Summary: Without Christ we are just ordinary people, ordinary creation, who don’t experience the extraordinary hand of a living God. Without Christ we are without joy, peace, wisdom, self-control, patience, and the strength to live the life it was meant to be.
The PraiseFest in Jerusalem
The donkey awakened, his mind still savoring the afterglow of the most exciting day of his life. Never before had he felt such a rush of pleasure and pride.
He walked into town and found a group of people by the well. “I’ll show myself to them,” he thought.
But they didn’t notice him. They went on drawing their water and paid him no mind. “Throw your garments down,” he said crossly. “Don’t you know who I am?”
They just looked at him in amazement. Someone slapped him across the tail and ordered him to move.
“Miserable heathens!” he muttered to himself. “I’ll just go to the market where the good people are. They will remember me.”
But the same thing happened. No one paid any attention to the donkey as he strutted down the main street in front of the market place.
“The palm branches! Where are the palm branches!” he shouted. “Yesterday, you threw palm branches!”
Hurt and confused, the donkey returned home to his mother. “Foolish child,” she said gently. “Don’t you realize that without Him, you are just an ordinary donkey?”
We must not forget this morning that without Jesus we are just ordinary sinners without extraordinary hope. Without Jesus we stand to face the judgment and ultimately the wrath of God for sins.
Without Christ we are to face our own faults, shortcomings, errors, sins, misconceptions, and propensity to wickedness alone. We have no liberty in the flesh, no life in His grace, and no forgiveness of sins.
Without Christ we are just ordinary people, ordinary creation, who don’t experience the extraordinary hand of a living God. Without Christ we are without joy, peace, wisdom, self-control, patience, and the strength to live the life it was meant to be. Thank God for Christ.
There are times in the Scriptures that demand that you pause. And then your pausing makes you think. And your thinking will cause you to start thanking God.
We thank him for the power of His word. We thank Him for the provision of His word. And we thank Him for the practical application of His word.
We have read of crowds and multitudes surrounding Jesus before. He was accustomed to the crowds; He had become easy with the multitudes. He regulalry embraced the crowds.
· Multitudes who marveled and glorified God seeing the works of Christ – Referencing Matthew 9:9
· Multitudes whom He had compassion on because they were a sheep having no shepherd. – Referencing Matthew 9:36
· Multitudes that followed Him frequently – Referencing Matthew 12:15
· Multitudes that came having those with them, who were lame, dumb, maimed, and many others and he healed them. – Referencing Matt.15: 30
In our text this morning we see the gathering of another multitude, there was what I have labeled a “praise fest” going on in Jerusalem, not with balloons, streamers, or banners, but palm branches, garments, and coats.
You have to agree with me that there is definitely something going on here that does not seem to make room for sadness or madness. You cannot tell just by the presence of noise what is going at this point and time in Jesus public ministry.
Noise can be an explanation that something is happening but not necessarily a true indication of what is happening. You may have made some noise here this morning in worship, which may explain your jubilant outburst but it may not be a true indication of what’s really happening in your life.
These people in Jerusalem are making noise, but it is only after the words are recorded that we get an understanding of what all the commotion is about. What were their words? What were they celebrating? What was the rejoicing all about?
They had not been liberated from Roman rule. Jerusalem had not been returned to its luster as in the days of King David. The Roman emperors had not been run out of town.
“37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”
How could they rejoice given the presence situation? How could they praise God in such a way and run the risk of inciting a riot or upsetting the Roman government who asserted that there is only one God and that’s Caesar?