Summary: Palm Sunday
"How Will You Welcome The King?"
At this time every year we celebrate "Palm Sunday" in churches all over the
world. Most of the time our celebrations vary little - children process
down the aisle waving palm branches, we sing songs of praise to the King who
has come, and the preacher speaks for a few minutes about Jesus' triumphal
entry into Jerusalem. It is a festive day of celebration for the people who
gather at the church, but I have to be honest with you - it's tough on
preachers. You may be wondering, "How so?" Well, let me explain to you if
you will allow me. If a preacher stays at a church any more than a couple of
years then the preacher has to work, struggle, and pray for something fresh
to say about the story of Jesus' riding into town. There are only so many
ways that you can tell the same story over and over and over again.
I have been here for more than a few years now and each year Palm Sunday
becomes more difficult for me to come up with a "new" sermon. There is that
old temptation of pulling something out that I've already done before, but I
reject that option as nothing more than laziness. This week I've gone back
to the wisdom spoken to me by my pastor, Dr. David Darnell, many years ago
when he said, "Mike, be humble before God's Word and He will speak to you.
As I have tried to do that this week I had the most exciting thought that
I've had in some time. This morning instead of just telling you the story I
want us to take each of the four Gospels that records the story of Jesus
triumphal entry into Jerusalem and look at them together.
I have to tell you as we begin our study that Palm Sunday was much more
than simply a festive celebration for Jesus. The day was filled with all
kinds of emotional experiences for Jesus. On Palm Sunday Jesus experienced
joy, conflict, anger, and heartbreak all before He laid down His head to go
to sleep at the end of the day.
Let's get busy taking a look at our Scriptures for the day. The triumphal
entry of Jesus is recorded in every one of the four Gospels in our Bible.
Turn to Matthew 21:1-17 and let's begin.
1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives,
Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you,
and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie
them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that
the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." 4This took place to
fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 "Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the
foal of a donkey.'" 6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed
them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them,
and Jesus sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road,
while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The
crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to
the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Hosanna in the highest!" 10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was
stirred and asked, "Who is this?" 11The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the
prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." 12Jesus entered the temple area and drove
out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the
money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13"It is written," he
said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are
making it a 'den of robbers.'" 14The blind and the lame came to him at the
temple, and he healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the teachers of
the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the
temple area, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant. 16"Do you
hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus,
"have you never read, "'From the lips of children and infants you have
ordained praise'?" 17And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany,
where he spent the night. (Matthew 21:1-17)
As we begin our study you need to know that there are similarities in each
of the four Gospels concerning Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on the back of a