Summary: A sermon for Palm Sunday
“Jesus Isn’t a Rock Star”
What is going on here?
It appears that a whole crowd of people have fallen head over heels in love with Jesus!
The people are infatuated.
It’s as if Jesus were a rock star or something!
“Many people spread out their clothes on the road while others spread branches cut from the fields.
Those in front of him and those following were shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
It’s not hard to imagine a wild kind of “Woodstock” scene when we read about Palm Sunday.
The people are partying!
The streets are overflowing, as folks are streaming into town for the Passover Festival, and Jesus has become the headlining act!
He is the star of the show.
He is the coming King—the One Who will reign on King David’s throne.
Jesus will defeat Israel’s enemies with a rock show-like barrage of pyrotechnics.
Everything is going to be alright now.
The King has come!!!
It’s such an ecstatic atmosphere that crowds of adoring fans are taking off their clothes and spreading them on the dusty, stony Middle Eastern Road…
…in order for a donkey to ride over them.
That’s a big deal!
Most people only had one set of clothes.
You don’t do that sort of thing…
…not for a friend or even a really respected person in your family.
You do it for royalty!!!
You do it in the midst of an emotional frenzy.
And you don’t cut branches off trees to wave in the streets for just anybody.
And what they were shouting?
“Hosanna” is a Hebrew word that mixes exuberant praise to God with the prayer that God will save God’s people, and do it right away!!!
You know, if we stick with the rock star or pop-star theme for a minute we can perhaps, fairly easily, sum up what happens…rather quickly to the frenzied and crazed love of their fans.
Let’s see, Davey Jones of the 1960’s Beatles parody band—the Monkeys, who passed away recently—probably caused quite a stir for a while.
Then there was David Cassidy from the Partridge family.
Later, his younger brother, Shawn Cassidy had a run with the “teen idol” thing.
He was on a t-v show called the Hardy Boys, and even had a hit song on the radio called the “Do-run-run.”
My oldest sister, Wendy, had a big crush on him for a few months.
She also had a short-lived infatuation with another guy named Leaf Garrett.
More recently we had The New Kids on the Block.
Even Michael Jackson was a has-been for the last…say…20 years of his career?
And now there is Justin Bieber.
How long will love last for him?
A girl who attends the church I pastored in Newport News, Virginia recently wrote on her facebook page: “I ‘heart’ Justin Bieber forever.”
Hmmm…you think so?
So, on the first Palm Sunday, so long ago a big crowd of people seemed to “fall in love with Jesus.”
He was the top of the charts.
The fans could hardly contain themselves!!!
Psychological writer Robert Johnson states that “Romantic love, or falling in love [or emotional infatuation], is different from [real loving].”
Real loving is more steady.
It’s not here today and gone tomorrow.
Let’s face it, there is something a bit overblown and bigger-than-life about infatuation or falling in love.
It’s like getting onto an emotional roller coaster.
It’s got a lot of excitement.
It can be fun.
But it’s short-lived.
The ride does come to an abrupt hault.
But Christian love does not come to an end.
It is eternal…
…it is living eternally in the presence of the Living God!!!
It is a quality of life which can start now and goes on forever.
And it withstands the twists and turns, the wrinkles and the pain of life.
It even beats death itself!!!
It’s sad, quiet often the life of a teen idol ends in tragedy.
A few years ago, Corey Haim, who was a big hit in the 1980’s died in his 30’s after years of drug abuse.
Not a lot of people paid a whole lot of attention.
And then there was the recent death of Whitney Houston.
She had been a huge star, but we hadn’t heard a thing about her since about 1992.
The kind of love we heap upon pop idols is a superficial kind of love.
Once the singer or actor begins to age a bit, or after their show is canceled…
…or we grow up…
…our love fads.
It’s not real love is it?
Actually, there is not much about it that is real at all.
And that was one of the big problems on Palm Sunday.
There wasn’t a lack of love for Jesus.