Summary: Palm Sunday is a time when we see Jesus enter into Jerusalem, BUT, did the people really see Jesus for the King He is, or the King they wanted Him to be?
RECOGNIZE THE KING
(All my sermons use illustrations found on www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
I have often wondered how many people would recognize Jesus if He were to walk amongst us today? Now I know that Jesus is “with us,” but that is not what I am talking about. I mean if Jesus was to return for a visit. Not the 2nd coming of Christ described in scripture; then all people will recognize Him. His triumphant return will not be doubted by anyone. What I am saying is, if Christ were to come and shop at Wal-Mart one afternoon, how many of us would know Him? If He were to eat at the Pizza Ranch, how many of us would bow at the salad bar? If He were to sit in the back row of service this morning, how many of us would recognize the King?
Have you ever been looking for someone in a crowd? Perhaps you’ve been to pick someone up at the airport, or been met yourself when you’ve gone to visit someone you haven’t seen for a long time. Think of the moment when you finally make eye contact with the person you are looking for. Suddenly, out of all the people gathered in that place at that time you make a personal connection with someone that you know and who knows you! You run up to them and embrace them. Any doubts – would they be there? Would they know you? – all such questions disappear as they turn their face towards you.
This morning I want to look at a passage of scripture that tells the story of a King who enters a city and although it seems the people recognize Him, they truly do not. It is a story of people who are looking for something they want, rather then what they need, and because of their endless greed and selfishness, they miss a real King who offers a far greater gift then they seek. If you have your Bibles with you this morning, please turn with me to Luke 19:28-44 and follow along with what should be a familiar story.
Luke 19:28-44 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 "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. 31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.'" Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" 34 They replied, "The Lord needs it." 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" 40 "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
This passage is known as the Triumphal Entry, and although we see people spreading out their clothing, as some kind of red carpet for the King, it is Jesus that shows us that the people do NOT recognize Him for the King He truly is, He says in verse 42 that it is hidden from their eyes.
This morning let us take a little closer look at this story of what we call “Palm Sunday.”
I. EYE’S WIDE SHUT
I feel fairly sure that not everyone there was thrilled that Jesus was entering Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey. His humble entry was predicted in the Old Testament, Zech 9:9 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.