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Scripture Memory: Bodily Resurrection.

VERSE : Job 19:25, 26 “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”

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O Worship the LORD in the Beauty of Holiness 

20 March 2016

8am & 11am: Worship Service

Rev Charles Seet (Hosanna! Hosanna! Jn 12:12-26)

6:00 pm Evening Service     

Eld Chia Ah Lak (Behold, Your King! Matt 21:1-11)

27 March 2016

7am: Combined Easter Service

Rev Calvin Loh (Do You Believe in the Resurrected Lord? Jn 20:24-29)

6:00 pm Evening Service

Rev Quek KK (The Good Shepherd, Jn 10:1-18)

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WHY DID JESUS WEEP FOR JERUSALEM?

As Jesus rode on an ass down the western slope of the Mount of Olives, crowds of people began to throng the road and praise Him loudly with palm branches in their hands. All their excitement came as a result of hearing about the great miracles He had performed. Such a rousing royal welcome is rarely given so spontaneously. Any man receiving such public acclaim would feel intensely euphoric with joy and pride.

But this was not the case with our Lord Jesus. Instead of revelling in the glad rejoicing all around Him, He did something quite unusual. As He gazed at the sea of happy faces in the foreground, and at the whole city of Jerusalem in the background, He wept (Luke 19:41).

Why did Jesus give such an unusual response during His triumphal entry? Was it because He knew of all the terrible things He was going to suffer in Jerusalem within a few days’ time? No. From the words that He spoke as He wept we learn of at least three reasons for His weeping.

1. His desire for the peace of Jerusalem

Jesus said, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” (Luke 19:42) Jerusalem had rejected Him and therefore it missed its opportunity for peace. But Jerusalem was supposed to be the city of peace. King David had made it the capital of Israel because of its excellent location. It was located on the border between the tribal territories of Benjamin and Judah. Since his predecessor, King Saul, had been from the tribe of Benjamin while David himself was from the tribe of Judah, there would be resentment that Judah had usurped the royal rights from Benjamin. Jerusalem’s location right on the border between them would therefore help to bring peace and reconciliation between the two rival tribes.

Furthermore, the city was located high on top of a mountain ridge and was blessed with its own sources of water from several good springs. This made it a natural fortress and all who dwell in it should feel secure and be able to enjoy much peace. That is one reason why it was named, “Jerusalem” which means, ‘The City of Peace.’

But history has shown that Jerusalem has not been a city of peace even until now. In its turbulent history spanning 3,500 years, it has seen very little peace. At least 118 major conflicts have taken place over it. Rivers of blood have been shed to take control of it. It has been besieged no less than 32 times. It has been attacked and plundered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, and finally by the Ottoman Turks. And even after Israel regained possession of Jerusalem in 1967, it has become a terrible bone of contention between the militant Palestinians and the Jews. It is no wonder that some have called Jerusalem “the most contested piece of real estate on Earth.”

Jerusalem has become a city of weeping – it has caused more weeping than any other city in the world. Just after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC Jeremiah wrote, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!

Thus, during His triumphal entry Jesus wept with Jeremiah and all the prophets who loved Jerusalem. He shed tears of sympathy with many who had been longing for its peace. He felt the anguish of its inhabitants and of the nation of Israel. And since Jesus was a Jew, He naturally felt burdened that His own people should be blessed with peace in this world and the next.

As our Lord and Saviour today, Jesus desires us who are His people to be blessed with the peace that passes all understanding. He said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27).

We can be assured that He weeps with us whenever we are troubled and bereft of peace. He weeps with us in all our grief and sorrow. The tears He shed on earth remind us that our Saviour understands our feelings very well. He knows our pain when we lose a loved one or when trials and disappointments beset us.

His tears must also remind those who are still unsaved not to forsake the opportunity for peace with God that Jesus came to bestow. As the Prince of Peace, Jesus alone can bring sinners into a permanent state of peace with God (Romans 5:1). He has given them many opportunities to possess this blessed peace. And yet strangely, many choose to forsake that opportunity or to despise it altogether.

The Jews could have enjoyed such blessed peace but they missed their opportunity. As John 1:11 says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” Because they received Him not, the things that belong to their peace are hid from their eyes. This speaks of the spiritual blindness of Israel to the Gospel. It explains why the vast majority of Jews have responded to it with unbelief. But we look forward to the day when they will ‘look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only Son’ (Zechariah 12:10).

2. His knowledge of the punishment of Jerusalem

Jesus said, “For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side…” (Luke 19:43) As He gazed upon the city He saw the impressive state it was in then. But He also foresaw the awful state it would be in 40 years later when the Romans destroyed it. When Jesus and His disciples beheld the city of Jerusalem again from the Mount of Olives two days later, He provided more details about its coming destruction in His Olivet discourse (Luke 21:20-24).

All that Jesus said was fulfilled in the year AD 70. In response to a Jewish rebellion, Titus, a Roman General and son of Emperor Vespasian, captured the city of Jerusalem and razed it to the ground. This destruction was so complete that all that remained of the glorious Temple was a wall. Today it is known as the ‘Wailing Wall’ because many Jews have gone there to weep and wail over the destruction of their beloved city and of their Holy Temple. That destruction eliminated the Jewish nation for almost two thousand years and scattered the Jews throughout the whole world.

