Summary: on why Jesus deserves our praises as they did on Palm Sunday - for his person and his office
April 8, 2001 Luke 19:28-40
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 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: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Several years ago I attended a Garth Brooks concert with my wife in Manhattan at the “Country Stampede.” I felt kind of out of place in the whole scenario. I wasn’t wearing cowboy boots. I don’t own a ten gallon hat or chaps, and I don’t know how to ride a horse. But that’s not why I felt out of place. As I scanned the crowd that evening, I could see all of these people rising to the tops of their seats, singing along note by note - and something just didn’t seem right. It just didn’t feel right to praise this guy like the greatest thing since sliced bread. Although I like his music, I just couldn’t justify paying thirty to fifty dollars to just to listen to his music. (We had gotten free tickets.)
Think about it - for all the hubbub, how much do singers and stars really do for the audience? A few hours of ear blasting music might get the blood pumping, and give you something to talk about and fondly remember for a month or two—but soon it’s a faded memory and a faded and worn out T-shirt, which needs be replaced by another concert. To each his own, but to me - it just didn’t seem worth it.
Jesus did not smash guitars, crank out tunes, do any solos or arias or unplugged performances. His manger was never shown on MTV’s “cribs.” He never got a music award. Yet, His entrance to Jerusalem shows that He had those who praised Him. Like the fickle fans of music today, you love the guy one week, and hate him the next. Today, on Palm Sunday, the disciples called out “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” They threw their garments before Him and honored Him. Jesus deserved all the praise He received, and more.
Jesus deserves our praise, as well. If we will not give it, the stones must cry out. Let’s take a look this morning at why Jesus deserves our praise, now and forever. We all have a good idea why—but let’s take a look at what this Palm Sunday Gospel tells us:
Jesus Deserves Our Praise
I. For His Person
The first temptation held forth the promise to Adam and Eve, that they would be “like God.” Every sin and temptation since then holds forth the same empty promise: “if you do this, you will be like God. YOU will have the control, YOU will have the power, YOU will have the glory. YOU will have the praise you deserve.” Whether it’s a temptation to pride, selfishness, greed, immorality, rage, slander, or whatever. That’s the empty promise. The devil knows it works. People have bought into it since the beginning. Interesting isn’t it - dogs are happy with their dogginess, sheep with their sheepiness, but humans always want to be more.
Problem is, as sinners, we want to be like God—and we can’t even get being human right. God made us in His image. He made us caretakers of His creation. He wants us to be like Him in this respect: that we care for others, and have mercy on others, and be faithful in the work He has given us. But we can’t even get that down right, and the devil comes along and gets us to think that somehow, we can be more: we can be like God. We can barely take care of ourselves half the time, let alone a family, or even a pet. And we think we’ll be capable of ruling the universe. Sin turned the tables, and has us falsely try to become our own God. And ruins us all the more for it.