Thursday, April 14, 2011

Palm Sunday Memories...Old and New

I remember growing up as a child in the Catholic Church and attending Palm Sunday Mass with my family. I remember it as the LONGEST Mass we attended throughout the year. We would meet across the street in the Parish Hall, get our Palm branches and have the solemn blessing of the Palms. We would then participate in a processional to the Church singing "Who Is The King of Glory" (based on the music of a traditional Israeli Folk Song and words written by Willard F. Jabusch) waving our palms in the air.  Once inside the Church I remember that we would recite out the Passion.  I was always bothered when the congregation came to the part where they needed to shout "Crucify Him, Crucify Him".  It was cruel and as a child I'm not sure I really understood the gravity of the situation.  I didn't want to say those words, I didn't feel that in my heart.  I didn't want him to be crucified, I didn't want to be the one to call for it.  Now I know better.  I did call for it; we all did.  EVERY one of us!  Romans 3:23 tells us "For ALL have sinned and come short of the Glory of God".  The wages for these sins is death, a separation from GOD forever and ever.  We've been given a gift, though.  The gift of Everlasting life and that gift was given to us when Jesus was crucified, buried and rose again.  He was crucified for us, for OUR sins, not his.  I've always known this.  I knew he died for us, but it wasn't until recently that it really touched my heart and soul in a way that has been life-changing.  Due to our move from one state to another, we were in search of a Church home and we felt led to Merrimack Valley Baptist Church.  I can't explain it, but I know this is where we were meant to be, where GOD knew we needed to be.  I remember sitting in Church one Sunday morning when they were celebrating the Lord's Supper and listening to the Invitation, what Jesus had done for us and why.  We got down on our knees and we prayed....I sobbed.  There have been several times in my life when I've been reminded of the fact of my sinful nature and my need for Salvation, in something I've read, something I've listened to, or something I've watched.  I've been moved each one of those times but not like on this day.  I can't seem to get enough and I can feel changes being made in my life...in actions, in words, in thoughts.  This brings me to another Palm Sunday.  A time to remember, along with the entire Holy Week, ending with Easter Sunday, the Ressurection of our Lord, what Jesus has done for everyone; "For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only begotten son, that whomever believeth in HIM, shall not perish but have Everlasting Life" John 3:16.  I am overwhelmed that someone would die for MY benefit; could I do the same if put in that position?  All I know is that I am a sinner, I seek God's forgiveness for those sins and I WANT and NEED Jesus in my heart.  I believe He died for my sins.  This Palm Sunday I will be taking the next step by taking part in Believer's Baptism by Immersion.   I am going to be baptized as a symbol of my faith and my acceptance of Jesus as my Savior.   This step does not secure my Salvation, my faith in Jesus does that all by itself.  Salvation, yours and mine, is as simple as A-B-C

A) ADMIT YOU ARE A SINNER

B) BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS, ROSE FROM THE
DEAD AND THAT YOU TRUST HIM ALONE 100% FOR YOUR
SALVATION.

C) CONFESS YOUR BELIEF TO OTHERS.

I ask you, if you died today, could you say with a 100% certainty that you would enter Heaven?  I CAN!!!!

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