Jesus entered Jerusalem and into the setup of the devil. Deception, ridicule, despising are there, but Christ endured seeing the joy to come, a joy set before Him, a joy of saving us from our sin. Love of God requires the Cross. Anticipation that we will receive something from God. (Psalm 95:2; John 14:13-14; Hebrews 12:12-13)
Speaker(s): Pastor Justin Schaller, Pastor Dennis White
6:30 PM on 4/5/2020
P. Schaller –
Wow! I enjoy that music and the team. Love you guys. I’m saying that on behalf of everyone out there. You are
feeling that I think, and we can say it. We have a special service night. P. Dennis White is
sharing, and P. Justin is sharing. Then we have a set up here right after and we have Zoe Turk
and Tommy and Zane and – I don’t know who is all in it. We’ll have a rap and you can ask your
questions on Facebook. You know we are in a different time now. I would never have imagined
where we are tonight. This is what I have learned in the faith. When you go through things,
don’t lose your faith. God is with you and God provides.
I want to believe that for our ministry. Even though we are about half of our budget on the offerings, thank you for donating and cash and checks by all means. This is a time to cultivate and have in your heart faith. It’s great when
doors are closed to believe and listen and believe God. When the Jews were in the wilderness
and they gathered manna, sometimes they had a little and it was enough. Another had a lot
and it was enough. Whatever we have, we want to give it to God in this hour in love and
support. I want to support my church and get behind it in my faith and really help. Thank you
for your giving and your love and faith.
We’ll see each other sometime soon I think. We have the drive-in service next Sunday at 11:00. Stay tune and it will be posted on our website.
P. Dennis White –
Good evening. There is an amen! My car keys are here. My faithful pastor is
here. The presence of God is here, amen! Let’s pray. I was thinking about joy today. A lot of
people are very serious right now for serious reasons. We should be serious about somethings. I
was also thinking about this: when there is fear, there is a lack of joy. That’s the first thing Satan
tries to do in believers life is he tries to instill fear in our life. We have a lack of joy and there is a
sense of missing the presence of God. Psalm 95:2 let us come before his presence. Stop right there.
Before when we went to church, we associated just getting our church clothes on and us
getting the kids ready and piling everyone into the car and the screaming and yelling just to get
to church on time.
We always say it will be worth it because we’ll be in the presence of God.
Now the tables have turned, and the presence of God can be defined differently in our
experience. I actually think that is such a great thing in our life for the presence of God to be
challenged in us. We have one idea about the presence of God, and we ride it and keep going
with it and we go with that mode or that thought process and yet the presence of God has left
that. He’s over here and we are completely unaware. Let us come before the presence of God.
We come with thanksgiving. Let us shout joyfully to him with psalms. There is a joy and a
thanksgiving in our life.
This is amazing because a lot of the psalms are complaints to God and
other times like this one a call to worship and obedience but most of the psalms were not
written in a great place of peace necessarily. I could question God’s authority in my life. Yet in
my life I am not experiencing him as my shepherd as the authority in my life. I cry out to God
and complain to him. This is saying we cry out to God and first come with thanksgiving and then
I am giving him joy. I love this idea of joy. It means in my life there is an anticipation I am going
to receive something from God. In the midst of this, we have this idea and think about it and oh
God I’m praying, and we pray, and we anticipate God is going to answer our prayer.
John 14 this is a famous verse. Vs. 13-14. In difficult times, you go to prayer and take a verse like John 14 and we begin to ask God for certain things. I want to ask you a question. Have we ever asked God for
his presence? What are we anticipating for God to give us? We are in this time where there are
many anticipations. You’re waiting for kids to go back to school or work to go on so you can get
a paycheck again. You’re waiting and waiting and waiting and in your waiting you are praying
for God to deliver you out of your felt needs and God is saying there is something more deeper
I can draw you into where you can anticipate the presence of God.
You can anticipate in the midst of your situation there can be joy. Here’s an amazing verse in Hebrews 12:12. I kind of mentioned this last night with a group of people. Strengthen the hands that hang down and
your feeble knees. These words means your shoulder and your elbow and wrist is all dislocated.
