Summary: ON PALM SUNDAY THE CHURCH CELEBRATES A PIVITAL EVENT IN BIBLICAL HOSTORY WHEN JESUS PROCEEDED TO TAKE THE JOURNEY THAT WOULD CULMINATE IN ACHEIVING HIS DESTINY, GIVING HIS LIFE FOR MANKIND ON THE CROSS.
SERMON TITLE: “PALM SUNDAY: THE PATHWAY TO THE CROSS”
TEXT: John 12:12-19 “The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, and “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” 14 And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming sitting on a donkey's colt!”
John 19:16-18 “So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him…”
Chuck Colson, Kingdoms in Conflict The government of Polish Prime Minister Jaruzelski had ordered crucifixes removed from classroom walls, just as they had been banned in factories, hospitals, and other public institutions. Catholic bishops attacked the ban that had stirred waves of anger and resentment all across Poland. Ultimately the government relented, insisting that the law remain on the books, but agreeing not to press for removal of the crucifixes, particularly in the schoolrooms.
But one zealous Communist school administrator in Garwolin decided that the law was the law. So one evening he had seven large crucifixes removed from lecture halls where they had hung since the school’s founding in the twenties.
Days later, a group of parents entered the school and hung more crosses. The administrator promptly had these taken down as well.
The next day two-thirds of the school’s six hundred students staged a sit-in. When heavily armed riot police arrived, the students were forced into the streets. Then they marched, crucifixes held high, to a nearby church where they were joined by twenty-five hundred other students from nearby schools for a morning of prayer in support of the protest. Soldiers surrounded the church. But the pictures from inside of students holding crosses high above their heads flashed around the world. So did the words of the priest who delivered the message to the weeping congregation that morning. “There is no Poland without a cross.”
I. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE CROSS? [I’m wearing a cross]
The Cross means many things to many people. Some have it displayed on their mantel, others wear it around their neck. What is the Cross and what is its meaning?
Sarah Coleman gives us five meanings in her article,"What Is the Meaning of the Cross?"
1. The Cross means love- Christ died for sinners. “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).
2. The Cross is personal- In most religions, people strive to reach deity. . "that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death", (Philippians 3:10).
3. The Cross is willful humility- Christ’s death was an act of his will. (Phil.2:7-8, “but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, [a] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
4. The Cross is prophetic- (Num. 21:5-9) "And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. 7 And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
5. The Cross is final- (Heb.) 9:22 “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."
II. CHRIST SUFFERED FOR US ON THE CROSS- (Hebrews 12:2) “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”