Summary: This message discusses Palm Sunday, the events leading up to it, and the reason for it.
Text: The crowds went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)
Today is Palm Sunday. It is one week before Resurrection Sunday. It is the last week of Jesus’ earthly existence. This week is known as Holy Week. During the day there is much excitement and shouts of joy as the crowd goes before and after Jesus as He rides into Jerusalem upon the donkey.
This is the beginning of the week that will reveal many events as the days pass by. Faithful followers will become deserters who fear for their own life. Jesus will be arrested, tried, sentenced, beaten, and finally nailed to a cross on which He will die.
Jesus knew the purpose of His earthly mission and He knew what was down the road. He was already carrying the weight of the Cross upon His heart. Jesus told His disciples three times what was going to happen to Him, but they did not seem to understand.
Jesus death and resurrection was the Father’s way of giving His children an opportunity to form a right relationship with Him and spend eternity with Him in His kingdom. Man has a sinful nature and can not save himself, but God has a loving heart, an abundance of grace, and a willingness to take into His arms anyone who will call upon the name of His Son Jesus Christ.
The Father sent His Son into the world for our benefit. His sole purpose was to pay our sin debt. This was God’s plan from the very beginning before sin ever entered the world. He knew and saw the big picture. He created man and He knew man’s heart.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God’s love is a special kind of love that reaches out to every man, woman, and child who will respond by repenting of their sins and inviting His son to live with their heart.
There is no cost for this love because the price has already been paid. There is no way in the world man could ever pay because of his nature. God paid the price by giving His Son to be nailed to the Cross.
His Son had no sin and no guilt. He was the perfect unblemished Lamb. He was the sacrifice beyond all sacrifices. He was the Father’s grace extended to all His children.
As far as we know, Jesus lived His earthly life like any other child. He was taken care of by his earthly mother and father. He had brothers and sisters. He worked in His father’s carpenter shop like any other young man.
Jesus was twelve years old when he and his parents were returning from the Feast of the Passover and an unusual event occurred. “After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day.
“Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished” (Luke 2:48).
At this point, Joseph and Mary knew Jesus was different. They did not understand when Jesus said, “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house” (Luke 2:49). Mary kept these thoughts in her heart and watched as Jesus grew in wisdom and stature.
We are not told anything about His life from twelve until thirty when He started His earthly ministry. When John the Baptist came forth and announced that people should “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 3:2), he was indicating the God was in the world in the form of a human being known as Jesus. God had entered human history. Jesus was 30 years of age at the time.
When He began His public ministry, He gained some followers and He made some enemies. He taught the Scripture as no other person could teach it. He talked about things that could lead a person into sin.
Jesus preached on anger; lust; divorce; retaliation or getting even with someone who had done you wrong; loving those who were your enemies; helping the needy; prayer; fasting; money; worry; criticizing; asking; seeking; knocking; the way to heaven; false prophets, and a firm foundation for one’s life.