Summary: The Second Part of a Three Part Sermon Series leading up to Easter • Believing is… Seeing • Believing is… Finding • Believing is… Devastating
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethpage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell them that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and the people asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
“Believing is… Finding”
A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch.
The little boy was curious and asked, "Why do you have that palm branch, dad?"
"You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honor him, so we got Palm Branches today."
The little boy replied, "Aw Shucks! The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!"
The Sunday that Jesus showed up. I can still remember it. I was on my way to the market to do some trading, to do some visiting with friends, to… I don’t know… just get out of the house for a while.
The day was like any other day really… maybe a little more hectic in town. Passover was only 4 days away and already the town was filled with visitors. The market would surely be crowded with travelers buying supplies right and left… that wouldn’t surprise me.
What did surprise me, was the large crowd just outside the city walls… they were being so loud I had to walk over to see what in the world was going on. People were making complete spectacles of themselves… throwing their cloaks down upon the path… tearing palm branches down to further pave the way. Several others waved the branches in a fine procession… this could mean only one thing… a King. But what King would be coming to Jerusalem during Passover? We Jews have no King… and everyone else knows far too well to avoid Jerusalem… the city of David itself… during the time of our Passover.
Then, an all too startling idea crept into my head… maybe this meant war! I tried to push through the crowd to get a glimpse of the approaching procession… tried to get a glimpse of what the king was riding. The crowd was too thick! I grabbed the attention of a man standing next to me and demanded… what is the King riding? Is it a warhorse or a donkey? A donkey friend… a donkey! A donkey… I breathed a sigh of relief. So it is in peace that this King comes.
I decided to wait to get a glimpse of the King approaching. The crowds were in a complete uproar. Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! Then… something else caught my attention. I began to make off the far off cries of “Hosanna to the Son of David!” What… “the Son of David?” Can it really be? The Son of David was a title reserved for the King of the Jews. We have not had a King for far too long… only Caesar to be praised. Can it be? The King of the Jews approaches. I needed to see this King.
As we got closer and closer to the city, I finally got a glimpse. A King? Is this a joke? He’s practically dressed in rags… had the look of a man who worked for a living. Surely they are putting us on! Perhaps this is a test by Roman administrators? But… everyone is so emphatic that this is indeed the King. I’m… confused.
Then, as his Donkey set its first step inside the city walls… the whole city was stirred. And by stirred, I mean that it shook and trembled as if by the lightest of earthquakes… only a moment though and it was gone.
This…. was… no… joke! All at once I needed to know… “Who is this man?”