Summary: This sermon was preached on Palm Sunday but is very easily adapted to any evangelistic or exhortation sermon. The bearer of the water pot was "such a man" that God was able to use him to bring the Plan of Salvation one step closer to fulfillment.
SUCH A MAN
By Pastor Jim May
This is Palm Sunday, the last Sunday before Easter. Today is the day that we remember the Triumphal Entry of Christ into the city of Jerusalem as the crowds gathered to welcome him into the city. They lined the streets on both sides and as Jesus came riding through the gate on a donkey the crowds began to cheer. Most of them were cheering because they thought that their king had finally come who would cast off the bonds of slavery under the Roman Empire. They waved Palm branches and cast their coats in front of Jesus as he rode by.
That same crowd would turn on Jesus with a vengeance in just a few short hours. They would become disillusioned and angry when they realized that Jesus had not come to free them from their bonds of the flesh. They never realized that he had really come to free them from the slavery of sin and to deliver them from a far worse enemy than Rome. He had come to die on the cross for the sin of the world and to give all mankind an opened door into Heaven.
But I want us to back up just a little in this story this morning. I want us to look back as Jesus was still outside the city. He had stood over the city, looking down upon it with pure love and wept over it in Matthew 23:37 saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"
God had adopted Israel as his own chosen nation and then established Jerusalem as its capitol. Down through Israel’s long history, God had continually tried to send Judges, Prophets, Preachers, and now even His Own Son, to bring Israel back to God, but Israel would not hear. Now – it was too late! It wouldn’t be long until Israel was no longer a nation. They rebelled against God so many times that God had to finally disperse them.
They didn’t learn their lesson during the 40 years in the wilderness when a whole generation died. They didn’t learn their lesson in the nearly 400 years of Egyptian bondage. And they hadn’t learned their lesson when God withdrew Himself from them and didn’t speak to them for 400 years either. And now, they wouldn’t even listen to the very voice of God’s Own Son. The price that they would pay for their rejection of Christ would be staggering. In World War II alone, 6 million of them would die. The curse that they pronounced upon their children for generations to come would be fulfilled in blood and suffering.
But for now, Jesus was still outside the city and his thoughts were centered upon the celebration of the Passover Feast with his disciples for the last time.
Luke 22:15-16, "And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
Do you understand why Jesus had greatly desired to eat this Passover Feast? For 33 years he had celebrated the Passover. But it goes back further than that. Let us not forget that Jesus was very God. As God, He had planned this Passover from the very beginning of Creation and even before. God had so longed for this day to come. It wasn’t only the Passover Feast, but it was the fact that it wouldn’t be long now until the Plan of Salvation that God had put into place in eternity past, that would reclaim all that was lost in the Fall of Adam, would finally be finished. Once again God could claim the souls of men as His own and could have a people who would truly worship him and love Him for who He is!
Down through eons of time and thousands of years of man’s history God had planned and foreseen this last Passover meal. Thus it was with a great desire that He wanted to see it come to pass. This would be the last symbolic Passover Feast that would ever be needed for now the true Lamb of God was going to be sacrificed to fulfill all of the requirements of Atonement for sin. The next time we get to sit down and celebrate a mean with Jesus will be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb when all will have been fulfilled.
Three of the four Gospels contain the description of Jesus’ instructions and plans for celebrating the Passover with his disciples. Before the Passover Feast could be celebrated, there had to be a place where these 13 men could go and be together. The disciples, while they may have thought about it, were simply allowing Jesus to lead them and they had no concrete plans for the feast. They were relying upon Jesus for everything. Three and a half years of ministry, following close behind Jesus, and trusting in him for everything they needed, had taught the disciples that Jesus would have everything under control. Let’s read the accounts of Jesus’ commands and the actions of the disciples in planning for the Passover Feast.