Summary: A Palm Sunday message with a different perspective. That of a father... and using WWI parades as a backdrop.
I Was There - week 1
Read John 12:12-28a
There was a lot going on that day. That whole colt thing… it was important. We don’t really get it like they did. First… there’s no mention in other places in Scripture of Jesus riding from place to place. We’re left to believe that he walked from city to city. Riding was intentional this day.
Zechariah 9:9 - Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey's colt.
He was intentionally fulfilling prophecy… and not only that. The people knew what his actions were saying. You see, in times of war the conqueror would ride upon a prancing stallion. But in times of peace, the king would ride a colt to symbolize that peace prevailed. So, for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem upon a colt is to declare that He is a King.
A large crowd watched as he passed… placing palm branches and garments on the road. This is the ancient red carpet. Jesus was a celebrity. He was getting royal treatment… declaring himself king… and these people were thrilled… yelling… Hosanna… literally… “Save us” or “Save now”.
Jesus is riding… as people call out… wave at him… try to get his attention… some want to be healed, because they’ve heard that he’s healed people… some want to know him… to be famous… some just wanting entertainment… a break in the boredom of life… some want him to be the king… and Jesus riding the colt… fulfilling prophecy… seemed to be indicating that he was ready to overthrow the government…
But beyond the shouting and red carpet treatment were the people in the shadows. Threatened by Jesus… not agreeing with his interpretations… and his blasphemy of calling himself God… and now king.
The problem is… everyone there was the same. Everyone there was looking for what they could get. Freedom from Rome… freedom from the ruling class… entertainment… healing… vengeance… everyone… from the people in the shadows… squinting and judging… to the people throwing coats and palm leaves… Save Me… or spare me… where me seemed to be the focus of each cry.
Each person there had an agenda… but Jesus was different. He’s the only one that saw the direction this road was taking. I have to think… that as he met each look… as he touched each hand… as he spoke each word… the real focus was on the mission.
This is why this morning… I want to look at Palm Sunday from a different perspective… we’ve waved branches in church before… we’ve even ridden donkeys down aisles… but I want, for today, to recognize a different perspective for this Palm Sunday. And it’s the perspective of the dad.