Sermons

Summary: Palm Sunday is a day of great paradox, for it was a day of such contrasting emotions. Jesus was such a glad king; such a sad king, and such a mad king.

The final week of the life of Abraham Lincoln has an

amazing parallel to that of the final week of Jesus. From

Palm Sunday to Good Friday is only 5 days, yet in that 5

days we go from the scene of the triumphal entry of the King

to the scene of the tragic exit of the King on the cross. Listen

to the parallel of Lincoln's final week.

General Grant was surrounding the Confederate Army of

General Lee in the capital city of Richmond. Lee realized the

war was over, and the South was defeated, and on Palm

Sunday of 1865 he surrendered. What a day of victory!

People flocked to the White House clamoring for a

celebration. Lincoln addressed the people and said, "Fellow

citizens, I am very greatly rejoiced to find that an occasion

has occurred so pleasurable that the people cannot restrain

themselves." He called for the band to play his favorite tunes

of "Dixie" and "Yankee Doodle." The crowds were led in

cheers for General Grant and the Army and Navy. When

Lincoln went into the White House they cheered him as their

hero.

That holy week was one of the best Lincoln ever enjoyed.

He worked long hours, but was very relaxed and at peace.

On Good Friday he had an early cabinet meeting. In the

afternoon he and his wife went for a long carriage ride, and

that evening they went to the theatre. On Palm Sunday he

was a victor. On Good Friday he was a victim, as he was

assassinated. Here was a man so loved he was praised by the

masses, but here was also a man so hated that he was

murdered. Love and hate are never far apart, and that is

what we see in holy week, the last week of the life of Jesus. It

begins with the wildest expression of mass affection that

Jesus ever received. When the Jewish leaders complained to

Jesus about this excessive display of emotion, Jesus said it

cannot be helped, for it is impossible to suppress the

explosion of praise. If you silence the people, the very stones

will take up where they left off, and continue this cry of

rejoicing.

Jesus knew He would soon be on a cross, for that was an

essential in God's plan to save man, but He says, not only is

Good Friday a necessity, and not only is Easter Sunday a

necessity, but Palm Sunday is also a necessity. It is one of the

pieces of the puzzle, and it could not be complete without this

day of triumphal entry. It was not enough that Jesus died for

us, He had to die as our King. He did not die as a carpenter,

or as an itinerant preacher. He died as the King of the Jews,

who was long promised, and who would be the king of God's

people forever. The sign Pilate put on the cross said, "Jesus

of Nazareth the King of the Jews." The leaders of Israel

would not acknowledge He was their king. In verse 42 Jesus

says the truth was hidden from their eyes.

On the night of May 14, 1912, a well dressed man

collapsed on the street in the center of Hamburg, Germany.

A doctor passing by helped a policeman get him into a cab.

He died on the way to the hospital, and since he had no

identification on him, he was taken to the morgue until

someone could identify him. It was 2:00 in the morning

when the valet of King Fredrick VIII of Denmark realized

that the king had not returned from his walk. He called the

hotel manager who in turn called the police. After several

hours of investigation it was determined that the man who

had died in the cab was the Danish king, brother of Queen

Alexandra of England, and Uncle of the Czar of Russia. He

was a great king, but he died unrecognized. So it was with

Jesus. He was the promised king, the Son of David, but He

was unrecognized, and died in the eyes of the Jewish leaders

as a mere criminal, rather than the Royal Redeemer that He

was.

Jesus said in verse 42, if they had only known He was

their king, they could have had the peace of God, but because

they could not see He was the king, they had to suffer the

judgment of God. One of the lessons of Palm Sunday is that

we need to listen to the perspectives of the little people, and

those outside the circles of influence. From the day Jesus was

born until the day He died, the people who saw who He really

was were the little people and outsiders.

The wise men came seeking Him asking where is He who

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