I can’t be used for anything. The feeble knees meaning you are paralytic. You can’t walk. Vs. 13.
Here is what the writer is trying to say. Make straight paths for your feet so that which is lame
may not be dislocated but rather be healed. God is saying I have given you something to
anticipate. Yes in our life there are bumps in the road.
People see the imperfection the fear or anxiety or mess up that I have as a believer. I am not perfect. I’m still human. I am not perfect. There are weak hands. My knees are feeble. My path is not straight. There is a problem in my
life. The writer of Hebrews is saying we should make these things straight because people can
be healed. Vs. 14. What am I anticipating? If I am anticipating one thing, that is going to
determine the direction I go in with God. If I am anticipating another thing, then I am going in
another direction with God. It doesn’t matter what I am anticipating.
There is a direction which God is going. I can anticipate this over here or I can anticipate this, and it can give me a sense of joy, but it can bring me down the wrong road not towards God because I am placing my hope in
the wrong place. Yet I have joy and I’m going down a path and it’s still crooked…God says there
is something more I want you to have in your life. I want to be in your life. God is saying I want
to be in your life. I want to bring you to a place where there is peace, maybe not on the outside
but on the inside. I myself become a testimony for God. I myself become a beacon of hope and
light in a dark situation.
I myself am changed by the presence of God. It’s so important I begin
to seek the presence of God and begin to anticipate his life inside of my life. If those are the
things I anticipate, that is the path I pursue. At the end of that path, what is there? There is
God. God is there. I can say as it says in Psalm 95:2, I can sing. I can have a song in my own mouth.
I can have a song of joy. There can be a skip to my step and a hope in my life. There is
something greater than me inside of my life because I serve a great God.
P. Justin Schaller –
Yes! There’s a response. Thank you! We are just saying how funny it is.
Normally this church is like ah! There’s one little clap. It’s like a bingo hall in here. We have life.
We have life. Hello everyone. Hopefully I look good on that HD screen. It’s scary being on that
big screen. It’s like John Madden. Remember John Madden the telecaster. As soon as 1080P
came out his career was over. People realized he was 130 years old! He didn’t look so good.
Thank you P. Dennis for that word. How is everyone doing in here all you nine people? How
many of you have felt guilty when you are in the store and you sneeze?
Anybody? No, P. Scibelli just lets it spray! I sneezed the other day and I thought someone was going to tackle me and arrest me for sneezing. My daughter is three and a half and we were in the grocery store right at the beginning of this pandemic, she sneezed. This woman in the aisle turned to her husband
and said, honey, move. Move! We got to get out of here! I said you can’t sneeze. She said okay
dad. She was holding it. It’s pollen. We were trying to explain it to people. It’s pollen. It’s not
the coronavirus. Hey, we’re here. We aren’t making fun of the coronavirus whatsoever. It’s
serious. And we know there’s many people out there.
In Federal Hill, we’ve been having a prayer time. We have doctors and nurses and we have people in our church that we are praying for that are in the front lines. We’re just believing that God is protecting them. We
believe that God has a plan during this time. We are just thankful that we have a summer
vacation. I’m out of work right now. This is what it was like when you’re 16. I’m on summer
vacation. I don’t know what to do with myself. No, actually the ministry has been great. I feel
like as a church in Federal Hill we’re connecting. We’re online. I’m sure plenty of you have been
on zoom. You don’t know how to mute Zoom.
I was on a meeting last night. There’s all these people. Everyone is trying to figure out how to mute the Zoom. It was great. Get serious! Sorry. We just lost so many viewers on YouTube. The numbers just dropped. I’m going to get to it. Let’s pray. Have you noticed that most of your life is internal? I feel that the more we become
followers of Christ, we realize that life is actually – someone said last night life is very simple.
