Summary: What do you bring to the parade? What will you give Jesus today? He is passing by. He is looking your way. Will you look him in the eye, take him by the hand, and make him your King and Lord?

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The Parade

John 12:12-19

Ticker-tape parades are not as common today as they once were. There was a time when our country honored our heroes and heroines with colossal spectacles. Celebrities would ride in a convertible automobile down the massive canyons of steel and glass, with walls so high that the sun is seen but for a few minutes. Often bands playing rousing Sousa marches led the parades. Young ladies tossing batons and swirling pom-poms followed. Tons of confetti, streamers, balloons, and ticker tape cascaded down upon them like a waterfall. Everybody was there. It was a time of great excitement. I would have loved to have been present for such gala events. I would have hated to have been the street sweeper, though.

Almost 2,000 years ago Jesus Was Given A Parade. A mass of humanity was present; perhaps as many as 2.5 million people crowded the narrow streets converging on the holy city of Jerusalem at Passover time. From the distance, there came a noise—a kind of rhythmic, staccato chant that wafted in . . . now louder . . . and louder . . . from the southern gate of the city. People stopped talking to each other and turned their faces and their ears toward the sound. A recurring word could be heard: Hosanna. Hosanna. Hosanna. It was more like a cheer than a chant. As the procession got closer and closer people began to see the dust rising from shuffling feet. Men pushed and shoved to get closer to the street. The Hosanna’s got louder and louder, reverberating against stonewalls.

A man came running ahead of the procession. He was saying something that the people had to strain to hear: “Jesus of Nazareth is coming! The Prophet is coming! The man who raises the dead is coming! Hurry, Jesus is coming!” The crowd began to inch closer and closer to the street. Dads hoisted their children to their shoulders. Teenagers climbed trees lining the streets for an unhindered view. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of this strange prophet they had heard about.

What they saw was strange—or, at least, totally unexpected. Jesus moved serenely on the back of a small white donkey, much like a man riding in a convertible. Jesus, the honored celebrity, was the center of attention, the eye of the hurricane, around him chaos, but in him calmness. Rather than the sound of confetti and streamers ruffling the air, one could hear the sounds of slashing and whooshing of palm fronds as they were placed in front of the donkey’s hooves. Other parade watchers took off their coats and their cloaks and spread them before Jesus, much like a red carpet being rolled out for royalty. The coats made a mosaic of multi-colored profusion. It was an incredible scene. I would have loved to been there for that gala event. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the street sweeper, though. All segments of humanity were at the Palm Sunday procession for Jesus that day. You know how I know? I know by what was left on the streets. You can tell a lot about people by what they leave behind.

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