With tens of millions of Americans no longer able to attend church in person due to stay-at-home orders and the cancellation of services, Christians across the nation are turning to online technology to participate and worship from home.
To make these online church services more available to you, here are a few excerpts of three sermons preached on Palm Sunday, April 5.
- Harvest Church with Pastor Greg Laurie
Pastor Laurie preached in part out of Luke 18:9-14 which compares the repentance of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee went to the temple full of self-righteousness, thanking God that he was not like others who were adulterers, extortioners or tax collectors. “What a messed-up prayer that is,” Pastor Laurie commented. “I think in reality his prayers didn’t go any higher than the ceiling, because that was not a prayer to God, that was just a boast.”
“Meanwhile the sinner, who knew he was a sinner, simply said, ‘God be merciful to me, a sinner.’ He knew who he was, and Jesus said of these two men, you want to know who went down justified before God? Not the religious guy, but the sinful guy who knew he was a sinner,” Pastor Laurie proclaimed.
President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that he would be tuning into Pastor Greg Laurie’s sermon. “Palm Sunday is the beginning of a Holy Week for many people of faith and a great day to lift our voices in prayer,” Trump tweeted. “I will be tuning into Pastor Greg Laurie at Harvest Church in Riverside, California tomorrow at 11 a.m. Eastern.”
On Monday, Pastor Laurie announced via Twitter that a record 1.3 million people had tuned into his Palm Sunday sermon with 11,207 indicating a desires to have a personal relationship with Jesus. He credited the President’s tweet for causing the massive spike in viewership.
- New Life Church with Pastor Brady Boyd
Preaching out of the book of Joshua, Pastor Boyd related the hardship that the Jewish people faced in that book, with what many Americans are experiencing right now.
“Look at Joshua 3:4 which says, ‘You have never been this way before,’ I find that we’re living in uncertain times right now. We are in uncharted territories. We are in unfamiliar places. We’re in a season of time that seems unfamiliar. But when we find ourselves in unfamiliar places, we should look for God’s familiar presence,” Boyd preached.
“In fact, uncertain times are when we trust in a very certain God. Uncertain times are when we can depend on the unchanging, immutable nature of the resurrected Christ. This is when we can lean in and know that God is right here with us. God is for us. God has not left us or abandoned us.”
- The Village Church with Pastor Matt Chandler
Preaching on the Triumphal entry, which is fitting for Palm Sunday, Chandler asked, “This same crowd that right now is saying ‘Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’ will in four days scream out ‘crucify Him.’ So how can we move in a four-day period from ‘Hosanna save us,’ to ‘Crucify him?’”
“The answer is this,” Chandler said. “the crowd is looking for a messiah who would rescue them politically, that would save them from their lives’ circumstances. And Jesus was not that kind of messiah. He was coming to save them from their sins. He wanted to get under their felt needs and save the source,” he declared.
Chandler’s message was fitting for us in our time of crisis. Indeed, many people are asking, “Where is our savior? Who will save us from the coronavirus?”
But we as Christians must remember that even though we will suffer and experience trials in this life, Christ is most concerned about our salvation. He came to seek and to save the lost, as Scripture tells us. Our Messiah came to save us from ourselves, and to forgive us of our sin.
From the Christian perspective, our current pandemic looks a little less scary and we can be a little more hopeful.
You can follow this author on Twitter @MettlerZachary