Summary: As Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem to shouts of Hosanna, there were a number of different people with different views and reactions as to what was taking place. Look at who was there.
Disclaimer: Source material for this sermon has been gleaned from many different sources. I have attempted to acknowledge these sources whenever possible.
CHRIST’S FINAL WEEK: HOSANNA!
Introduction: Someone has said that everyone loves a parade. Parades and Processions draw crowds. As Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem the crowds grew large. Waving palm branches and shouts of Hosanna – Save now filled the pathway. Within the crowd, however, there were a number of different people with different views and reactions as to what was taking place. Let us consider the careless observer, the callous critic, the convicted sinner, and the committed believer.
I. The Casual Observer
A. Lamentations 1:12 asks the question “Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by?”
B. There were in the crowd those who were merely casual observers. They were in Jerusalem for Passover. They may or may not have heard of Christ. They had no idea what was going on and could care less for what was transpiring. They did not want to get involved. They were content to stand along the curb and stoically watch the procession go by. They did not want to get involved
C. Luke 11:23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
D. We cannot be neutral or ignore Him. We must accept Him for exactly who He says He is, or else we must reject him as a liar or a lunatic or both.
E. The Gospel requires a response. One cannot be neutral about the Lord Jesus Christ. Someone may say, "I never rejected Christ so I do not need to accept Him." The reality is neutrality is rejection. We reject Christ by putting our- selves in His place, as lords of our own lives.
F. Casual Christianity is an oxymoron. “Casual Christianity” has a form of godliness but places other things ahead of love and obedience to God. It follows Christ from a distance.
G. Many people have a casual attitude toward God and Christ. They say, “Don’t worry – all roads lead to Rome. Don’t take this religion stuff seriously.
H. Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
II. The Calloused Critic
A. Everywhere Christ went, everything Christ – did critics were there to demean and degrade Him.
B. This is evidenced in Luke 6:7, where we read, “So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him.”
C. John 15:24 - 25 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
D. For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism.
E. Matthew 13:14 - 15 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.
F. They had hardened their hearts against God and sought to harden others to be like themselves.
G. Matthew 23:13 – 15 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
H. A survey asked mothers to keep track of how many times they made negative, compared with positive, comments to their children. They admitted that they criticized ten times for every time they said something favorable. A three-year survey in one city’s schools found that the teachers were 75% negative. The study indicated that it takes four positive statements from a teacher to offset the effects of one negative statement to a child. – Institute of Family Relations in Homemade, December, 1986
I. Definition of an antagonist: someone who on the basis of non- substantive evidence, goes out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others; these attacks are selfish in nature, tear down rather than build up, and are frequently directed against leadership. - From “Antagonists in the Church,” by K. Haugk