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Summary: Palm Sunday Sermon (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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The Triumphant Entry

Reading: John chapter 12 verses 12-36.

Ill:

• A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother.

• His father returned from church holding a palm branch.

• The little boy was curious and asked,

• "Why do you have that palm branch, dad?"

• "You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honour him,

• So we got Palm Branches today."

• "Typical!” replies the little boy;

• “The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!"

• As Christians we believe Jesus shows up every week!;

• But so often he isn’t recognised!

Ill:

When a male baby was born to Jewish parents:

• There hope was ; ‘is this the one?’

• They were looking for the Messiah!

• Yet, when the Messiah came;

• Sadly they failed to recognise him!

Ill:

• The British conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham

• Founded a number of orchestras including the Beecham Symphony Orchestra,

• The London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

• Once saw a distinguished-looking woman in a hotel foyer.

• Believing he knew her, but unable to remember her name,

• He paused to talk with her.

• As the two chatted, he vaguely recollected that she had a brother.

• Hoping for a clue,

• He asked how her brother was and whether he was still working at the same job.

• “Oh, he’s very well,” she said, “And he’s still king.”

Jesus had visited Jerusalem many times before:

• As a boy, as a worshipper, as a teacher.

• But never as a king.............. that is until now!

• The question is:

• Would the people and the religious leaders recognise him!

The road to the cross was a road of:

(1). Road of Destiny (verses 12-13):

“The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.

ill:

Some time ago, a man was trying to trace his family origin.

• In the process of his research he visited several cemeteries

• Collecting information from the various gravestones.

• At one place he came across a monument with the following inscription:

‘Pause now stranger, as you pass by

As you are now, so once was I

As I am now, so soon you’ll be.

Prepare yourself to follow me.’

• Next to the marker,

• He noticed someone had placed a board with the following words:

• ‘To follow you, I’m not content

• Until I know, which way you went’.

Jesus was on the right road, heading in the right direction (Quote: verse 12):

“The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast

heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.

ill:

• 14th day of Nissan;

• Was a date etched into the minds of all good Jewish people.

• This was the day to celebrate Passover.

• Passover is around March-April and is concurrent with our Good Friday and Easter.

This was one of the great festivals of the Jewish year when the people reminded themselves:

• Of the dramatic way in which God had saved them,

• Miraculously rescued them from their Egyptian task-masters (Exodus chapter 12).

• So it was a time of fun and excitement;

• A party time atmosphere would be in the air.

• Large numbers of people would make the trip to Jerusalem.

• They would come from all over the world!

• For Jesus it was very much the road of destiny;

• Verse 13 informs us of how the crowds welcomed him into the city of Jerusalem.

Ill:

• If someone arrives at your house claiming to be an ambassador of the Queen,

• You would expect him or her to have proof of who they are!

• We would probably ask:

• Where is your identification? Where is your security pass or passport etc.

In a similar way:

• When Jesus arrived on planet earth claiming to be the Son of God;

• What credentials, what proof was there as to who he was.

• One piece of evidence that emerges again and again in the gospels is the phrase like:

• “So that the scripture might be fulfilled”

• One piece of evidence was prophecies written by God in the Old Testament;

• 100’s of years previously and now they are being fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Several are fulfilled in this story:

(a). Example of a broad prophecy:

13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

Hosanna!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the King of Israel!”

• The words that the crowd shouted;

• Are taken from several Old Testament Psalms.

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