Fort Worth April 5, 2020

Luke 19:33-42

Some people never seem to be on time. Some people almost always seem to be early for any appointment. Which are you? Are you characteristically late or are you almost always early for every thing you do. Sometimes it is not good to be too early. For example, if someone is throwing a surprise party for you, it could spoil the surprise if you got there too early. On the other hand, it can be disastrous when someone or something comes too late. Imagine just how crucial it is for all involved troops in a military operation to have “synchronized their watches” and all fulfill their responsibilities “on time”. In the same way in the medical world, if one does have what a critical patient needs at the moment typically means they were not able to save that patient’s life. Being punctual; being right on time is critical in so many circumstance of life.

Thankfully, God is very punctual in the running of His universe. His timing is always perfect. You and I live in a very ordered universe. Days and nights flow like “clockwork”. The seasons of the year come at the right time. Even tracking something like the next appearance of Haley’s comet can be done with precision, because God is always “right on time.” And God is not only right on time when it comes to the functioning of His universe, He is also “right on time” with the unfolding of history and the accomplishment of His purpose on the earth. In Galatians 4:4-5, the apostle Paul stated:

“But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we should receive the adoption as sons.”

The term “fullness of time” is taken from the functioning of an hour glass in which the grains of sand pass out of the upper chamber into the lower chamber of the glass. When all the sand has passed into the lower chamber, time is up. It indicates that whatever one has been waiting for or waiting to do, now is the time to do it. It is “right on time” for it to be done now. So the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ was right on time. It was the appropriate time. It took place precisely when it was scheduled to happen. In other words, God was right on time.

When we think of the events associated with Palm Sunday today, we need to know that this was the fulfillment of God’s schedule as well. When the Lord Jesus ministered on the earth, He was repeatedly told be others to officially present Himself to the leaders of Israel as the promised Messiah. On more than one occasion, He responded to the suggestion by saying that “His time had not yet come”. In other words, it was not the right time for Him to do so. Instead of being early or late, He would be right on time when He officially presented Himself to the nation of Israel as their promised Messiah. Today, as we remember Palm Sunday, we remember that He did just that and was right on time.

And they brought it to Jesus and they threw their garments on the colt and put Jesus on it. And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road. And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began praising God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, saying: “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him: “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” And He answered and said: “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, saying: “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.”       Luke 19:35-42

In Daniel 9:25, the Lord told the nation of Israel when to expect their Messiah. The Lord stated: “So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven units of seven and sixty two units of seven…” The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given to Nehemiah by the Persian King Artaxerxes. This decree to rebuild Jerusalem was officially issued on March 5, 444 BC. From the information given to Daniel about 90 years earlier, the Lord indicated that there would be 69 units of seven or 483 years from the decree until the official appearing of the Messiah to the nation of Israel. The time was up. God is punctual. Jesus was right on time when He presented Himself to the nation of Israel on what we now remember as Palm Sunday. Jesus wept as He approached Jerusalem knowing that “this day” marked the official coming of the Messiah and should have brought in the peace promised to the nation of Israel; but they were ignorant of what God was doing and the significance of His coming to them as their promised Messiah.

While there are number of historical and biblical truths that we could look at together in the events associated with Jesus presenting Himself as the Promised Messiah to the nation of Israel on Palm Sunday; there is one observation I would like to leave you with today. God is always on time. You may be facing difficulties in life and wondering whether God will send you His help and His answer. You may even wish that He would do so now or sooner rather than later. But you can’t rush God. He doesn’t move before it is the appropriate time. Often there are lessons we each need to learn as we wait upon God. When it seems like His answer is never going to come, know that God does not forget or fail to do what He has determined to be best for those who love and trust Him. He is the God who is always working everything together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). When the time is right, His answer will come. He will be right on time.

Also, it is important to remember that our God is never too late. Mary and Martha told Jesus that they knew that if Jesus had been there, their brother Lazarus would not have died. Yet when Jesus received the news that Lazarus was sick, He waited 4 days before responding to the request of Mary and Martha to come. The delay of Christ was not because of a lack of concern for them. In fact, John makes it very clear in his Gospel account that this was a family whom Jesus loved (John 11:5). On the contrary, the delay of Jesus was to do something far greater than Mary and Martha asked or thought possible. The delay of Jesus coming to them was to teach those whom He loved greater spiritual truths about Himself and His loving care for them. Jesus may have seemed to be too late to keep Lazarus from dying, but He was right on time to accomplish what He had purposed to do to bless those He loved and to bring glory to Himself.

Our God is never late! He is always right on time. Nothing can keep Him from doing what He has purposed to do. What you need for your spiritual good will always be given at the appropriate time. God will not bring something too early, before we are ready for it or before it would do its intended good. In the same way, He will never be too late in doing what we need. He is always “right on time.”

In conclusion, let us remember that just as Jesus was punctual in presenting Himself as the promised Messiah to the nation of Israel; He will be right on time when He brings the promised kingdom to the earth and brings God’s judgment upon all unrighteousness. As Paul stated in Acts 17:30-31:

“Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Jesus is coming soon. He will be “right on time.” Are you ready for His coming? The day is fixed, that is, determined by God. He will bring it to pass just as He has planned. What a glorious day that will be for all of God’s people. Even so come Lord Jesus!

Soli Deo Gloria!