Why was Jerusalem punished so severely? It was because of their sins against God. Although the Lord had given the Jews the Law and sent prophets to them, they did not obey Him and seek after Him as a nation. Israel was a barren nation – lacking in the fruits of righteousness that the Lord expected to receive from it.

The chief rulers of Israel loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:43). On the day after His triumphal entry Jesus had to cleanse the Holy Temple because it had become like a den of thieves. This shows the deep level of corruption that infected the religious leadership of that time (Luke 19:45). The city was filled with sin.

But all these sins were not as great as the sin of rejecting their Messiah. Jesus said, “And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” (Luke 19:44) The ultimate cause of Jerusalem’s destruction was its failure to recognize the time of its visitation. When God the Son came to His own people they refused to receive Him. It was not that they were ignorant of His visitation. His miracles had shown this clearly to them. But they deliberately refused to recognize Him as their God.

A few days later their cheers of “Hosanna! Hosanna!” turned into jeers of “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” They seemed to welcome Him outwardly, but inwardly they refused to accept Him as God who had come to visit them. This sin of wilful unbelief is unlike any other sin. Just as it brought about the total destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, it will bring about the eternal destruction of many unbelievers in the fires of Hell.

In the same way that Jesus wept over the impending destruction of Jerusalem, He also weeps over the impending destruction of souls due to their unbelief. He takes no delight in the death of sinners. “As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11) Dear Reader, if you have not been saved yet, will you repent of your unbelief and ask Jesus to save you now?

3. His love for the people of Jerusalem

When Jesus wept for Jerusalem He called its people ‘children.’ This reveals His fatherly compassion for them. It shows the loving heart of our Saviour in all its triumphal glory. The tears that Jesus shed for the people of Jerusalem were not merely tears of grief over their lack of peace and over their sins of unbelief. They were also tears of divine love!

This love was expressed more intensively two days later: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37) Despite all their sins, He longed to gather them like a mother hen so that they would find rest and peace in Him. The words ‘how often’ show that He had sought to gather them under His wings many times, but they would not respond.

The tears that Jesus shed for Jerusalem truly reveal a love that never ceases to seek earnestly after the welfare and salvation of His own people. Dear Reader, perhaps Jesus is weeping for you now with a love that is just as great as this. Have you been unwilling to heed His many calls to renew your first love for Him? Have you refused to respond to the many tender appeals He has been giving you through His Word?

Let His love draw you back to Him now. Let it give you a new resolve to walk with Him each day and to serve Him and others with love until the day when Jesus makes His final triumphal entry to earth to receive us and to gather us under His wings.                                                             —Pastor

 

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Combined Easter Service
Next Lord’s Day, 27 March 2016, 7.00 am.

Fellowship Breakfast after Service

(Offerings to defray the cost of the breakfast are welcome. Contact Dn Benny Goh, 9743-3383)

 

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Chinese Service Parents’ Night

30th April (Sat). 5:30 to 9 pm.

Venue: Pin Si Restaurant @ Yishun Safra.

Program: Gospel Sharing by Rev Peter Chng. Chinese 8-Course Dinner. 

Transportation will be provided from Khatib MRT to SAFRA Yishun.

Fees: $30  (13 years old & above); $20 (4 to 12 years old). Free (infant to 3 years old).

Please register at Beulah House MPH after 11 am service.

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1) YF Outreach Event - Death to Life: Could Jesus Have Risen From the Dead? by Rev Seet. This Saturday, 4pm at Beulah Centre MPH. Dinner provided. All youths are invited to bring their non-christian friends. For more information, please contact Shawn Lim

2) Scripture Memory Verse Review No. 1. A written review exercise of the verses is obtainable at the front counter. Please submit by 3 Apr 16.

3) VBS-2016 Faith is the Victory! Story of Joseph. Inviting helpers to serve in this ministry during 1st week of June 1-3, 8am to 1pm. Kindly register at http://bit.ly/lifebp-vbs-help. For inquiries: Dn Benedict Sim .

4) YAF Retreat 2016. Theme: Why Work? Speaker: Dn. Roger Lim. Date: 6-8 May 16 (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon). Venue: Changi Cove. Closing date for registration: 3 Apr 16.

5) Parenting Seminar (Part 3) organised by FEK

“A Wise Son Makes A Father Glad”. All are welcome!  Date: 2 April 2016.  Time : 0900h - 1200h. Speaker: Pastor Tan Soon Yong. Venue: MPH, Beulah House. Registration is open at www.lifebpc.com/fekedu/fekseminar.htm.   Topic: Discipline Your Son while there is Hope, And Do Not Desire His Death. Register before 11 March 2016 to enjoy Early Bird Rate. Closing date for registration: 25 March 2016

6) The Life B-P Church Camp 2016 will be held from 13 to 16 June 2016 at Novotel Melaka Hotel, Malaysia. Speaker: Rev Edward Paauwe. Theme: “The Fruit of the Spirit”  Please book your annual leave now to avoid disappointment. Registration is open.

 

Preaching appt: Rev Quek at Thai Service, 2.30 pm. Rev Lee at Filipina Service, 11am. Rev Wong on India Mission, 17-21 Mar. Rev Khoo on overseas teaching trip, 14-27 Mar.

Vision & Mission

 

To build a united church family that is committed to making disciples through Salvation, Sanctification and Service, to the glory of God.

Verse for the Week

October 15 & 22 - The Cost of Discipleship

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:25