Summary: The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem shows us a pattern for radical worship that includes obedience, sacrifice, and praise.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Just days into the war with Iraq our American troops were knocking on Bagdad’s door and jubilant crowds packed the streets to cheer for Sadam Hussein. Sadam stood atop a vehicle with a rifle in hand shouting and stirring up the people who were apparently oblivious to missiles, bombs, and gunfire around them. I couldn’t help but think that these people must be crazy. How could they cheer on a man who brought destruction to their economy, killed entire villages with poison, and invaded two of his neighbors? No, it just seems that people need a king to follow, somebody or something to worship and praise. If people can be so ecstatic for a despot how much more could we worship the King of kings? The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem gives a snapshot of the radical worship people gave him – and he accepted. It is the same kind of radical worship we should give him today – and he will accept it.
I. True worship requires radical obedience as preparation (Mark 11:1-6)
A. The disciples were supposed to do something crazy that required faith.
1. They had to go to an unknown house
2. They had to retrieve an unknown colt
3. They had to answer a query from an unknown person
4. The only thing they had to go on was Jesus’ word
a. They could have been arrested for theft if it wasn’t true
b. They could have been ridiculed
c. They could have been on a wild goose chase
B. The Bible is replete with scenes of radical obedience.
1. Noah building an ark
2. Abraham leaving Ur
3. The Hebrews leaving Egypt
a. Over and over they were told they couldn’t leave
b. They ate a special meal for the road
c. The painted their doorframes with blood
d. They kept their sandals on
e. They requested gold from their neighbors
f. They had faith that they would leave
C. Radical obedience today is still required.
1. Live as if you are living for the King
2. Prepare your hearts through prayer and meditation
3. Prepare your soul with daily worship in praises, blessings, and song
4. Follow in faith wherever it leads
a. You may have to move
b. You may have to talk to people with whom you ordinarily wouldn’t talk
c. You may have do something you haven’t done before
5. If you aren’t ever getting out of your comfort zone then you probably aren’t being radically obedient.
II. True worship requires radical sacrifice (Mark 11:7-8)
A. Whenever there is a conflict or war that requires military action there is almost always somebody in the military who decides the cost is too high for the cause. Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia, originally from Nicaragua, joined the US Army in 1995. Currently assigned to the 53rd Infantry Brigade as an infantryman whose main job is to fight and kill on the front lines. Despite almost ten year of service in the Army, 28 year old Sgt Mejia became one of almost 600 soldiers to go AWOL during the Iraq war so far. He decided that the goal was not worth the sacrifice. I am afraid that many people who claim Jesus as their King are much like SGT Mejia, they still wear the uniform but are unwilling to make the sacrifice.
B. Worship today requires radical sacrifice personally and corporately
1. To radically worship you must be willing to radically sacrifice your time.
a. How much time do you give to God?
b. Some give just an hour on Sunday.
c. You must live each moment for Jesus
2. To radically worship you must be willing to radically sacrifice your possessions
3. To radically worship you must radically sacrifice your talents.
C. The disciples and the crowds radically sacrificed for Jesus.
1. They threw their cloaks on the ground or on the colt’s back.
2. The cloak was a status symbol for some.
a. It was decorated and made from fine material.
b. It would have rich and beautiful ornaments of metal, precious stones, or ebroidery.
c. Men wore fringes with blue ribbons on the hemline of the cloak to remind them of the constant presence of the Lord’s commandments (Num 15:38, Matt 23:5)
3. For a poor person also used his cloak as a bed sheet.
4. They were willing to cast their bedsheets under the hooves of this colt.
III. True worship requires radical praise. (Mark 11:9-10)
A. The crowds praised with all their might.
1. They shouted
2. They danced
3. They went before
4. They followed behind
5. They blessed the Lord
6. They sang his praises
B. 2Sam 6:14-16 (NIV) David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.