Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Mike Novotny » Mike Novotny - Jesus' Victory = My Victory

Mike Novotny - Jesus' Victory = My Victory

Mike Novotny - Jesus' Victory = My Victory
TOPICS: Don't Miss Moments, Victory

When my wife, Kim, and I were raising our two daughters, when they were really little, there were three songs that we used to sing to them, day after day, after day, after day, and week, after week, after week, after week because we really wanted them to be strong in their Christian faith and to embrace our Christian values. If you are a Christian parent you might already know what these three songs are. Number three on our list of most sung songs in our home was, "I am Jesus' Little Lamb". Alright, we teach our kids, you know, might feel weak and vulnerable, like a little lamb, but Jesus is a good shepherd and if you have him you lack nothing. You're going to be okay, no one can snatch you out of his hand. Number two on the list of songs we sung to our daughters the most was, "Jesus Loves Me This I Know, For The Bible Tells Me So".

In life you might doubt God's love, you might wonder if you've messed up too bad, if you've sinned too much, but here's what you know, no matter what you're feeling, because the bible says so, that God is love and that Jesus loves you. But the number one song on our list that we sung to our girls more than any other, and you probably already know what it is, was that hit by the Rolling Stones, "You Can't What You Want". This is true, I'm not even playing. Our daughters know the text and tune of that song even better that Jesus loves me. For copyright reasons, I can't sing it to you today, but you can probably guess what it's about, the Rolling Stones say, it doesn't matter what you want, you can't always get what you want. Because I don't know about your kids, parents, but my kids, I mean they're great, but the were little want addicts.

Like when they would not get what they want they would have withdrawal symptoms, they were so moody, they were so aggressive, they would literally say that they hated their mother, the mother who birth them, fed them, and raised them, when she did not give them what they wanted. And so, we would sing you can't always get what you want. You can't always get what you want, you can't always get what you want. We would just sing the very first note and our kids would go... In fact, I love this, to this day if you make the mistake of saying, I need something in front of my daughters, they might perk up and say, "Do you need it? Or do you just want it"? Yeah, as parents we know how important it was to differentiate between something you might want and something that you actually need. That's actually hugely important in any relationship, isn't it?

If you're dating someone, like how you want things to go, what want to do over the weekend, what you might want, that's fine. But if you don't know the difference between what you want and what you actually need out of a relationship, it's going to be ugly. Today, I want to try to impress on you hearts the spiritual importance of differentiating between wants from God, and what you need from God, because today we're celebrating Palm Sunday. As you've probably picked up from the palm branches all around. And Palm Sunday is like proof positive number one, that if people get this wrong, if they think all these things that they want are what they truly need, they can turn on God lightning fast.

Some of you bible scholars kind of know the story, Sunday, Palm Sunday, people are putting their palms up and laying their palm branches down. They love Jesus, they're praising Jesus, they worship Jesus. And it didn't take them five years to turn on Jesus, it took them five days. When these massive crowds that were singing praises to his name, turn on him and raised up their fist and cried for his cross, do you know why that happened? It's because Jesus was the kind of king that they needed, not the kind of king that they wanted. So, I want to open my bible today to Luke 19, if you following along at home and you have a bible, open it up to verse 28. Because we're going to read one of the four accounts from Doctor Luke here of Palm Sunday, and meet the kind of king that we desperately need.

Verse 28 says this, "After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 'Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' say, 'The Lord needs it.' Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as Jesus had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, 'Why are you untying that colt?' They replied, 'The Lord needs it.'"

So, what do we learn about Jesus from those verse, what kind of king is he? Now, if you're taking notes, write this down. We learn from these verses that Jesus is an all knowing king. Jesus is the kind of king who knows all of it. In fact, when I look at the details of this text, it's almost humorous, isn't it? "Hey, guys, yeah, I want you to go to that village, way up there. Right when you walk into the village you're going to see this little donkey, and do you know how many miles are on that donkey? Zero, fresh off of donkey factory floor, no one's ever ridden it before. And so, you're going to untie it and then someone is going to come out of the house and say, 'Hey why are you untying the colt?' And then here is what you're going to say back, and they are going to say cool, and then bring me the donkey".

I wish there was like YouTube video footage of these guys, just wide eyed walking into the village, "There's the donkey. It doesn't have a saddle on it". And then the dudes come out, "We knew you were going to come out, like wait, wait, wait let us say it before they say it". Like, every line, every detail, I mean, not just the fact that the donkey was there, but no one has ever ridden it. Jesus knows everything, he knows the desires of our hearts, he knows the thoughts of our mind, he knows the GPS location of random donkeys in tiny villages that maybe you have never heard of. Jesus is a king that knows it all. And not just that, keep reading with me verse 35, "They brought it to Jesus," the colt, "threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road".

