Summary: This sermon deals with the various attitudes which are exposed or demonstrated on Palm Sunday.
Choose Your Attitude
3/24/2002 Palm Sunday Zech 9:9-12 Matt 21:1-11
How many of you have ever been to a parade that had different things in it from bands, to floats, to drill teams and more? In a parade you never know what is going to come up next, whether you will feel good about it, or just want it to hurry up and get out of the way. Life itself is like a parade. You never quite know what is coming next. Although you cannot determine, what’s coming, you can determine what your attitude toward whatever it is, is going to be.
Our attitude is a choice. It is something that’s very valuable, because it lets us be in control of how we feel inside. If attitude was not a choice, we could not follow Christ, because Jesus requires of us some unexpected attitudes in certain situations. Have you ever had anyone tell you, you need to change that attitude or get rid of that attitude as soon as possible? Having a bad attitude or a poor attitude can really destroy relationships and will hurt us in the long run.
Chuck Swindoll had this to say about attitude. “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of Attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important: than facts, than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do, than appearances, than giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the Attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have, and that is our Attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…We are in charge of our attitudes.”
Palm Sunday is a time for us to examine our attitudes toward each other as well as toward God. In a way, Palm Sunday is about a huge parade coming into town with one major float as its main attraction. The preparation, the launching, and the moving of the float will allow all kinds of attitudes to appear. Let’s see when and where our own attitude shows up.
Now Jesus has less than a week to live, and He knows it fully well. He has finally decided to make it known publicly that He is the long awaited Messiah, the King that God’s people has been waiting for, for hundreds of years. We read in the Old Testament a prophecy about a King who would come into the city riding on a colt. Zechariah predicted it would happen over 500 years before Jesus was born. The time had finally come and Jesus was ready to take the next step. Can he count on everybody’s cooperation?
He’s starting to get ready for his whole reason for being ,which was to obey God the Father. He calls his disciples and chooses two of them. Let’s look at Luke 19:30-31 "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ’Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ’The Lord needs it.’ Now the word Lord here, is the name for God which is found in the Old Testament.
So Jesus is saying, tell them “God is about to do something great with it" Now here’s the first opportunity for an attitude. Suppose you had been there as one of the disciples. Would you have gotten upset and became envious that Jesus chose those two and not you? Some kind of miracle is going to take place with this colt. Why do they get to be the ones to go?
Few things are as damaging to the body of Christ, than people having the attitude, “I should have gotten that part, or my child should have had that part.” The attitude of envy causes us to say things about others that should never be said. We question their motives, their hearts, and their intentions. We forget that we are called the body of Christ, not the interchangeable parts of Christ. Jesus does not treat us the same, because He has different roles and ministries for each of us to fulfill. Some of us would have said, “if he was going to do it for the two, then he should have done it for the 12. That’s the only way to be fair.”
Sometimes we get upset with others over God’s call on their lives, when we do not understand what price they have paid to get to where they are. Sometimes God cannot use us in the spot light, because we’re unwilling to pay the price to get there. Now here are these two disciples are going on the word of Jesus. As they are walking along, one of them probably said, “So how much money did Jesus give you for the colt.” The other said what, “I thought he gave you the money to pay for it.” What’s our attitude when God calls us to do something, but God does not give us anything to accomplish it with except His Word. All we know is that God told us to do it.