Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others that Christ expects his followers to follow His steps and declare from their hearts His last eight Words of Life.
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris, Jr.
Ord Military Chapel
16 March 2008
Big Idea: Christ expects those who claim to be His followers to follow in his steps, and declare from their hearts His last eight Words of Life.
Scriptural References: EAI (Expository; Application; Illustration) Deuteronomy 17:16 (NIV) The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again”; Luke 23:46 (NIV) Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last; Psalm 118:26 (NIV) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you; John 12:13 (NIV) They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! " "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!"; John 12:23-25 (NIV) Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life; Note: The Book of John specifically mentions Palms were laid on the street in honor of Jesus.
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Psalm 31:5 (NIV)
II. READ THE PERICOPE: Psalm 31:5 (NIV)
III. READ THE TEXT: Psalm 31:5 NIV (Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth).
IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that Christ expects his followers to follow His steps and declare from their hearts His last eight Words of Life.
V. SERMONIC THEME: Palm Sunday & “Words of Life”
While surfing the internet, I came across two jokes (on Swapmeetdave.com). The first, was credited to George Burns (but it was probably co-authored by Command Sergeant Major Nicholas Rozummy), which read as follows: “The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible. --
The second was about Palm Sunday. Please listen carefully as I slowly run through (or recapitulate) the story:
It was Palm Sunday but because of a sore throat, 5-year-old Jimmy stayed home from church with a sitter. When the family returned home, they were carrying several palm branches (or fronds). Jimmy asked them what they were for. “People held them over Jesus’ head as he walked by,” his father told him. “Wouldn’t you know it,” Jimmy fumed, the one Sunday I don’t go and he shows up.”
Now, seriously, all over America and overseas, this Sunday (16 March 2008) Christians are celebrating – the Sunday before Easter - as Palm Sunday and the First Day of Holy Week.
But, have you ever wondered why Jesus (King of Kings) rode a mule into Jerusalem instead of a horse? Jesus HUMBLY rode a mule because He was being obedient to God.
For don’t you remember, The Prophet Zechariah prophesied in Zechariah 9:9-10 (NIV): Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See,your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Therefore, it has been said that … “had Jesus in His title of King rode upon a horse, it would have been a breach of a positive command of God; therefore, Jesus rode upon a donkey, and thus fulfilled the prophecy, and kept the precept unbroken.
******TAKE 5 BEATS ******
MOVE 1: So – on this day - (over 2000 years ago) people laid their garments and palms (or cut weeds/rushes) on the streets.
a. For you see, it was common practice (in the ancient near East) to cover, in some way, the path of someone thought worthy of the highest honor.
b. Likewise, certainly Christ expects those who claim to be his to follow in his steps, and declare from their hearts His last eight Words of Life.
c. “For the whole point of Christianity is reaching out toward Christlikeness; For it was Jesus, himself, who said,(in John 12:26 RSV)
d. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.