem: Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-40; John 12:12-19


Jesus Clears the Temple: Mt. 21:12,13; Mk. 11:15-17; Lk. 19:45,46


Jesus' authority challenged in the temple: Mt. 21:23-27; Mk. 11:27-33; Lk. 20:1-8
Jesus teaches stories and confronts the Jewish leaders: Mt. 21:28-23:36; Mk. 12:1-40; Lk. 20:9-47  
Greeks ask to see Jesus: Jn. 12:20-26
The Olivet Discourse: Mt. 24; Mk. 13; Lk. 21:5-38
Judas agrees to betray Jesus: Mt. 26:14-16; Mk. 14:10,11; Lk. 22:3-6


The Last Supper:  Mt. 26:26-29; Mk. 14:22-25; Lk. 22:14-20
Jesus speaks to the disciples in the upper room:  Jn 13-17
Jesus struggles in Garden of Gethsemane: Mt. 26:36-46; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1
Jesus is betrayed and arrested: Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 18:2-12


Jesus is tried by Jewish and Roman authorities and disowned by Peter: Mt 26:57-27:2, 11-31; Mk 14:53-15:20; Lk 22:54-23:25; Jn 18:13-19:16
Jesus is crucified and buried: Mt 27:31-56; Mk 15:20-41; Lk 23:26-49; Jn 19:17-30


The glorious resurrection: Mt. 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-11; Lk 24:1-12; Jn 20:1-18

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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