It’s not so complicated. Life is made up of different things. It can be confusing but at the same
time, it’s very simple. Before we were believers in Christ, our life was determined by eternal
things. When we become believers in Christ, we realize much of our problems are not so much
external but internal. We realize when we are followers of Christ we have communion and this
relationship that we just heard.
P. Dennis said it so well. We are people looking for the presence of God and want to have communion with God internally. Have you ever noticed you can be in a beautiful place where you wore before and you have a different feeling of that place. You realize it’s not the place itself but the way you see it. Most of our life is based on
how we see the world and perceive it. I love in this time we have a period of time that God has
quieted down. Even the crust of the earth is taking a rest. The vibration of the earth is taking a
rest. We are not as busy. We have more time to sit with ourselves. Some people don’t like it.
they are bored or they don’t want to take the time to look at themselves.
But as believers in Christ we might actually enjoy this time. We have time to come before God and say Lord could
you speak to me. Would you share something with me? It’s one of the best things in life to be
able to do that, to have God speak to you. This morning in Federal Hill, I preached on the cross
of Christ This is something that I feel the Lord during this time of reading the gospels – I’ve been
reading the book of John. And coming to the place this is Palm Sunday and we are in
preparation for Easter in a week. To be reflecting and thinking upon this time what it means
that Christ was crucified. I want to share that with you tonight.
We really don’t know the love of Christ. We can talk about it and sing about it but unless we know about the cross, what the cross is, we don’t know what that love is. The more we see the cross, the more we meditate on
it, the more we understand it, the more the love of Christ is shed abroad in our hearts. You
don’t have the love of God unless you have the cross of Christ. I want to say to start off that
God in his plan and his wisdom allowed the devil to be in this world. Years ago, my father
explained it to me this way. God had a plan that he was going to have a battle with the devil.
The Lord said, okay, devil. You want to have a battle? I’ll put one hand behind my back, and I’ll
put myself in a weak position and I’ll take you on. The devil has been trying to usurp the
authority of God ever since. He came in the Garden and he usurped the Lord’s authority He
deceived Adam and Eve. Man fell into sin and the same evil and wickedness in the devil was
transferred to man. The devil has always been trying to destroy the creation of God, the work
of God. The devil has always been trying to get to a place where he’s able to stick his finger in
The devil is looking to humiliate God. He is always looking to belittle God. He will do
anything he can to take advantage and put himself in a position to inflict punishment
sadistically on God. He will use human beings. Human beings are so foolish to think that the
devil offers up a temptation, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. He
says to man indulge yourself in this thing called sin. Have as much of it as you want. Man will
face a day if he dies in his sin, he will come face to face with his God, the devil. The devil is full
of wrath and anger and he is sadistically trying to punish and destroy anything that God has
This battle is all throughout the Bible. When we get to the gospels we see that when
Christ was born that the devil is there, and he is trying to kill the children under the age of 2. He
is there and saying we have to get rid of the Messiah. We have to get rid of Christ. The
temptation of Christ when the devil comes face to face with Christ and he tries to tempt him so
he will fall. He tries to humiliate Christ by tempting him, but he fails. He uses Peter’s mouth to
try and get Christ not to go to the cross. I would say his number one tool we see it the gospels
were the religious leaders of the day.
The devil allowed them to have power because he is the God of this world and allowed them to have influence and fill their pocket with money and gain. But the devil used those Pharisees to try and destroy Christ. It’s fascinating to read the book of John and to see when Christ was doing something, forgiving the woman in John 8 or healing the
blind man in John 9, or raising Lazarus from the dead in John. 11. The Pharisees are always there and
trying to conspire to take Christ. Christ was protected by his Father and he would escape and go
on doing his work. On Palm Sunday, Jesus tells his disciples to go get the donkey, and he would
make his final entry into Jerusalem.
