Summary: A Palm Sunday message that relates the fact as a Christian we would rather think of the cute and safe vision of a babe in the manger rather then the gruesome and brutal death that Jesus suffered.
Sermon Title: 3 Strikes and You’re Out!
Scripture: Luke 19:29-44
Wesleyan Community Church
Sunday Morning - March 24, 2002
It would come only natural to preach about the triumphant entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the day the we have set aside in commemoration of this blessed event. We are ever closer to the day that we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, and without that event, we would find ourselves in a very sad state today. What is even sadder, is the fact that the almost the entirety of mankind, and the church is equally guilty of this as well, has put Christmas as a more significant day in the context of Christian holidays over Easter and the entire process of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
The problem behind all of this, is that it is more pleasant to think of cute little babies wrapped up and innocent, than to think of a man that has been so badly beaten and battered that he i almost unrecognizable, spat on, rejected, laughed at and then nailed to a rough hewn piece of Roman timber, to suffer and die. Not only that, but it is the lives that we have lived that have become the reason that we put him there. We are responsible for that most brutal and horrible of deaths, but we push that to the back of our minds and choose instead to look at the cute baby and not the horror that is yet to come.
29And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42Saying, 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. 43For 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, 44And 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.
We have each seen it time and time again, the crowds lined up in expectation. You can just imagine the sight as these words enter our ears. As far as the eyes can see people are lining the pathway, in expectation of the grand entrance that has been so long awaited for. Some people have been awaiting this event for weeks, months and even years. I think we can easily place ourselves in the place of thinking this past description as the triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus, but we see the same thing as I just described in everyday life, as people await the arrival of a movie star, a music celebrity, a sports hero or team and even certain political leaders are greeted with this type of a response.
What is it that people are waiting for in these situations. There has been a preparation in their lives that leads them to this particular point in time and to this particular location. Each and every event in our lives, whether it be pleasant or painful, constructive or destructive prepares for what lies ahead. This is a fact that we just as well get used to. Some may argue that the negative things are not actually going to be helpful, and to a degree there is truth to that, because if we fail to learn from our mistakes, instead of improving our performance we will actually be prepared to do badly. How about these events in this day and age? We are seeking to gain something from this experience, something that has been laid out before us, either through advertisement or word of mouth.