Sermons

Summary: There is no doubt at all that Palm Sunday was one of the most emotion filled days of history. Jesus wept on other occasions, but his tears here say something different.

Little Bobbie listened with deep interest to the story of the

Prodigal Son right up to the happy ending when the son

returned; the fatted calf was killed, and the house was filled

with music and dancing. Then he suddenly burst into tears.

"Why what is the matter Bobbie?" exclaimed his mother.

"I'm so sorry for that poor little calf," he sobbed. "He didn't

do nuffin!" Here was a case where the expected emotion was

to be joy, but the tender-hearted boy responded with

unexpected sorrow, for he saw an aspect of tragedy in the

story that no one else even considered.

This same thing happened on the first Palm Sunday when

Jesus promoted the biggest demonstration of his earthly life.

There was so much emotion kindled in Jerusalem that day

that it could probably be called the most emotional day of

history. It would be hard to find another day to equal it.

Emotion was at such a high pitch that the people

spontaneously threw their garments and palm branches

before the king upon the colt. They lifted up their voices in a

chorus of praise. They shouted with loud voices, "Blessed be

the king that cometh in the name of the Lord." There was so

much noise the sophisticated Pharisees were getting

headaches. They were thoroughly disgusted with this

exhibition of emotionalism, and they urged Jesus to put the

damper on these flaming emotions.

It would have been futile, however, even to try. Jesus said

if he did manage to get them to hold their tongues the noise

would not be diminished, for the very stones would

immediately take up the shouting where they left off. The air

was so charged with the excitement and joy of what was

taking place that nothing, just nothing, could stop it. This

dramatic and climactic expression of joy and praise had to

be. Jesus was the King of Israel, and his triumphant entry

into the capital city was a necessity in the plan of God. Here

was music that had to be heard. Palm Sunday was no

luxury, it was a necessity in God's plan. Vaughn wrote,

Hark! How the children shrill and high

Hosanna cry;

Their joys provoke the distant sky

Where thrones and Seraphim reply;

And their own angels shine and sing

In a bright ring;

Such sound, sweet mirth

Makes heaven and earth

Join in a joyful symphony.

While all heaven and earth are joining in this joyful

symphony, however, the King whose triumphal entry has

produced this unparalleled emotion seems to be adding a

note of contrasting discord. Like the boy listening to the

joyful conclusion of the story of the Prodigal, Jesus seems to

see something that no one else does. His ears hear the music

triumphant, but his eyes have focused on the tragic, and the

result is what we see in verse 41, a King in tears. Amidst all

this joyful shouting, the King for whom they shout, weeps.

Make no mistake about it, these are not tears of joy. These

are not the tears of a Miss America walking out into a crowd

of cheering subjects. These are not the tears of excitement

and surprised joy.

These tears of the King were tears of sorrow from the

very depths of his being. They were in absolute contrast to

the joyful emotions being displayed all around him. Palm

Sunday provides us with abundant material for the study of

contrasting emotions. People were keyed up to near fanatical

enthusiasm, and in contrast you have the utterly disgusted

Pharisees looking on. Jesus, who gave rise to both of these

emotions by his actions, also displays duel emotions.

Weeping in tender-hearted sorrow, and then a few moments

later expressing anger with an intensity of indignation that

had such moral force that men fled in fear before him.

There is no doubt at all that Palm Sunday was one of the

most emotion filled days of history. Jesus wept on other

occasions, but his tears here say something different. Jesus

wept at the tomb of Lazarus, and revealed his sympathetic

understanding of what people must endure in facing the

tragedies of life. Jesus wept in the Garden of Gethsemane

and revealed his own full humanity. He was not merely

playing a role. He actually bore the burden of suffering

humanity. Jesus sweat drops of blood. He learned from

personal experience what it is like to bear a crushing burden.

There is a great deal being written today about the

psychosomatic. Psycho meaning mind, and soma meaning

body. When a man suffers in body because of a mental or

emotional burden it is called a psychosomatic illness. This is

a modern term, but the experience is as old as man, and

Jesus experienced it in Gethsemane. His sweating drops of

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