The disciples go and get the donkey. Jesus rides in. In the Jewish mind, if you would have a ruler or king enter into Jerusalem, he will come in on a horse, he would be coming in with authority. He would be coming in to take governance over the city. But we see Christ is not yet coming on a horse but coming on a donkey to fulfill Zechariah 9:9. He is coming in the city as a humble servant. In Philippians 2:5 making himself a humble servant and
becoming obedient even to the point of death. You have to think that the Pharisees at this time
they are realizing as the people are celebrating and rejoicing at the entry of Christ into the city
of Jerusalem, the Pharisees are there behind the scenes conspiring when are we going to take
him. The Passover was a business time.
It was a time people were coming to the temple. Jesus cleaned out the temple at the beginning of his ministry because of the money changers. The Pharisees are there thinking this is a big money making week. This is our Passover and we have this Jesus coming in to destroy our show. We need to take him. So Jesus is there in Jerusalem and he is going Monday, and Tuesday and Wednesday and the Pharisees are probably trying to
figure out where he is. Then here he is on Thursday with his disciples in the upper room and
they have the Last Supper. And there is Judas and there is the devil. The devil is thinking this is the moment I am close enough to lay my hands on Jesus.
The devil enters into Judas. Judas goes out. He tells the religious leaders where Jesus is. The military comes and takes Jesus and they bring him before the high priest Caiaphas. You have to think the Pharisees and the devil
are thinking this is the time we have been waiting for. We get to lay our hands on Christ. The
devil is thinking this is God’s son. This is God. I have been waiting to stick my finger in his face.
When we see the trial of Jesus, we have to understand that this whole thing was set up to be a
play of humiliation. This wasn’t just a judgment and a crucifixion. This was let’s play with the
victim to make him look as silly as he possible could look.
Jesus goes to Caiaphas and the religious leaders and they are sticking their finger in his face. Then they say, let’s send him to Herod. In Luke 23, Jesus is before Herod. Herod is there and Jesus is not opening his mouth to
fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah. He is just a lamb before them. They are taking full advantage to
mock him. It’s like a bully in school. We can feel that when we see a little kid and he’s getting
beaten up by the bully. He’s on the ground and they are kicking him and beating him. Not only
beating him but making fun of him.
We see as observers of that we can sense that is so bad. I want to go in and save that poor child. Vs. 11. Luke 23:11 You can see Herod in his pride and his arrogance. You can see the devil in his pride and arrogance and saying I have been waiting for this moment. Let’s dress him up like a king because he says he’s a king. So they put a gorgeous robe and they sent him again to Pilate. There Jesus is with this robe and scepter as he’s walking
to Pilate. All the people are looking on and mocking. They are saying, this is the king of the
Jews. Look how silly he is.
The devil is behind the scenes and his spirit is there with his demons,
like in the Psalms where David said and it’s a depiction of the cross that the bulls of Bashan are
there, and they are vicious and mocking and blaspheming. He goes to Pilate and Pilate says he
finds no fault in him. Pilate says I’ll give you are choice. There’s Barabbas and there is Christ, an
innocent man. He hasn’t done anything. Same people that were rejoicing and praising Jesus
entrance into Jerusalem now are yelling for the murder and crucifixion of Jesus. The innocent
for the guilty.
The guilty goes free and the innocent heads to the cross. He is there and he
receives the scourging. He receives 39 stripes on his back. This whip is made of bone and metal.
It was designed so Jesus would put his arms up on a wooden beam and the whip would go
across his back. The first few stripes would go across his back and it would break the skin. Then
it would go into the fat. Then it would break the blood vessels. Then it would go into the tissues
and then into the tendons and muscle down to the bone. The idea of the scourging you wanted
to weaken the person almost to the point of death.
The amount of blood loss that Jesus would have from that beating 39 stripes that went into his back. They took a crown of thorns, not like rose bush thorns. They were an inch and a half to two inches long. They put it on his scalp. The thorns penetrated the scalp. They would go into the head. We have a large amount of blood in
our head. He had loss of blood in the back and the head. They beat him and they mocked him,
and they said, you are the king of the Jews. The Pharisees said this, he says he saves people, but
he can’t save himself. The pride and the arrogance of man.
