Summary: Everybody appreciates applause, & Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem provided an opportunity for the people to lift their voices in praise to God. (Powerpoints available free - #109)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(The powerpoints used with this sermon are available for free. Just email me at email@example.com and ask for PP #109.)
The event that is so much a part of this day, Palm Sunday, is recorded in all 4 of the Gospels, but this morning let’s turn to Luke’s account of it, found in Luke 19:28-44. Listen as I read it to you.
"After Jesus had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As He approached Bethphage & 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, & as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it & bring it here. If anyone asks you, `Why are you untying it?’ tell him, `The Lord needs it.’’
"Those who were sent ahead went & 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 & 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 & 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.’
"As He approached Jerusalem & saw the city, He wept over it & said, `If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace but now it is hidden from your eyes.
“The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you & encircle you & hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you & the children within your walls.
“They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you’" (Luke 19:28 44).
A. I wish that somehow we could all go to Jerusalem & relive the events of that tremendous day. How exciting it would be to be a part of the crowds, & walk down that winding road from the Mt. of Olives, past the Garden of Gethsemane, across the Kidron Valley, & up through the great Eastern gate into the city of Jerusalem. It would be a parade that we would never forget!
ILL. As a nation, we love parades, don’t we? On Thanksgiving & New Year’s we turn on our TV sets to watch parades. We line the streets.
We even honor Super Bowl or World Series teams with parades in their home cities. Parades are often held to celebrate victories & honor returning heroes.
ILL. That reminds me of the old story about an elderly missionary returning to the United States to retire. He & his wife had spent over 40 years serving in Africa. But now he was alone. His wife & two children had long since found their final resting place in the soil of Africa.
As he got off the plane he saw a great crowd of people waiting at the gate. Some were holding signs, others were waving banners, & he could even hear sounds of music above the shouting voices.
For a few seconds he thought, "Can it be? After more than 40 years of service, all of these people have actually come out to welcome me home?"
But no, that was not the case. On his plane was a politician returning from a visit to Africa. During his visit the politician had been catered to & waited upon & all his needs had been met. And now he was being welcomed back with all the ceremony his nation could provide.
As he waited & waited at the airport, the contrast was almost more than the old missionary could bear. For a moment he began feeling sorry for himself, & he started to pray. "Father in Heaven, why? I’ve served You faithfully & for so long, & yet, look. I don’t expect much. But is it wrong to desire that there be some kind of a welcome home?"
Then, almost as if God had spoken out loud, the old missionary heard Him say, "But my son, you’re not home yet."
SUM. It is true. This world is not our home. We are just passing through. And as children of God, someday we want to hear Jesus say, "Well done thou good & faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord."