Summary: Do we take the events of Palm Sunday and Easter for granted and not fully understand or appreciate their full significance in our lives?
Mark 11: 1 – 11 / Hosanna
Intro: “HOLD THE PICKLE, HOLD THE LETTUCE, SPECIAL ORDERS DON’T UPSET US – ALL WE ASK IS THAT YOU LET US HAVE IT YOUR WAY.” Recognize this little jingle? --- People flocked to Burger King because they could have a burger the way THEY wanted it. We love customization, things being tailor made to fir. The problem is, we don’t stop with material customization. We also want our faith the same way. We like our church customized to fit our needs, our worship to suit our exact taste, and we want God to conform to our preferences and to do things OUR way. --- An article in Newsweek once said that, “American Christians have developed a pick and choose Christianity in which individuals take what they want and pass over what does not fit their spiritual goals, and what many have left behind is a sense of their own sin.”
I. We want spirituality and God; but, on our own terms. And its not just true of us, it’s been true of every age. It was even true over 2,000 years ago on the first Palm Sunday.
A. The people wanted it their way. They wanted a Messiah who would overthrow Rome and give freedom to the Jews.
B. The Sadducees had a tradition. They believed the Messiah would show up 4 days before Passover so they kept the Temple gates open so he would walk right in.
C. Zech. 9: 8 – 9 – “See your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
II. It was four days before Passover that Jesus came riding into Jerusalem. The people remembered Zechariah’s prophecy and, caught in the enthusiasm of the moment, shouted praises.
A. The word Hosanna literally means “Save!” “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” “ Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David.”
B. The expectation was that Jesus was coming as a conquering general-king to free them from oppression. They people assumed . . .!
C. By spreading their coats on the road, as well as freshly cut branches it was their version of rolling out the red carpet. --- I wonder what Jesus thought. “Save!” the crowd shouted. Did Jesus think? “That’s exactly what I’m here to do; but how little you understand. How much you take for granted!”
III. A pastor was preaching in an unfamiliar church one Sunday morning. As he stood in the pulpit to begin the service, he tapped the microphone to make sure it was on. He heard nothing, even though it was working fine. He leaved closer to the microphone and said, “There is something wrong with this thing.” The congregation, being well trained church people immediately responded, “And also with you.” (The Red Carpet by John Beehler, SermonCentral.com)
A. We get so accustomed to routine that we stop paying attention to what we are doing. Familiarity is the danger we face as we come to the Easter season or as we come to this table. We know the routine so well, we take it for granted.
B. I hazard a guess to say there are many who go to church, follow the liturgy and sing hymns having no idea what they are saying or singing.
C. Do we rush through responses, prayers and hymns not thinking of what they mean? Do we hurry through the events of Easter unaware fully of the significance of the events themselves?
Conclu: Do our hosannas turn to crucify him as quickly or even sooner than those of that Palm Sunday crowd so long ago? Do we grasp the full significance of the coming of Christ Jesus or has it become another of those “traditions” that we observe with no thought given to the deeper meaning? How willing have we been to substitute our traditions for a person relationship with Christ Jesus? ‘HOSANNA, JESUS!” “SAVE US!”