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Summary: The crowd announces in their cries that Jesus is the awaited king and they offer shouts of praise. When the Pharisees tell Jesus to rebuke them - he rather confirms what they are saying.

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Dakota Community Church

March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

Celebrate the King

Matthew 21:1-5

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

Quick side note re: one donkey or two

Skeptics, often read this event and cry, “Contradiction!” They claim that Matthew misunderstood Zechariah’s prophecy, and thus contradicted what Mark, Luke, and John wrote regarding Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem. (Two donkeys rather than one.)

If Tyson and Joel join me for coffee at Starbucks and 3 days later I tell you that I had coffee with Tyson at Starbucks and mention something he said to me there, have I lied to you?

If unbeknownst to me a fourth person saw us at our meeting and mentioned seeing the three of us, do you then think to yourself, “I wonder why Pastor Dan lied to me about Joel?”

Why would the donkey as well as the foal be mentioned in Matthew - did Jesus ride into town with one foot on each back like a BMX stunt biker?

The unridden foal on which Jesus sat would have been easier to lead if it’s mother was lead along as well.

Why are you hearing a Palm Sunday sermon rather than the conclusion to last weeks message as I had indicated I would do?

What we want and what we need are so often two completely different things.

This is the main reason why church direction must not be set by “felt needs” of the congregants.

The following twitter post by Tim Keller illustrates the point regarding our fallen desire.

"Most of our desires for success are actually our efforts to be for ourselves what only Jesus can really be for us." - Tim Keller

Even something as simple as deciding what to preach this morning is influenced by this conflict. I did not finish my sermon last Sunday and had this “Palm Sunday” sermon only in the developmental stage. As I wrapped up I made the quick decision to skip the Palm Sunday sermon and just finish the “Unmasked” sermon on true and false teaching/teachers.

(This does tie into the message today - bear with me)

I don’t want to over think this but just follow me for a minute because this illustrates the reality that even in our best deeds there is something to be repented of.

If I just complete the Unmasked sermon - my sermon writing time for the week is freed up.

I prefer preaching the content of the Unmasked sermon over a Palm Sunday message.

I know that you have all heard dozens of “Triumphal Entry” sermons and I doubt my ability to keep you engaged through another one.

On the other hand I know that we must be a Christ centred church.

I know that we need to make more of the resurrection season - this is the heart of Christianity.

Even now there are Sunday’s when I arrive at home after church, begin work on the editing and uploading of the sermon and fear that I have failed in my mission because I preached ABOUT preaching the gospel - while not actually preaching it.

What I want pushed what Christ says I need onto the back burner.

In the events of what we celebrate today as Palm Sunday Jesus was sending a strong message that runs very much along this same line of thought:

Jesus declares himself to be the King

Critics of Christianity often like to say that Jesus never claimed to be God but that is patently false. Throughout the gospels Jesus said and did things that clearly stated He was God. The Pharisees picked up stones on numerous occasions to kill him for this very thing.

When Jesus claimed to be one with the Father in John 10 after saying his sheep hear his voice and that no one could take them out of his hand - they knew what that meant and so should we.

In John 8 Jesus claimed that before Abraham was - I AM - again they took up stones.

During Christ's trial, the chief priests asked Him point blank, "Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." And He said,

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