Summary: PALM SUNDAY MESSAGE
Many preachers are often faced with familiar Bible stories and a familiar audience or congregation. Familiar stories often appear on what many would call special Sundays like Christmas and Easter. I believe Palm Sunday could be seen as a special Sunday by many. On those so called special Sundays, we do have Scripture readings that we have heard over and over again. On a Sunday like this most of you knew that our reading would be Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem. Faced with this kind of situation, a preacher would often ask himself/herself- what else can I preach on this day? This is true when you often have a familiar congregation- people who had been around year in and year out and definitely would have heard the same stories.
You may have heard the same story about the Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. I however believe that God still has something special for you this special Sunday from this same old story. Perhaps something he may just want to remind you of. Or it could be something new he just wants to tell you about. Let us therefore have an open mind as we allow God’s Holy Spirit to minister to us in whatever way he deems necessary for us on the theme- The Characters in the Palm Sunday Narrative.
Jesus Christ, you entered into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. We pray that you will enter into our minds and hearts as we listen to the message. Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord- hosanna in the highest!
The Text: Matthew Chapter 21 verses 1 to 11
As mentioned earlier, this is a familiar text. In understanding the text, I would first of all want us to identify the major characters therein namely- Jesus, the two disciples he sent, the fellow who was keeping the animals that Jesus needed and the crowd. Each of them played different roles.
These characters featured in two major scenes- the two disciples Jesus sent played a major role in scene I, i.e. Jesus giving instruction and they obeying it. In the other scene, we see the animals the two disciples brought, being dressed up for Jesus and him making a triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a carpeted road of palm branches; with a crowd behind and ahead of him.
To bring the text into a modern day context, I would spend some time in demonstrating scene I using a monologue.
Scene I in a Modern Day Context
Imagine Jesus has given his instruction to Joe Fode and I and the instruction was to go down Jolly Good Garden and at door number 36 there are two silver colour Range Rovers packed on the drive way.
As soon as we started going, I began questioning Joe Fode whether Jesus’ instruction was sensible and the repercussions if anything goes wrong when one enters into somebody’s drive way and we begin to open the door of a vehicle that does not belong to us. Now listen to this monologue.
Egerton: did you get Jesus’ instruction?
Joe Fode: What do you mean?
Egerton: You know this instruction that Jesus has given us doesn’t make sense to me O. How can we go into somebody’s private property, get into his vehicle... If anything goes wrong, do you know it will cost us our CRB?
Joe Fode: What do you think will go wrong?
Egerton: I mean if somebody misunderstands what we are doing do you know that he/she will ring 999 and the police will get onto us and perhaps arrest us for trespassing.
Ah, Joe Fode- look somebody is watching at us as we are approaching the drive way.
Joe Fode: I didn’t see anybody let’s get into the drive way.
Egerton: OK you go ahead; I will be just behind you. Hello! Is anybody in this house? Jesus of Nazareth (the miracle worker- who raised the dead, healed the blind) sent us. We are here in your house because Jesus sent us.
The man in the House: hello, can I help you?
Egerton: My name is Egerton and my colleague is Joe Fode, he is the team leader for this errand. I just accompanied him. Ehhhh... Jesus of Nazareth (do you know him? The one that is doing all the miracles around town) sent us to you for these two jeeps.
The man in the house: you can have them. Bye and extend my kind regards to your boss.
Egerton & Joe Fode: thank you sir. We shall extend your regards to him
Egerton: you see Joe Fode; you thought I was a coward. I only wanted us to strategize how we can carry out Jesus’ assignment hitch-free.
Joe Fode: Egerton get into that jeep and let us go to Jesus.