Summary: A Palm Sunday message.
AM Sermon preached at Central Christian Church April 5, 2009
Palm Sunday Message “5 Challenges from the “Un”parade”
SHOW SERMON TITLE SLIDE
Imagine this scene unfolding at a car dealership---the General Manager of the dealership who has just signed off on several new cars that have just been unloaded from a transport semi has returned to his office to make a few phone calls---before he even gets the first call made he sees a couple of scruffy looking men eyeballing, walking around and pointing at one of the new cars and then opening its doors and climbing inside---he’s pleased to see that Jim, his best salesmen, wastes no time in approaching and then talking to the two men---as he reaches for his phone to make a call---he sees his salesman waving for him to come out while at the same time the two men move back and forth from pointing at the car to pointing at the palm of their hands---as he quickly heads out the door to learn what’s going on he shouts to one of the others in the dealership---it looks like we’ve got a situation on our hands---if at any point you see me take my handkerchief out of my pocket and wipe my forehead with it call the cops--- with that pushes open the door, puts on a fake smile and nervously asks “Jim will you please tell me what you think we can do to make these men happy?” His salesman says “They want the keys to this car.” “Oh, I see they want to test drive this new car.” the manager says. He turns towards the two and explains “Well men you picked a good one that’s for sure but unfortunately I can’t let you test drive it until it’s been checked in and inspected by the maintenance department. I can put a rush on it and we can let you test drive it in say two hours?” The two men shake their heads and in unison say “We don’t need to test drive it. We know this is the car we’re supposed to get.” One of them points to his palm and says “Yeah this is the one for us. May we have the keys please?” The manager says “You’re that sure?” “Yes” they reply “We’re sure. We’d like this car.” “Wow. Well then okay. Take these two men inside Jim and introduce them to Tom in finance and let’s see what kind of deal we can work up for them.” Jim speaks up “No boss you’d don’t understand---they don’t want test drive or buy the car---they want us to give it to them.” “What, give it to them?” he shouts as he pulls his handkerchief from his pocket. And then before he can put it to his head one of the two men announces “Well it’s not really for us---the Lord needs it.” The manager quickly stuffs his handkerchief back into his pocket and says “Oh---the Lord needs it---well that changes everything. Jim hurry up now and go get the keys to the car and these men. The Lord needs this car.” I know what most of you are thinking---you’re thinking “yeah right---like that would ever happen.” You’re thinking you’re not sure what’s crazier--- two men asking a car dealer to simply hand over the keys to a new car because the Lord needs it---or a car dealer giving them the keys. That’s what most of you are thinking---though it wouldn’t surprise me if a few of you possessors of over active imaginations are thinking to yourselves--- “hmmm…do you think? Would that work for me? I wonder? Nah.”
The reality is that that little car dealership scenario I just shared with you isn’t that far off from what happened on that Sunday years ago when an impromptu parade formed as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey …It all began with an unusual request from the Lord---let’s read about it from Luke 19… SCRIPTURE SLIDES…. PLEASE FOLLOW ALONG!
29 As he (Jesus) approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30"Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' "
32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" (if you read between the lines a little I think it’s not hard to see that what they were really saying was more along the lines of ---Hey you two---what do you think you’re doing? Be sensible. We’re the owners of the colt and we’re right here. So step away from the colt and there won’t be any trouble. You really don’t want trouble do you?” At that--verse 34 reports-- that they replied “hey hold your fire. We don’t want any trouble. We’d just like to take it out for a test drive because we’re interested in buying.” No that’s not what happened it says there in verse 34 that they answered just the way Jesus had told them to---they said, "The Lord needs it." Now we’re not given any of the details of where the conversation went from there---all we know from the scripture is that in the next verse we’re told they brought the colt to Jesus. Actually Matthew in his retelling of the event adds that they not only took the colt to Jesus but they also took the colts mother to Jesus. There’s nothing anywhere in any of the four times this event appears in the scriptures to ever make us think that the animals’ owners put up any kind of argument. To the contrary the way the story is told we’re lead to believe that when the owners were told that the Lord needed their colt that they immediately told the Apostles “take it and take its mother too!”