Summary: A Palm Sunday sermon exploring why Jesus wept at His triumpal entry into Jerusalem and how we can respond to Him in ways that Honor our true King.
“To Honor A King”
Do you love a parade?
Billy Graham wrote in "The Key To Personal Peace"
“One of the powerful, enduring images that my wife, Ruth, and I have of our early years together is of the ticker-tape parades in New York City celebrating the end of WWII. The war was finally over! And those who were spared from death by the enemy were jubilant beyond words.
“Millions of multicolored streamers and mountains of confetti rained down on the returning heroes… Friends, family, and fellow citizens danced in the streets to express their own happiness and excitement.
“Emotions ran extremely high – unfettered joy, exuberant hope for the future… But the emotion that ran deepest, causing tears to rush down the faces of moms and dads, grandparents, and even stalwart soldiers – from privates to generals – was relief. The war was over! … there was peace at last.”
Some of you remember the joy in those parades.
But Dr. Graham did not mention another emotion present in those times. The sorrow of those whose sons, husbands, fathers; daughters, wives, mothers were not coming home. The sorrow of soldiers for their brothers buried on battlefields or graves across these states. The sorrow of those weeping for the massive loss of life in the war.
Can you recall a time you wept while everyone else celebrated?
Perhaps when our nation went to war to retaliate against attacks on us, you were grieved while so many around you celebrated that action. Some of you have lost a loved one during the holidays, and you wept while everyone else enjoyed feasting and celebrating with their families. Maybe you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend during prom week, and stayed home alone while all your friends went to the big party.
Jesus knows about all about lonely grief. He experienced it on Palm Sunday.
The crowds are shouting, praising and rejoicing. But the One the parade is meant to honor is weeping!
"As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ’If you… had only known on this day what would bring you peace— but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you… on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.’" (Luke 19:41-44, NIV)
This story shows how we can bring grief to Jesus. I want you to remember three words: ignorance, rebellion, apathy.
I. To give Jesus grief…
A. Insist on ignoring the source of true peace.
"If you… had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes." (Luke 19:42, NIV)
We understand the value of peace, even when we’re young. Two sisters, a 4-yr-old & 6-yr-old gave their mom a very nice potted plant for Mother’s Day. They bought it with their own money, and mom was very happy. But the older sister said sadly, "We saw some flowers that we wanted to get. But we didn’t have enough money. They had a pretty ribbon that said, ‘Rest In Peace.’ We knew they were perfect since you’re always asking for a little peace so you can rest.”
We know the value of peace, but seem to insist on looking in the wrong places. Someone said, “My therapist told me the way to true inner tranquility is to finish what I start. Already today, I’ve finished two bags of chips, a chocolate cake, and I feel better already.”
Jesus wept because these beloved people insisted on looking everywhere but to God for their peace.
They had done that before. Their ancestors were threatened by Assyria. The nearby nations made alliances with Egypt to protect them, and God’s people also wanted to trust in Egypt for their deliverance.
Isaiah voiced God’s response: The Sovereign LORD… says, "Only in repentance, in returning to me & trusting in me will you be saved… But you refuse my way. You say, ’We’ll get our help from Egypt. They’ll give us swift horses for riding into battle.’ But the only swiftness you’re going to see is that of your enemies pursuing you!" (30:15-16)
They wanted to trust the Egyptian army and their horses to keep them in peace. God said, “It’s only when you trust me that you’ll have peace.”
They needed to learn what David had. "The LORD saves his anointed… with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots & some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God… we rise up & stand firm." (Psalm 20:6-8, NIV)