Today I want to talk about the dichotomy of shouting praises and shouting crucify him at the same time.  Dichotomy means a contrast between two things that are opposed or entirely different. Today on the church calendar is Palm Sunday. These dates are symbols that are supposed to help us but year after year there is a perpetuation of the same thing over and over again, kind of like a merry-go- round. Christmas, Easter, Christmas, Easter and nothing ever changes as we are missing Pentecost. For the Jews who refuse to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, this week is Passover. This is a celebration of their freedom from Egypt. Sadly scripture tells us 2 Corinthians 3:14 “But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” To this day the Jews reject their Messiah and refuse to turn to the Lord yet Jesus is all through the bible from the Old to the New. Today Gentiles through false teaching also reject Jesus all through the bible. Together both have rejected the word of the Lord. Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
                So even though we have this calendar to remind us, many are forgetting. The Christian calendar continues with Good Friday and then Easter will be next Sunday. What I would like to do today is combine the celebration of voices on Palm Sunday with the roar of shouting on Good Friday. Since we do not have a service on Friday, I am going to combine these two days together. You may think you can’t do that. Paul you can’t shout praises to Jesus and at the same time shout crucify him, crucify him. How can we give praises and at the same time call for our Saviour’s murder? Actually we can, because it happens every day and every Sunday. Remember many of the same people standing along the way where shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven,” were also shouting crucify him. If you look at what happened after Jesus stirred up the city you will see just like at the beginning of his ministry, they were offended by the gospel. After being tempted by satan, Luke 4:14 “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. (Jesus, Jesus) 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.(Jesus, Jesus) 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.” He read it and said “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.(Jesus Jesus) And then it happened. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. Then they were offended by his teaching and 28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. (Kill Him, Kill Him) 29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.”
                If we keep going through Matthew, Matthew 21:11 “Jesus entered Jerusalem and he went to the temple 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.” The children were shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” The Pharisees were indignant. They became even more indignant when Jesus said woe to them you hypocrites. Jesus then says Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Remember Jesus had entered Jerusalem to the praises of  “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”  
                But Matthew 29:15 “now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?" 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream." 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas." 22 Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Let him be crucified!" 23 And he said, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!" 24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourselves." 25 And all the people answered, "His blood be on us and on our children!" 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.” Every time we teach or take part in a false gospel or are worried about offending the world by the gospel, we are shouting free Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Our disobedience before God is far greater than we know.
                So we have the crowds shouting Hosanna and Crucify Him. They also went so far as calling down curses upon themselves when they said, “His blood be on us and on our children, and so that came to be. Those same curses are us if we do not obey. I came across a song called “Crucify Him.” It is a very honest song about the condition of the church. The weird part of this song is at the end it only talks about forgiveness and not the wrath of God of which we see in the upcoming verse in Hebrews. Here are its lyrics.
    1.  “I sing, "Hosanna!" when I want it all. Then I crucify the Son of God. Cause He isn't who I always thought. Not what I want, but what I needed. I sing, "How great and mighty is the King!" Just as long as He considers me high above every other thing. Even His glory.
    2.  It's packaged differently than Pharisees. Wrapped in sing-a-longs and Christianese. Empty hallelujahs to the King. When my heart is loving idols. A man of sorrows acquainted with grief, He had no form; He had no majesty. How could He have the audacity to ask me to give Him my tomorrow?
    Chorus: Broken like a record. Spinning round and round like a hurricane. I pour out water then I disappear. Reappearing when I fear enough, or need a touch from You. I sing, "Hosanna!" once again Then I say, "Crucify Him!"
                So the church does this week after week, day after day. It almost has the sound of another dichotomy. Ezra 3:11 “And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.” So we see this contrast of two things happening at the same time. The bad news in this case is the elders knew they had lost everything because of their sin. Yes they rebuilt but at great cost. The young had no idea.
                We cannot accept this dichotomy nor does God by the way, when it comes to praises and contempt because it will bring with it judgment from God. Romans 2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Paul tells us, 2 Thessalonians 1:6 “God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”
                In todays church most are not even aware that their praises are mixed with their own personal condemnation and the condemnation of Jesus. This is the part the song I read left out.  Hebrews 10:26 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Those who shrink back will be destroyed.” We cannot be of this world and of God at the same time. James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
                Sunday after Sunday people praise and at the same time shout crucify him because they will not accept the whole counsel of his word. Many in the church are being deceived yet they think they are okay because they shout praises but with their lives they shout crucify him over and over again and they continue to trample the Son of God underfoot. False teachers have deceived them.  2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” They think they are at church praising but like Jesus said Mark 7:6 “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” Jesus also said in Revelations 3:5 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”
                I was thinking the other day after curiously watching a Christian concert on TV, what would happen if the music did fade? People were lined up outside and filled with anticipation. They fill the stadium early of course not late and they waited for the show to start. They have been promised a night of praise and worship. First of all many who are there worshipping are not following the word of God wholeheartedly but they have been taught God is love so all is well. They have been told the presence of God will be there tonight and they will feel his very presence. People will weep and stand with their hands in the air praising God. The lights dim, the fog machine slowly spews out its magic, the high tech light show starts and as soon as the first song starts everyone in the stadium are on their feet jumping up and down, but midway through the first song the lights in the stadium come on, the fog dissipates and the high- tech light show fades. The musicians’ back away and this strange person comes to the microphone. No skinny jeans with holes, no tattoos, no bun, just a man who really did not fit in this crowd but holding the word of God. The crowd is stunned. Did something break down? Is someone sick? But then this man says for the next four hours we are going to stand and worship our great king. We are going to stand and hear from the word of God. We are going to listen to the mighty word of God, not preaching just hear the word. There is silence. What no music? The concert will be the word of God. This will be strange to most as the word of God has been so watered down that even when it is preached or sung, it is not actually the word of God just men saying what they want to say. But tonight this is the word of God. Hear the word of the Lord.
