Summary: Matthew shows us a. God's pre-meditated plan coming towards full fruition b. God sounding forth a public proclamation for everyone to see and hear concerning the Lordship of Jesus and the Coming of the Kingdom
Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11
Theme: Palm Sunday
Title: God's Planned Parade
In Matthew's account of the Triumphant Entry we see
a. God's pre-meditated plan coming towards full fruition
b. God sounding forth a public proclamation for everyone to see and hear concerning the Lordship of Jesus and the Coming of the Kingdom of Heaven
c. God's beautiful picture for humanity coming fully into view
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
Nearly everyone loves a parade. Each year across our nation there are thousands of parades far and near. There are the big parades like the Macy Thanksgiving Parade in New York City and The Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. There are midsized parades like the Pegasus Parade that takes place in Louisville, Kentucky. And there are the small parades that are celebrated all around rural America like the Wooly Worm parade that takes place in my hometown of Beattyville, Kentucky.
There are almost as many reasons to have a parade as there are parades. Some parades and festivals are to celebrate a special holiday while others are to push forth some type of social or political agenda. Most of the time we call those type of parades by another name - "a march". There are those parades that remind us of our history like those that take place around the 4th of July and there are those parades that are dedicated to remembering the sacrifice made by those in our military like those that take place around Memorial Day or Veteran's Day. And finally, there are those parades that remind us that we are to continue the fight against terminal diseases like the Relay for Life festivals and parades.
Each parade of course is different and each have their own individual flavor. For example, the Macy Day parade features these amazing hot air balloons while the Pegasus Parade focuses on the majesty and wonder of horses and their history. The St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City showcases some of the best High School and College Marching Bands in our country while the Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans showcases some of the most interesting looking floats and costumes you could see anywhere. Believe it or not, in St. Louis there is a parade dedicated solely for pets. It is called the Beggin Pet Parade. Its purpose is to allow people to showcase their beloved pets and also raise money for needed animal care facilities and sanctuaries in the area.
Every four years, we Americans have a national parade celebrating the beginning of a new presidential term of office. After a long hard fought campaign the new or returning President gets to begin his or her new term of office with a national address and a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. There is always a spirit of hope and adventure in the air. Millions of people all around the country are hoping and anticipating that this new president will be some kind of new savior, a national messiah or at least they will be able to lead America back to the Promise Land of happiness and prosperity.
The ancient people of Israel were no different than we are today. Like us, they too loved festivals and parades. Each year around Passover, thousands of Jews would come from all over the known world to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Of all the Jewish festivals, Passover was the most sacred and revered. Passover was that time of the year that the Jewish people would commemorate the time of Moses and the Exodus. It was that time of the year that they would celebrate how God rescued His people from slavery. It was that time of the year that they would celebrate how God broke into history and redeemed his people and then began leading them to the Promise Land to live out a life of progressive holiness and prosperity.
Our passage this morning in Matthew 21:1-11 involves a particular parade that happened around the festival of Passover. It was a parade that spoke volumes about the Kingdom of Heaven and had at its focal point a certain well known prophet/rabbi from Nazareth named Jesus. It was a parade that reveals to us how the LORD once again broke into human history. Only this time it was to set about the final steps of mankind's salvation. The LORD through His Only Son Jesus would do everything necessary to - rescue, redeem and make it possible for people everywhere to once again be restored into His Holy Image. It was a parade that all of creation had been looking forward to since the fall of Adam and Eve. And it was a parade that would lead us towards all the events that would take place during Holy Week - the last teachings of Jesus, the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.