Summary: Lessons from the Triumphal Entry to transform our view of the lost.
PALM SUNDAY, 2009
“CASUAL ADMIRER OR FAITHFUL FOLLOWER?”
How many of you like parades? I love to watch parades – especially when someone I know is in the parade. I could tell you some horror stories about being in parades. One involves being in the marching band when we were put behind the horses in the parade. Not a fun day.
On October 29, 1927, there was a huge ticker-tape parade in New York City in honor of Charles Lindbergh and his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. There was over 750,000 pounds of ticker-tape that poured out onto the streets. One of the biggest ticker-tape parades was on March 1, 1962. It honored John Glenn after he became the first American to orbit the earth in a spacecraft. The sanitation department cleaned up 3,474 tons of ticker-tape along a 7-mile parade route.
It was no different about 2,000 years ago. Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem in parade-like fashion. Jesus made His way with His followers from the Mount of Olives. Jesus already had a crowd of people following Him. The people in Jerusalem came out to meet Him. The two crowds merged together much like two huge tides of the ocean. They laid their cloaks out before Him as well as palm fronds. The crowd was recognizing Jesus as their king.
Lk. 19:29-40 – As he [Jesus] approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he
sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “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. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying
it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As
they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord
needs it.” They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people
spread their cloaks on the road. When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives,
the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep
quiet, the stones will cry out.”
There were different kinds of people who greeted Jesus. Warren Wiersbe put it this way: ““If Jesus had of entered into one of our modern cities, leading the parade, He would have been arrested immediately. He would be a wanted man. The FDA would want Him for turning water into wine without a license; the EPA for killing fig trees; the AMA for practicing medicine without a license; the Dept. of Health for asking people to open graves, for raising the dead and for feeding 5000 people in the wilderness without a food permit; the NEA for teaching without a certificate; OSHA for walking on water without a lifejacket; the SPCA for driving hogs into the sea; the NATIONAL BOARD OF PSYCHIATRISTS for giving advice on how to live a guilt free life; the N.O.W. for not choosing a woman disciple; the ABORTION RIGHTS LEAGUE for saying that whoever harms children, it is better that they had never been born; the INTERFAITH MOVEMENT for condemning all other religions, and by the ZONING DEPT. for building mansions without a permit.”
There were the critics – the religious leaders – who never ran out of complaints and wanted to kill Him. There were the curious – those who just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. There was the crowd – those who would follow Jesus as long as everything went the way they thought it should go. And then there were the committed – imperfect people who loved Jesus and wanted to do what would please Him.
The message today is “Casual Admirer or Faithful Follower?” Which one of those are you? It’s time for us to examine ourselves. Are we part of the crowd or are we part of the committed Christ followers? What is it that marks us as committed Christ followers? I want to share with you three things that demonstrate that you’re a committed Christ follower.
DO WHAT JESUS SAYS
Jesus sent two of His disciples on a strange little mission. He said, “Go to this little village up the road, untie the colt that you’ll find there, and bring it to me.” The Bible doesn’t tell us which two of the twelve went on this mission. If you guess Peter and Andrew, you could be right. If you guess James and John, you could be right. Your guess would be as good as mine.