Summary: Palm Sunday Sermon (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Triumphant Entry
Reading: John chapter 12 verses 12-36.
• 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!
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!
• 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.
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.
• 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.
• 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,
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.