REV. BILLY GRAHAM

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Life - This col­umn is based on the words and writ­ings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.

Q: What does Palm Sun­day Q: mean? – P.E.

A: A great crowd of peo­ple A: gath­ered in the city of Jerusalem and wel­comed Je­sus, pro­claim­ing, “Hosanna!” They spread palm branches be­fore Him and praised His name, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:37-38). In less than a week’s time, many of these same peo­ple were shout­ing, “Cru­cify Him!”

They were dis­ap­pointed that Je­sus had not done what they thought He would do – es­tab­lish His king­dom on earth, over­throw­ing Rome and its power over the peo­ple.

Af­ter Je­sus had been cru­ci­fied and res­ur­rected, He com­manded His dis­ci­ples to go into the world and pro­claim the Good News of the king­dom to come. Un­til that time, Chris­tians would be per­se­cuted. The Ro­man high tri­bunal ini­ti­ated a drive to stamp out Chris­tian­ity as a dis­turber of pa­gan unity.

The Ro­mans had a false no­tion that a per­son’s con­science could be con­trolled by law, so they made it il­le­gal to be dif­fer­ent. All must bow to Cae­sar. All must con­form to pa­gan cus­tom. All must be­have like true Ro­mans.

Times have changed, but hu­man na­ture hasn’t. The world is still try­ing to put its stamp of con­form­ity on ev­ery fol­lower of Je­sus Christ. Ev­ery pos­si­ble pres­sure is be­ing brought to bear upon Chris­tians to make them con­form to the stan­dards of the present world.

In spite of pres­sures to con­form to the world, may we be peo­ple who will hold God’s stan­dard high. “Do not be con­formed to this world, but be trans­formed by the re­new­ing of your mind” (Ro­mans 12:2). Let us con­form to His stan­dard and re­flect His im­age with­out com­pro­mise.

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