So, what do we learn about Jesus from these verses, here's my second thing I want to tell you, that Jesus is an all worthy king. They take their cloaks, they throw them over this dirty donkey, they take off, maybe, the only cloak they had with them, maybe the only cloak they own, they laid it on the ground so Jesus could get the red carpet treatment, as he rides into Jerusalem as a king. You ever think about why they did that? So, you and I are used to clean sidewalks, pavement, nice interstates, but 2,000 years ago, especially on the hills of Jerusalem, there were no, like, major Roman roads there was just dirt and dust, next to dirt, and next to dust.

So, when this massive crowd comes walking into Jerusalem with Jesus what do you think the air would have been like? Just massive cloud, and these people think, wait if Jesus is actually the king, "If he is the chosen one of God, if he is the Messiah, we don't want him covered in dirt and filth and grit and grime". And so, they were willing to take off their own cloaks to be trampled on by sandals and animals, just so, Jesus would stay clean. Just an amazingly humble way of saying, "I'm willing to get dirty, because Jesus is worthy". And think of this, Jesus is riding a donkey. Who here has ever been to a parade before? You know where I'm going with this? I mean, maybe it's my only cloak that I own, back in the day people didn't have extra walk-in closets. So, this is my only cloak and I'm laying it down and I'm watching that donkey, praying, "Please, please".

So, these people are taking a huge chance, because they believe that Jesus is a huge deal. He's the king from heaven. "Whatever it cost me, however difficult or dingy dirty life has to be he's worth it, and he's worthy". Now, Luke doesn't include this detail, but Matthew, and Mark, and John do, that the people didn't just put down their cloaks, they put down these, palm branches. Dates palm trees grew all over in the ancient middle east and so, you'll find in ancient arts and in ancient coins that people started taking the palm branch as a symbol of victory. So, we see palm trees and we think, "Oh, California, it's warm, that looks nice". No, in the ancient world, people would have seen this, and they would have thought, "Victory".

For example, when athletes would win a race, they often take these leaves, and they turn them into a crown. You've one the victory. You can find coins from ancient kings. They are sitting on their thrones, victorious and strong, scepter in hand, with palm branches overhead. So, with the cloaks on the ground, with the palm branches laid out, they were trying to say, "Jesus is our victorious king, he's worthy of what we have to offer him, he's not just all knowing, he's all worthy". And one last thing Luke wants to tell us, jump back to verse 37. Says, "When Jesus came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen, 'Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.' 'Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.'"

They began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles. The Greek word for miracles literally is, powerful things. Jesus didn't just know a bunch of stuff, he could do a bunch of stuff. That one time, some of these disciples saw he took bread and fed thousands of people. That one time that widow's son was tragically dead, and Jesus brought him back. He made the blind see, he drove out evil spirits with the word. It wasn't just, Jesus would win, you know, 1st century jeopardy, it's he could do anything that you wanted. So, write this down, Jesus is not just an all knowing, and an all worthy, he's finally, an all powerful king.

Now, you put that all together and the average Jewish person in that crowd thought, "Perfect. Jesus is the perfect king. If Jesus is our king, then Caesar doesn't stand a chance, does he? If Jesus comes riding into town to lead us in a military fight and he knows everything, he's going to know every single thought that runs through every single Roman general's head. How could they defeat us? And if Jesus is all powerful, then he could take the jawbone of his donkey and go like Samson 2.0 and take on the Roman legions. He can drive out legions of demons with the word and he can take on Roman legions in the same way. In fact, the Romans could kill us, Jesus will bring us back. The Romans could try to besiege us and starve us, Jesus will just make more bread, he's the perfect king to take care of Caesar and his oppressive taxes. Like, he could walk over the Romans like they were a bunch of old cloaks, and we could have a palm every day parade, he is the perfect king".

But you know what happened next? Jesus rode into Jerusalem, right there next to the temple was the Roman fortress called, Antonia, where all the soldiers were and Jesus for that whole week, he didn't kill a single Roman. Not one. In fact, the bible says, when Jesus road into Jerusalem he didn't even stop by the Roman fortress at all, instead he went right into the Jewish temple and flipped over tables and said, "You hypocrites". And then that Tuesday, someone said, "Hey, Jesus, should we, should we pay taxes to Caesar"? Remember what he said? "Give to Caesar what's Caesar's". Pay taxes, what?

In fact, Jesus spent all week barely saying a word about the Romans and their taxes and saying countless words about people and their own heart. He refused to spend his time worrying about the problem out there, as real as they might have been and instead he focused all of his attention on the problem in here, in the hearts of religious people. And so, what happened? Write this down, it's the big idea that we get from holy week that Jesus isn't the king that we want, Jesus instead is the king that we need. Friends, I want to tell you today that Jesus has not changed, he listens every time you cry out to him in prayer about the things that you want, but what he is most concerned about is not those people out there, he's concerned about this thing in here.

A few years after Kim and I got married, just after we had those two little girls, we realized that we needed some help, some counseling, my wife gave me permission to tell you this story. We were about seven years into our marriage, we had two kids in diapers and we were struggling, just having the same arguments every couple of months, and as I look back on that season of our marriage, I really, I blame the children. I do, it was your fault. Kim and I used to have all this time and energy for each other, and you parents know, then you have kids, and they need 200% of you, and so, we had to navigate expectations and realize what we could do, and how things have changed, and we had to work that out.

