Summary: How do we welcome the King of Kings into our hearts? Here in this passage, the people of Jerusalem welcomed Christ into their city as King. They let their emotions totally take over and begin to shout aloud for Jesus. Let me share with you this morning
WELCOMING THE KING
Today is Palm Sunday, a day that is a very significant day on the church calendar. It is the day that we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry in to Jerusalem. It traditionally begins what the church has called “Holy Week” which is the last week of the Lenten season. Usually we give very little thought to this day. Most of the time, we are already focused on Easter and the glorious hope of the Resurrection. Traditionally most Pentecostal churches, due to our fear of “falling into a ritual”, let most of the events surrounding Holy Week go by unnoticed. I believe it is unfortunate that we don’t use these events to enrich our faith and testimony for the Lord.
The passage of scripture that I read to you this morning is about the Sunday before Passover and before the Lord’s crucifixion. This story is one of the few stories from the life of Christ that is in all four Gospel accounts. I believe that the Lord, in His wisdom, placed this story in our Bibles so many times because He wants us to pay attention to it. Here Jesus rides into Jerusalem with a large crowd surrounding Him, shouting shouts of praise as they went. They were welcoming their King.
I have discovered that one of the joys of parenthood is taking a long trip with children in the back seat. In addition to the stress of the road, traffic, construction, and other problems, you must learn patience in dealing with a child that continues to ask, “how much longer is it going to be?” I remember when we lived in Nebraska, of traveling for the holidays. Now, it is over 1000 miles from Carrollton to Fremont, Nebraska, but a child doesn’t have the concept of 1000 miles. Usually after about an hour on the road, you’ll hear, “Are we close to getting there yet Daddy?” Try explaining to a six or seven year old that it will be many miles and many hours before you reach your destination. It takes a long time. It has taken a long time for Jesus, but now He has reached His destination, Jerusalem and finds a crowd of welcome, welcoming their King.
Here John tells us that much people were in Jerusalem that day. Josephus, the Jewish historian estimates that there may have been close to 2.5 million people in Jerusalem for Passover. Streets were crowded and the city was full. Now John doesn’t tell us some of the details leading up to this. We are told in the other Gospels that Jesus sent two disciples ahead of Him to find the animal that Jesus rode. He had told them to go to a certain place and there they would find it. He told them to loosen the animal and bring it to Him. They acted in obedience and they found it just as Jesus said. Isn’t it great when we let God make the plans? They then took Jesus and set Him upon the donkey and begin to head toward Jerusalem. As they drew close to the city, Luke tells us that in Luke 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Let me tell you something about praise, praise is contagious. As the disciples begin to praise the Lord, others from the city begin to join in as well. The shouts took on a Messianic flavor for the crowd begin to shout from Psalms 118:25-26 Hosanna, hosanna, blessed is He (the King/Messiah) Who comes in the name of the Lord. They were taking the words of this Messianic psalm and applying it to Jesus and calling Him the Messiah. They let their emotions totally take over and begin to shout aloud for Jesus. Let me share with you this morning several details from this Messianic entry or welcome, of Jesus into Jerusalem because there are several dangers here that we need to be aware of. There were many in this crowd, caught up on the spur of the moment that begin to praise the Lord, that in just five more days would also call out “crucify Him, crucify Him.” How do you welcome the Lord?