Summary: I'd like to look back at Psalm 103 because I believe that here we'll find six things for which we are to praise the Lord...six things that the disciples could relate to...things that I believe are what prompted the spontaneous praises that echoed through
THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY
LUKE 19:28 40
I grew up in Northern Cambria. It was known for having some pretty good football teams. But there was one particularly memorable game against our arch rivals Cambria Heights that was very non typical.
In the closing minutes of action the score is 31 0 and there is little hope left for victory. Yet our cheerleaders don't give up. And they got the home crowd chanting, "Go Team Go, Go team Go!" I've never seen anything like it.
I can't help but compare that situation to the Scripture passage I just read. Jesus and His disciples were approaching Jerusalem for the last days and hours of His ministry.
Three times along the way He had told them of His need to suffer and die on a cross. What despair must have come over the group as they neared the city of Jerusalem. I don't think they fully comprehended the situation but they had resigned themselves to the fact that something bad was going to happen.
But all of a sudden someone started shouting, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord." Others began to join in and pretty soon the whole crowd is shouting out the praises of the Lord. And I want you to note some words found there in verse 37... !joyfully„Ç...!loud„Ç and this in public...out there for all the world to see and hear.
Why who ever heard of such a thing? Why respectable, righteous, mature Christians like us would never allow such a public display to go on. Look at the spectacle they made of themselves. They were acting like a bunch of fanatics...no shame or sense of decency at all.
And some good Church of God man stood up and said to Jesus, "Rebuke your disciples." But what did Jesus...that quiet, meek, reverent, Son of Almighty God reply?...... He said, "I tell you, that if they keep quiet, if they hold their peace...the stones will cry out."
No doubt, most of you have heard quite a few Palm Sunday sermons, and good ones I imagine. And I attempted to come up with a sermon on the triumphal entry of Jesus myself...but I kept getting hung up on the particular part of the story. So I want to share with you what I feel the Lord has laid on my heart and that has to do with praise.
Once the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray...but there is never any record that they ever asked Him to teach them how to praise. Yet praise is something that has a very important place in the Scriptures. And it is something that we had better get acquainted with if we are figuring on living in heaven.
Look quickly with me at Revelation 7:9 12 Rev.19:1 6
As I mentioned, Jesus was never asked to show the disciples how to praise, but if He had been asked, I can think of no better reference than Psalm 103:1 5 (READ) This is a manual for praise...one that I think we need to look very closely at.
Now I realize that this is a touchy issue with many people...maybe some of you. And right here at the beginning I want you to understand what I am trying to get across. I am dead set against emotionalism... but praise has nothing at all to do with that. So ask the Lord to give you an understanding...to let the true message come forth in all it's glory.
I honestly believe that this is the one element that is most lacking and is most hindering to the sincere, seeking Christian. It is something mentioned at least a few times in Scripture...in fact, I found 304 references to praise just briefly examining the word.
But what exactly is it? Here we see the multitudes involved in it, including the disciples...and Jesus strongly supports it. But what is it? And why were the Pharisees so upset over it?
First of all, Praise is not some mumbo jumbo... it's not some vain repetition. Praise is inwardness...it is a condition...a flow. It is not something done from script, like a form that we follow.
It employs the outward, "a loud voice" or as in Psalms the timbrel, harp, organ...these are only instruments. It is the !heart„Ç that originates praise. And there must be spontaneity...there must be desire.
The disciples had been told three times by Jesus that He was going to die...on the cross. They knew the religious leaders were out to get Jesus...so what in the world did they have to motivate them to such a level of praise and worship?
I believe it was those rivers of living water that Jesus spoke about...that come from a recognition of who He is...they knew, from deep inside, that He was not just a good man, a powerful man who could do amazing things...he was not just a competent teacher...HE WAS THE KING...WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!!!