So, we went to this counselor and honestly all I wanted the counselor to say was three words, "Kim, he's right". I mean, for $100 an hour, you would think, just three words is all I wanted, but can you guess what happened? That counselor did not tell me what I wanted, instead she told me what I needed. She said, "If you want to make your marriage better stop thinking about her and start thinking about you". Smart woman. And Jesus is a smart king. One of the dysfunctional problems of the human heart is that we always want to look out there, what's the problem with the world? What's the problem with America? What's the problem with the place that you work or the school that you attend? I bet, instinctually, you don't say, me. No one said it's the Romans, right, or the republicans or the politicians or the unions, it's old rich white men, or young inner city black ones. It's that coworker that you work with, the boss who is unbelievable, all the employees these days, the COVID culture.

We can pick a thousand different things because we hate, we hate, we hate to look in the mirror and say, maybe the problem is me. And like my little kids, we throw this tantrum like Adam and Eve, we point fingers. But Jesus loves us so much, sometimes he refuses to say, "You know, you're right". Instead he looks you square in the eye, and he says, "What about you"? You see, what you and I need is not someone to fix the government or the next generation, what you and I need is for someone to forgive what's in here. What you and I need is someone who knows, like the heart of the problem, is the problem with heart. And we need someone who has so much power he can't just give us good advice on how we can fix it, but he can actually deal with it himself. Who in the world is possibly power enough to go toe to toe with the weight of your sin and win? There's only one answer, Jesus.

Jesus Christ rolled into Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, exactly as the king that we needed. He was so smart, he knew all things, he realized the problem wasn't the Roman soldiers or Caesar's taxes. The problem was the sinfulness of our own heart. He knew it. He knew that what you most need is not a cure for cancer, it is holiness given to human heart. And Jesus is all powerful. That means that on that Friday when he hung on the cross, he had power through his sacred, holy blood to cleanse you of every sin that you ever committed. Only one person can fight the Devil and win, and his name is Jesus. Only one person can take the full weight of your past and erase it and his name is Jesus. Only one person can actually make you good with God right now, as a totally free gift and his name is Jesus.

You know why Jesus rode of the back of a donkey that never had a person on the back of it? Because he didn't come to fight, he wasn't jumping on a white steed that was trained for war, he was jumping on top of a virgin donkey who had no clue what it was doing. Because he didn't come to fight he came to die. To die for you, to die for me, to make everything right with God, so that at the end of the day, we would believe that Jesus is worthy, he's so worthy. Whether you're dying of cancer, or you've never had a cancerous cell, he's worthy. Whether the anxiety lessens, diminishes, goes away or it stays at level ten for the rest of your life, he's worthy. Whether you find that person that you would love to settle down with and start a family with or not, he's worthy.

If the world falls apart, if you sit at the lunch table by yourself at school, if you never get past the hurt of your past, he's always worthy because Jesus Christ has given us exactly what we need. He's given us God, he's given us forever, he's given us heaven. You know, friends one day, you're going get exactly what you want. Jesus is going to come back, and the bible says, he's going to be riding a white horse and he's going to go to war. He's going to fight against pain, he's going to fight against mental illness, he's going to fight against brokenness, he is going to heal your wounds. Everything you pray for, everything you want it's coming, but for now, even if you don't get what you want you have exactly what you need.

In Zechariah 9, we read these word, "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". So, I want us to do that today. Let us shout to our father, he's in heaven. Let us not just rejoice the prophesy says, but rejoice greatly because our king, his name is Jesus, he came to us righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey so that we could be delivered from sin, and get what we truly need. I'm going to ask you to lift up your voices and sing with everything you've got. This next hymn, "All Creatures of our God and king"

Oh the prophesy wasn't done. After Zechariah promised a king that would come lowly and victorious, he spoke these words about you, "The LORD their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and how beautiful they will be"! I want you to grab your palm branch. I want to stick it up as high as you can in the air. Then I'm going to push you, I want you to take this other palm and put this one up in praise, and we're going to keep our hands up, our palms up because Jesus is our victorious king. Rejoice greatly with everything you have, as we close our eyes and we think about the Jesus who gave us exactly what we need, a life forever with the God of love.

Now, put your palms together for the great name of Jesus, our king. Amen. Please join me as we pray:

Dear Jesus, we thank you so much for your victory over sin, death and the Devil. May we never be distracted to prioritize lesser things, but instead, see in you everything that we need, until that day that we can say, and we can sing with that great king and shepherd, David, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. What more could I want than you, God, and through the blood of you Son I have you and we do too. So, today during this holy week, let us celebrate you, let is lift up our palms in praise and our palm branches in victory, as we thing about Jesus, and all that he came to give up. We pray all these things with confidence, joy and faith, because we pray them in Jesus' name. And all God's people say, amen.

Are you Human?:*