Summary: Palm Sunday


John and his friend George went golfing together one Saturday morning as they had for 24 years. They were fanatics about their golf game. Later that day, John returned home completely exhausted and plopped down in his easy chair. His wife was quite concerned since he was more exhausted than usual after his Saturday golf game. She asked him if something went wrong with the game. He replied, "No, hon, I had the best game in years! As a matter of fact, I started out the first three holes at 4 under par, birdied the first two and then had a hole-in-one on the 3rd." “That is great, so then why are you so worn out?" she asked. "Well, George had a heart attack and died on the 4th hole." "What!? Are you so exhausted from trying to save him?" He said, "No, honey, it was quick and there was nothing anyone could’ve done. But after that, it was just hit the ball, drag George, hit the ball, drag George..."

The good news was that John had a great game of golf! The bad news was that George was dead and had been dragged all over the golf course! The good news was Palm Sunday and the big celebration! The bad news was what was going to happen in the coming week. The crowds that shouted Hosanna would soon be shouting crucify Him.

John 12:12-21 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! " "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!" 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, 15 Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt. 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him. 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!" 20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus."

To understand this story you have to understand the context. In the Jewish culture, what was happening that day was clearly understood. The waving of palm branches and the shouting of Hosanna was a traditional greeting. It was the greeting people would give a national hero or a conquering king as they came into the city. The palm branch was a national symbol of victory. They would shout “Hosanna” which means “Save us now.”

It is amazing that different people can view the same event through completely different eyes. Think about a large sporting event. For some the game is a triumph. For others it is a tragedy. Same game, just different expectations. There were actually three distinct groups of people there that day as Jesus entered Jerusalem.

The Committed – Jesus’ Disciples

The first group were the disciples. These guys they had walked with Jesus, they had been with Jesus, they made a commitment to follow him and his teachings and his work. But all through their experience with Jesus, He had been holding them back.

When Jesus healed the leper He told him not to tell anyone;

Matthew 8:2-4 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

When Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter He told them not to tell anyone;

Luke 8:54-56 But he took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

When Jesus was coming down from the mount of transfiguration he told the disciples that had been there and had seen this amazing sight not to tell anyone;

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