                Nehemiah 8:1 “All the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. The people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.” 2 Kings 23:1 “Then the king (Josiah) called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.” Remember the when the king heard the word of the Lord he repented and tore his robes. Deuteronomy 31:12 “Assemble the people—men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns—so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
                The problem today is most do not and will not listen attentively to the word of God nor are they moved by it. There has to be light shows drama videos. Sermons can’t be too long or people loose interest. They can’t preach the truth and offend or else people will go to another church. They do not proclaim the word of the Lord and they continue to shout crucify him in doing so. As we approach Easter, we should celebrate yes but we should also be filled with sorrow and grief as we have not followed the word of the Lord and have gone our own ways. Yes God does love the world and sent His son which has already happened and the next time he comes, it will be too late. The church has rejected the truth therefore they trample the Son of God, His son over and over again. Those who have gone before us have not acted in accordance with the word of the Lord. They have set God’s word aside for their own ideas and visions. Does it work? Yes! But what will they do in the end? They do not fear the Lord and worship is closely associated with music only. For example the song “When the Music Fades” is just another song. It even says, “I'll bring You more than a song for a song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deeper within through the way things appear You're looking into my heart.” Well we ended up with just another song. Do you really think that reading the word of the Lord will impress those who attend? Now having said this I do believe in the power of the Holy Spirit that there could be fire in that stadium but as I said in most cases concerts simply end with an encore of another song.
                As we think about this day and reflect on the fulfilled promise to David (beautiful sunrise by the way) we know that God is with the remnant but we cannot take this lightly as we saw the remnant taken off to captivity. But we can hold on to this promise that God will keep his promise to David but we must do as David told Solomon and the officials.
    1 Chronicles 28:6 “He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time.’ 8 “So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the Lord, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the Lord your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever. 9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 10 Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.” Yet in all Solomon’s glory he shouted crucify him crucify by his actions and he lost his kingdom.
                So yes we can sing praises and there is nothing wrong with it. But if you are not living for God wholeheartedly and you refuse to repent of your wicked ways, turn from your sin and humble yourself, you are shouting crucify him at the same time as you are praising. In many cases people have no idea they are doing this. They do not know false teachers and preachers have deceived them. Laurie showed me a video clip yesterday of people being led astray by a false prophet and his wife, yet they praise God and shouted crucify Him Crucify Him at the same time. These people are everywhere as is their doctrines they teach. Doctrines of demons have infiltrated the church and are leading them astray because they refuse to accept the truth. So on this Palm Sunday there are millions who have been deceived yet they shout "Hosanna!" then shout, "Crucify Him!" This week on the calendar is referred to as Holy Week, The question I ask is it really that Holy. What will you be doing this week. Praising God, preparing to kill Him or shouting Crucify Him Crucify Him? Your heart is what God is looking at. Will you join the crowds or come out from among them. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
                Oddly enough the Christian calendar can serve to lead people away from the word of God. During this Holy Week there will be both shouts of praise and crucify Him. Every time we sing a song of praise and God looks at our hearts and we have not humbled ourselves, we shout crucify him. Today there were millions who have been deceived yet they think they are praising Jesus. There are those who follow false gospels who trample the Son of God over and over because they do not turn from their sin. I was thinking about the idolatry I saw while at seminary. Following a man whether by picture or statue as was the case; that is idolatry. I just saw that form the campus store you too can have your own 6” statue of John Wesley, 24.99 US and you can get a doll too. This is just one example of placing man on a pedestal. They have caused people to focus on man over Jesus by making idols. They have released Barabbas. This will bring on us the wrath of God. Matthew 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” 2 Peter 2:18 “For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”
                Ask yourself this morning; is Jesus your Messiah, your King, your Saviour? Does your life reflect that? Do you believe His word? Do you test the spirits? Have you actually checked to see if you are being deceived by false gospels? Have you listened to the Holy Spirits warnings? Jesus is our King. “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Continue to pray that the city will be stirred once again by the truth and power of Jesus Christ. When people ask the answer will be “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” When they wonder about you they will know the Holy Spirit was upon you. Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Don’t be afraid to stand and praise Jesus. Be afraid of joining the crowds who shout free Barabbas but Crucify Jesus.