Summary: This sermon focuses on Palm Sunday

A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch.

The little boy was curious and asked, "Why do you have that palm branch, dad?"

"You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honor him, so we got Palm Branches today."

The little boy replied, " Aw Shucks! The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!"

This morning as many of you know today is Palm Sunday- The day, taken from the Gospels, where a whole city threw a parade for Jesus. As Jesus rode into the city, the people threw Palm branches in anticipation of his coming.- Thus we get our word Palm Sunday. - This day marked a time of celebration where Jesus was the worshipped and praised.

This day is Bittersweet for us because even as we read of the celebration we know that Friday is coming- The cross is coming. We know that many in this same crowd will within a few short days exchange words of praise to words of death. Shouting Hosanna, Hosanna and then later shouting Crucify Him, Crucify Him.

This morning I want to focus our attention on two services both which focused upon Jesus, but with two different results.

If you have your bibles this morning turn with me to two passages one from the Gospel of Matthew and the other from the gospel of Luke. Turn first to Matthew chapter 27 beginning in verse 15. Place your finger there and then turn to Luke chapter 19 beginning in verse 36.

The great evangelist, Billy Graham, has been quoted many times as saying that the greatest mission field in our country to today is in our local church- the people sitting already in our churches. Now I am not sure whether this statement is true or not, but one thing that I do know is that many people know what to say, How to say it, even how to act in it, but when the rubber truly meets that road, there is no personal relationship with Jesus Christ. No salvation- just empty words.

We see a perfect example of this in our two passages this morning. On Sunday Jesus rode into the city with the people shouting praises and praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

On Friday they are shouting give us Barabas, We want him, Crucify Jesus Crucify Him. Why the change?

Well there are many possible reasons, but one simple reason is that their words did not match their heart. They possessed a casual not a committed faith. They had religion but they missed the person Jesus… So how can we have a committed faith… How can we be real and sincere? Consistent in all that we do… Well this morning I want to offer you some keys to just such a faith.

The first Key is that a committed faith is not self-centered it is Christ-Centered

This sounds obvious, but we often miss it . In America, we tend to say to God, “ Hey God, here is my calendar, here is my agenda… Now I can squeeze you in here or here. Pulling God out or turning to God only when it is convenient or useful.

In our passage, The people praised Jesus as He passed by, but many of them praised him for two reasons. First, because of his miracles. He had healed the sick, raised the dead…They praised Him because he was serving them and Second, because they saw in Jesus a way to be politically delivered from the Romans- To be set free from Rome as Israel was set free from Egypt. Their praise was tempered with the attitude of Jesus what can you do for me.

A few days later at the trial they saw a beaten and disfigured Jesus- A man who no longer looked like a deliverer or a conqueror. And as words were said about him, they bought into all the lies and quickly changed their position. For them it was all about Me, Me, Me.

There is a legend about an ancient village in Spain. The villagers learned that the king would pay a visit! In a thousand years, a king had never come to that village. Excitement grew! "We must throw a big celebration," The villagers all agreed. But, it was a poor village, and there weren’t many resources. Someone came up with a classic idea. Since many of the villagers made their own wines, the idea was for everyone in the village bring a large cup of their choice wine to the town square, “We’ll pour it into a large vat and offer it to the king for his pleasure! When the king draws wine to drink, it will be the very best he’s ever tasted!”

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Talk about it...

Mark Chafe

commented on Mar 31, 2009

Thanks for the inspiration

Very Rev. Sam Aidoo-Bervell

commented on Apr 2, 2012

Christ suffered and died for my sins. Thanks for your encouraging words that I should, be content with where God has placed us. I know He holds the future and knows the best. Be blessed.

Bert Foster

commented on Mar 20, 2018

Great message, Kevin. I like how you tell the story and tie it into our lives today.

Helge Hollerud

commented on Mar 22, 2018

Thank you. Exactly in line with the message from so many persecuted Christians around the world: "He will never leave me, nor forsake me...".

Jahanzaib Daniel

commented on Apr 9, 2019

Thank you so much for the beautiful sermon. I really get encouraged by the two different passages are taken, i too think like that. God Bless you

Jerry Allen

commented on Apr 13, 2019

Great sermon! Such a blessing!

Joshua Blackmon

commented on Apr 13, 2019

Great sermon!

Eugene Collier

commented on Apr 14, 2019

Great Message. I enjoyed It! Such a blessing

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