Many families in the South and West areas of Nigeria were filled with joy as they joined brethren from other English speaking countries within the South Germany District church to witness the Palm Sunday service conducted by Apostle Bauer on the 5th of April 2020 on Youtube.
The divine service was based on the gospel according to Luke 19: 41-42, ‘Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’
A special bible reading for the occasion was taken from Mark 11:1-11. It was read by Bishop Vester.
Noting the phenomenon of the Corona virus spreading across the globe, the Apostle remarked about the necessary changes and current approach to divine services. Hence, the technologically-driven experience of divine service with the absence of celebrating Holy Communion.
Accordingly, he encouraged members with the words our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘I am with you, even till the end of time’ and urged all to remain calm and resolute in faith. He further reminded the online congregation of the Lord’s assurance of salvation as we continue in Jesus’ ways.
Apostle Bauer, in explaining the text word, stated that Jesus Christ was not happy at the reception given Him upon entering Jerusalem because He knew the people jubilated for different reasons, very much in contrast to His purpose and will of God. “Where wrong expectations exist, there’s always a disappointment”, stressed Apostle Bauer.
Liberation from eternal damnation. Jesus’ purpose was to free man from the bondage of sin and death, offering grace and salvation in eternity. However, the people expected Jesus Christ to liberate them from the earthly rule of the Romans. Our expectation should be our eternal life.
Miracle of His death and resurrection. Jesus came to earth to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the remission of our sins, and reconcile us to God, offering grace to all. He knew He will die and be resurrected on the 3rd day. Unfortunately, the people expected Him to perform miracles to better their physical lives. We must expect that the miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection grants salvation to the humble and repentant hearts, and not based on our works.
Establish the Kingdom of God. Our Lord Jesus’ focus was to establish the eternal Kingdom of God. He preached, taught and worked for the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Sadly, the people thought He was going to re-establish their status as a ruling people as it was in days of King David. We must expect Jesus to deliver us from the evil one, not punish our enemies.
In conclusion Apostle Bauer said: “Jesus wept because of His unbounded love for the people of Jerusalem, and by extension us. Let us appreciate His love for us by loving Him, His work and our neighbour. This we do by obeying Him and helping our neighbour to attain salvation through our actions and words. We must follow these things that contribute to attaining eternal life with Christ. We must see to it that when Christ looks into our present and future, He will have no reason to weep over us.”