Summary: A sermon that uses Philippians 3:8-11 and the Matthew 21 account of Palm Sunday that takes you through the stages of Easter that will help you to know christ.
Knowing Christ - What happens next!!
passage - Matthew 21:1-11 (NIV)
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."
Everyone loves a parade.
Who can forget the triumphant All Blacks returning with the world cup and tens of thousands turning out.
If you think this was big consider this It was Passover and scholars have found records that 250 thousand lambs were used in the Passover feast – given that one lamb was to be shared among ten people – can we even begin to imagine the huge crowds gathered in and around Jerusalem for Passover.
Then into the midst of all this as [redicted by the Prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 9 verse 9 just 500 years before this. Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
A little group of Jesus and his small team coming into the Holy City at the highlight of the Jewish year. Then suddenly - spontaneously – joyously and led by the Holy spirit this huge mass of gathered humanity heaves under a moment of spiritual revelation. Their eyes are opened and they recognize Jesus as the promised King.
No wordsmith with their great skill – no theologian with their deep thinking can begin to describe what happened here. But steadily and carefully the group steadily move into the city with Jesus riding on the colt. Clip clop clip clop. The soft echoing of hooves on the cobblestones with the accompanying shuffle of the Disciples Clip clop clip clop.
Suddenly the vast crowd expresses what the Apostle Paul later said in Phillipians chapter 3, I want to know Christ – More than that they wanted to celebrate Jesus!!
You can’t begin the Christian walk until you know Christ – and these people wanted to know him they wanted to worship him. So many artists have tried to capture this grand event. But if Jerusalem was as crowded as Scholars say it would exceed all the words and paintings that have been produced on this great moment in Israel's history.
Like a strong wind sweeping through trees were stripped of their branches which were torn and thrown in Jesus path others waved in his honour – Cloaks were laid down in a random tapestery of love as Jesus steadily made his way into the city.
There had never been anything like it before or since. Imagine the eruption of joy and sound as thousands acknowledged Christ and his coming to the Holy city. The religious leaders could only look on in consternation and grumble – The devil was in the detail! for them.
I think almost every Christian understands this moment. There comes a time of welcoming Jesus into their lives. This is a great moment when the life is turned over to Christ. There is a moment where as Paul says – I want to know Christ. Most of Jerusalem on this day wanted to know Christ. It was manic and God guided a special moment in the life of Israel and Jesus and his followers. NOW at last the Saviour had come. But when we want to know Christ we all need to understand what happens next.
The first thing that happens is that Christ is welcomed into the heart of the city. Just as Christ is welcomed into the heart of the city we too need to welcome Jesus into our hearts as Lord and saviour. If this doesn’t happen then nothing of any real importance can happen next.