He puts his arms out and they tie his arms to a beam that weights over a hundred pounds. He marches to the cross. He falls. No hands to break your fall. You fall face first. There he is and he can’t get up. But there’s not the
people, the leaders, the Roman soldiers. It’s not just physical pain but the identity. It’s taking the Holy One, the king and mocking him and being sarcastic. And dishonoring and disrespecting.
If we could say it’s the apex of sin. It’s the pinnacle of what sin is. It’s taking the one who has
created all things. It’s taking the one who was the lover of Adam and Eve and breathed life into
them, giving them food, giving them the sun and the sky and the stars.
Giving them joy. Giving them love. The devil is there corrupting, destroying and using these people. In Ephesians 2 that you are the children of disobedience and I am going to use your finger to stick it into the face of
God. Mock him. Disrespect him. Shame him and do it sarcastically with as much dishonor as you
possible can. Jesus is walking. He is helped to get up. He comes to the cross. The nails go
through the wrists between the two bones into the nerve that runs up your arm and he’s lifted
up. As he is lifted up, the way that the cross worked was the cross was the way to say to the
public, that anyone who hangs on a cross is cursed.
They are the dregs of society and we are going to make a point that they don’t belong in society. They are not even like human beings. They are filthy. They are guilty. They are shameful. When you walk by you speak blasphemy and
curses to whoever hangs on that tree. Jesus was there. You would breath in, drop down to put
pressure on your feet and you would wait and hold your breath in excruciating pain as pain ran
down your head, your shoulder down into your spine, your legs and you would get to the point
you could no longer hold your breath. It would be built up into the lungs that you had to lift up
from the wrists to expand your lungs, to breathe back in and exhale and breath back in and
drop back down.
Most victims were on the cross three, four hours to three or four days. They
would be there horrifically dying a slow death. The death was not executed but by themselves.
They were the ones that would decide to execute themselves by just saying I have no more
strength and I will sink down and suffocate. As Jesus is there and hanging on the cross, he says
seven things. The first thing he says in vs. 34 is Father, forgive them. For they know not what
they do. In this time if we could say there was any time that the wrath of God should be poured
out on the people who are there sticking their hand in the face of God at this moment.
These people have zero mercy, zero compassion, none whatsoever. They are speaking blasphemy to
the innocent one. He who know no sin became sin for us. If there is any a time that God should
send fire down from heaven and consume them, it’s at this moment. The people that showed
no mercy received mercy. The wrath of God was poured out on his Son. Isaiah 53 it pleased the Lord
to bruise his Son. Jesus in his compassion and love and grace he says there are four different
people in this group. There’s the leaders. There’s the peoples. There’s the soldiers. There’s the
thieves. Even it says that the thieves were mocking Christ.
We see in Matthew’s account; the thieves were there both mocking Christ. We know one turned to Christ. The leaders are saying to the people, blaspheme him. The people are blaspheming him. The soldiers are there, and
they are saying if you are the Christ, save yourself and come off from that cross. He hasn’t
saved anyone. He can’t even save himself. Jesus’ plan and in the Father’s plan and Jesus’
wisdom he says Father forgiven them. In this crowd are my sheep. In John. 10, he said a good
shepherd lays his life down for the sheep. Here he is laying his life down. In Acts 2 when the day
of Pentecost came, the Holy Spirit came on Peter. Peter preached a sermon. There were people
in the crowd, 3,000 no doubt there at the cross of Christ blaspheming Christ that turned to
Jesus. The same ones that blasphemed Christ a few days later receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 6:7,
the leaders the Pharisees the religious ones of the day they received the Gospel and become
saved. We see at the cross in Luke 23:47 there was a centurion. The one who inflicted
punishment and pain on Christ is the one who received forgiveness. When they were there and
deserved the wrath of God, God showed mercy to them and poured out wrath on his Son. Jesus
is saying, Father forgive them. These are my sheep. These are my sheep. We know the thief is
there on the cross. Vs. 41-43. We have this whole deception, this ridicule, this mockery, this
shaming, this humiliation by the people.
