Summary: Based on History Channel's epic mini-series, The Bible, this five-part expository sermon series highlights five key events in the story of Scripture from Abraham to Jesus, using video clips from the show.
The Bible: The Triumphal Entry
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 3/24/2013
Michael Hauge knows all about storytelling.
Michael is a story and script consultant who works with writers and filmmakers on their screenplays, novels, movies and television projects. He’s also written a number of books about the art of storytelling and script-writing. According to Michael Hauge, there are five key elements that go into creating a good story. The first and most important element is this—it’s got to have a hero.
Every story needs a hero.
The story of Scripture is no different.
For the past three weeks, we have been rediscovering some of the most gripping and fascinating stories from the Bible––stories that are more than just stories; stories that tell us something about ourselves, our lives, and God’s hopes and plans for us. We’ve been doing this, of course, in concert with History Channel’s epic ten-hour miniseries appropriately titled, The Bible.
Last Sunday night, I hope you were watching as we were introduced to the hero of the story, the hero of history—Jesus.
After decades of captivity in Babylon, King Cyrus of Persia issues a decree that frees the people of Israel to return home and begin rebuilding their temple as well as their lives. Prophets like Daniel, Zechariah, and others began to foretell of a Messiah—a hero—who would one day emerge to establish a new kingdom, God’s Kingdom, that would be the embodiment of peace and righteousness.
Centuries later, in the quiet little town of Bethlehem, that hero was born.
Fast-forward roughly thirty-three years and that brings us to today—Palm Sunday—and the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. After a three year ministry of unprecedented divine authority, miracles, and exorcisms, Jesus’ fame has finally reached a crescendo. Hundreds of thousands of Jews descend upon Jerusalem for the annual Passover celebration and Jesus’ presences cause quite a stir, which is where our clip picks up. Let’s watch and see what happens.
NEXT SLIDE—CLIP WILL PLAY AUTOMATICALLY
This chapter in Jesus’ story is often referred to as the Triumphal Entry and, I think, it reflects our own stories in at least three ways. The first way that this story is like ours is that it’s a story of hysteria!
• A STORY OF HYSTERIA
Everyone likes a parade, right? We love the pomp, the colorful costumes, the loud music, the disciplined marching, the imaginative floats, and of course the smiles and the waves. Some parades are greater productions than others. I spent several years living in a suburb outside New Orleans so I’ve experienced some spectacular parades. But serving a majority of my ministry is small town America, I’ve grown more accustom to the homecoming parade with four floats—one for each class, the marching band, the homecoming court sitting in donated convertibles, and the town fire engine and squad car with flashing lights.
The parade that formed around Jesus as he entered Jerusalem may have been more like our small town parades, but the excitement and energy just surged through the streets like Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The Bible describes it like this: “Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (Matthew 21:8-9 NLT/NIV).
How electric it must been to be standing on the streets of Jerusalem that day.
I remember when President Bush came to speak at my university’s annual benefit dinner. I never got to see him, myself (I was poor college student and nose-bleed seats started at $100). But I remember the hysteria, the hype, the excitement. We’d had important speakers before—senators, star athletes, celebrities. The event is typically Tennessee’s largest one-night fundraiser, generating in excess of $1 million for student scholarships every year. But this year, the President was coming. I remember students and townies lining the streets and peering over one another’s shoulders as this precession of black SUVs pulled up to the gymnasium. That’s the kind of excitement these people felt when Jesus rode into the city.
Do you remember when Jesus first came into your life?
You were excited, weren’t you? Your heart was on fire. You wanted to tell everyone about the hero who saved your soul. That’s how we should feel about Jesus. He deserves all the praise and applause we can muster. He’s the star of the show, the center of the celebration, the hero of history. If we can’t get excited about Jesus, what is there to be excited about!?
Unfortunately, our excitement often fizzles when our expectations aren’t met; which brings us to the second way that this story is like ours. It’s a story of hope.