Summary: A Palm Sunday Sermon
"Jesus the Humble King"
The following is an adaptation from a sermon that was heard on Lutheran Vespers many years ago.
"It was a day young Jacob would not soon forget. It was Passover week and Jewish people from all over the world were streaming into Jerusalem. He had seen great crowds before, but on this pilgrim-coming-day, something was different. Jacob was drawn to the crowds by the mighty, earth-splitting noise they were making. He looked down from the hillside on which he lived. He could barely see what was happening. He could see the crowd moving slowly toward Jerusalem.. In the center of the crowd, he could see a man riding on an animal. Everyone seemed to be giving the man in the center special attention. As the crowd drew near, he could see them spreading their garments on the road before the man. Others were cutting down branches from Palm trees and laying these before the man and his animal.
Now the enormous crowd drew so near, that Jacob could hear what they were shouting. They cried, "Hosanna to the Son of David’" Again, Hosanna, blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord."
Young Jacob thought, ’What could it all mean?’ He hurried down the hillside as the crowd was making its way on the road. He grabbed the hand of one of the pilgrims and asked, "What’s going on,"
The man replied, "What’s going on? Why the king is coming, That’s what’s going on. See him ride on the royal animal. In olden days, all of our kings rode the royal animal on the day of their coronation. The promised of a Messiah are now coming true.
Here he is. See him riding there. See his dignity, see his majesty. His name is Jesus, Jesus from Nazareth. He is the Messiah, he is the King. The king is coming, Hosanna!! Help us now Jesus Save us now Jesus "
Young Jacob still didn’t understand completely. He joined the great crowd hoping he would understand more clearly. He found the stranger he had talked with a little while ago. "How can this Jesus help us," he asked the stranger. "What kind of help can he bring?" "Why do we cry our Hosannas?"
The man decided he would have to sit down with Jacob and explain exactly what was happening. They left the crowd and found a shady place under a tree. "See the man over there, the tall one with ragged clothes", he said as he pointed to a passing man in the parade. "He is a very poor man. He is crying for help, he is crying for an end to his poverty and oppression."
" See the young men over there," said the stranger, pointing to a group of rough looking men. "They want to fight in an army that will drive the Romans from the land." they are crying for help, they are saying their Hosannas to the Messiah - king who will lead them against their enemies." Others are crying for restoration. They may want their health restored, maybe their relationship to God restored, maybe they have a disagreement with a friend, they are crying for the Messiah to restore that relationship."
The stranger got up and left young Jacob with his thoughts. Young Jacob thought, " Hosanna, Hosanna to the Messiah - king Jesus. Jesus save me, save me from hunger. -save me from the slow death of not having enough food.Save me from watching my father die from the evil spirit inside of him. Save my father, Hosanna, Hosanna, Messiah -king Jesus."
Jacob got up from his place under the tree and joined the crowd as it made its way into the city. Yes indeed, thought Jacob, this shall be a day that I long remember.
But unlike young Jacob, who wondered, who was confused we, I hope, you and I know the rest of the story. We know about this king. We know just what kind of king he is. A king who didn’t come with a great army, but a king who came in humility as Paul says in Philippians, "And being found in human from he humbled himself and became obedient unto. death, even death on a cross." Our king came not to conquer, but to serve. He came not in glory, but in humility. He came not to be served, but to serve. To give of himself in the most complete way, to die for our sake. Jesus, the king, who came riding into his coronation on this Palm Sunday, He came not to be crowned with jewels, not to be robed in a cape of splendor, but he came to be crowned with a circle of thrones, and instead of being clothed in majesty, he was stripped, of his clothes.