Summary: Palm Sunday consisted of three groups of people coming to greet Jesus.
I. One of the few television programs that I enjoy watching is American Idol.
A. Not so much the episodes of the tryouts, but
B. I do enjoy hearing some of these would be famous performers, and guessing who will win.
C. Just for the record, if I were going to vote, I would vote for Melinda Dolittle.
II. If you have watched the past 3 or so episodes, you would have seen that they have a special guest come in to listen and coach the performers.
A. I can’t remember who it was three weeks ago, but two weeks ago it was Diana Ross, who was a terrific performer in her day.
B. This past Tuesday, none other than Gwen Stafani came to give advice.
III. It is most interesting to note the reactions on the young performers faces when they first meet these “famous” people.
A. Most seem to be in some kind of shock,
1. I am actually speaking with Swen Stafani or
2. I received advice from Diana Ross,
B. And for most of them, that probably is a once in a lifetime meeting, as most of these people will return to relative obscurity in only a few more weeks, perhaps even the winner, has anyone really notice Tayler Hicks?
IV. The meeting or even catching a glimpse of some famous person can draw out people by the hundreds,
A. You may recall a few years ago when the Pope came to town; Philadelphia almost shut down.
B. And when President Bush spoke in Bucks county, what three years or so ago, the farm that speech was held on barely contained all the people, because they wanted to be near, and to hear what the President of the United States might say.
C. I didn’t attend, but I would imagine it was the same old political stuff.
V. On Palm Sunday, some two thousand years ago, a great man was coming to Jerusalem.
A. To this point, Jesus had performed many miracles, but it seems that the healing of Lazarus had been the last straw for the Pharisee’s.
B. The story of Palm Sunday is related in John chapter 12, but chapter 11 relates his healing of a dead man named Lazarus.
C. In response to this healing, multitudes of people were believing, something about Jesus, and were beginning to follow him.
VI. The response of the Pharisee’s was a bit different, - John 11, 47 and 48 read, Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
VII. I never really understood why Jesus was arrested, in the garden at night.
A. I always thought he was a fairly public figure, but John tells us that at this point, Jesus had to go into hiding, and the Pharisee’s couldn’t find him.
B. They therefore gave orders that if anyone knew where Jesus was, to report it so they could arrest him.
VIII. But the Passover was at hand,
A. The celebration of God’s provision for Israel was about to commence,
B. And with Jesus entry into Jerusalem, God’s ultimate Passover lamb was coming to be sacrificed.
IX. John chapter 12, beginning in verse 12
Follow For the Right Reason
12 On the next day the great multitude who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13 took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.”
14 And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written,
15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
16 These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.
17 And so the multitude who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, were bearing Him witness.
18 For this cause also the multitude went and met Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign.
19 The Pharisees therefore said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.”
I. I have often wondered why the crowd of people that came to hail the arriving king, so quickly turned from praise and adoration to the desire and even pleasure at seeing Christ crucified.