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)
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."
B. But every once in a while wouldn’t it be nice if our peers, if our colleagues, if our brothers & sisters in the Lord would just pat us on the back? If we could just hear the applause of the crowd?
ILL. Watching my grandchildren & great-grandchildren as they grow made me even more aware of the value of praise. In learning to walk they stumble & fall. Applaud & encourage them & they get back up & keep on trying until they get it right.
SUM. You see, everybody appreciates applause. And Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem provided an opportunity for the people to lift their voices in praise to God.
I. LOOK AT THE CROWDS
A. It was Passover time, & Jews from all over the world were crowding into Jerusalem. News had gone out that Jesus was on His way, just passing by the towns of Bethphage & Bethany. So a crowd of people rushed out to meet Him.
There were actually 2 crowds. One crowd was accompanying Jesus as He came from Bethany, & the other was surging out from Jerusalem to meet Him. The crowds must have flowed together in a surging mass like 2 tides of the sea.
Jesus was coming, & as the crowds met Him they received Him like a conquering hero. The sight of this tumultuous welcome sent the Jewish authorities into the depths of despair. It seemed that nothing they did would stop the people from following Jesus.
B. Of course, some in the crowds were simply curious sightseers. They had heard of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And they wanted to see something else sensational, too.
C. But most of the people were greeting Jesus wildly. They were shouting "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna to the son of David!" The word "Hosanna" is the Hebrew for "Save now!" & means almost exactly the same thing as "God save the King!"
With Jesus as their king, they were convinced that it was only a matter of time until the trumpets rang out, & the call to arms sounded, & the Jewish nation led to its long delayed victory over Rome & over the world.