There is Jesus in his love and grace and mercy saying you guys are sticking your finger in my face. You are blaspheming me and cursing me, you’re punching me and spitting at me. You’re laying these stripes on me and hanging me on the cross and I am doing this all for you. He could have easily came down from the cross and smitten
them with one word. He showed so much kindness and love to those ones that did that to them
because they were his sheep of his pasture. The joy set before him he endured the cross, the
author of Hebrews said. To think that Jesus was there hanging on the cross and the demons are
there. It got dark for three hours. It was a supernatural darkness.
He is sitting in the darkness alone. He is thinking of the one that just blasphemed him. He is thinking of the one that just inflicted punishment on him. He is saying this is the joy. That man that spit on me is my joy.
That is my joy. As I said at the beginning, this thing is a contest between God and the devil. The
devil said I am. I’m going to ascend about god. God said okay, there is one characteristic you
will never show man. There are multiple but this one I’m going to show man and that is what
grace is. Devil you have no grace, no mercy, no love. You have empty promises. You are full of
yourself. I am going to show the world who the true God is, the true God is one who lays his life
The true God is one who gives grace to those that don’t deserve it. The true God
is going to show mercy and take the punishment for their sin so his name will be glorified. His
name will be glorified about ever other name. Because of the mercy and grace and loving-
kindness he poured out on us at the cross. When Jesus was resurrected he came and showed
himself to his disciples. They knew it was Jesus because Jesus showed them his nailed pierced
wrist and feet. For all of eternity, we are going to say there is no God like you. All the
mythological gods, all the false gods, all the gods int his world none of them would lay their life
down for corruptible people.
We will be glorifying God for the grace he has bestowed on us simply because of his lovingkindness. The cross is the epicenter of his love being poured out on you and me. I am the person in the crowd. I am the thief. I am the ruler. I am the soldier. I am the one wagging my head and sticking my face in God’s face and waving my finger and saying if you were a good God. He goes, Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are saying.
They don’t realize they are waving their finger in the prince of heaven’s face, spitting at him
They don’t know that their blasphemy is going into your face as well.
Lord forgive them. Let my sacrifice be acceptable so my blood will cover them, so that when they stand before you, you won’t hold them accountable for sticking their finger in my face. And it pleased the Father and
he said yes, I agree. Son, you can be that sacrifice for them because you love them so much, but
you need to lay your life down for them. Jesus said, it is my joy because I want to manifest your
glory and grace in all of the universe, and we’ll do it through the cross. We are people that are
saying all of us are filled with ourselves and sin. God bestowed his grace on us simply because of his lovingkindness.
We are people that are saying the days are short in Proverbs 1. Wisdom is
calling out into the streets and saying to people, you are wasting your time. You are wasting
your life. You are living life for a false god for fleeting pleasures and fleeting sins. It’s all going
to be over. Don’t follow the god of this world. The true God and the living God came, and he
called us to proclaim this message that he loves you, that he is kind. He showed his grace and
his mercy by pouring it out on the cross. He paid the ultimate penalty so your sins can be
forgiven and covered, and you won’t be held accountable for your sins.
There’s no other name under heaven that a man shall be saved but by the name of Jesus. I just believe in these days this is an opportunity for us. People are going this will be all over and we’ll go back to normal
life. Let me tell you one thing: there are 7 billion people on the planet, and I’ll put a bet on the
fact that 100% of them will face God one day, 100%. Yeah, we’ll go back, and we’ll go to our job
and the grocery store and vacation and a decade will pass, and a decade will pass, and a decade
will pass. But if you never received Jesus Christ into your life, you are held accountable for your
sin. But Jesus came and look at the cross in these days.
This is the time to look at the cross and say it happened. It’s an historical fact and it happened. We could give you different arguments but there is really only one argument. It’s all right here in the Scripture that he is risen from the
dead. He is ascended into heaven, and he’s commissioned us to preach this message that we
are saying tonight. Receive him. Ask him into your life and be saved. You do not want to stand
before a righteous God who will hold you accountable for what you have done. Receive him.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.