Summary: Let’s read from the Bible how the events of Palm Sunday turned out.
WHAT IF JESUS CAME DOWN YOUR STREET?
There is a legend about an ancient village in Spain. The villagers learned that the king would pay a visit. In a thousand years, a king had never come to that village. Excitement grew. "We must throw a big celebration!" The villagers all agreed. But, it was a poor village, and there weren’t many resources. Someone came up with a classic idea. Since many of the villagers made their own wines, the idea was for everyone in the village bring a large cup of their choice wine to the town square. They said, “We’ll pour it into a large vat and offer it to the king for his pleasure! When the king draws wine to drink, it will be the very best he’s ever tasted!”
The day before the king’s arrival, hundreds of people lined up to make their offering to the honored guest. They climbed a small stairway, and poured their gift through a small opening at the top. Finally, the vat was full! The King arrived, was escorted to the square, given a silver cup and was told to draw some wine, which represented the best the villagers had.
He placed the cup under the spigot, turned the handle, and then drank the wine, but it was nothing more than water. You see, every villager reasoned, "I’ll withhold my best wine and substitute water. What with so many cups of wine in the vat, the king will never know the difference!" The problem was, everyone thought the same thing, and the king was greatly dishonored.
Palm Sunday is all about a day when the King of Kings was greatly honored. Because people gave the very best they had – a gift of praise. This day marks the beginning of the end for Jesus’ earthly life. The first day in what was to be his last week. His weekend would take him to a cross on Friday morning, into a tomb on Friday night and all day Saturday, then ultimately result in him being raised to life again on the following Sunday morning.
I would like us to engage our brains and our imagination this morning as we begin to think about Easter. I want you to imagine the street that the church is on. We’ll start at the corner with the YMCA. Across the street from the YMCA are all the lawyer offices. There’s the Fallon Hotel. The parking lot. Then you get to our church. There are trees lining the street and parking meters spaced along the road as well. The sidewalks on both sides are a little uneven in places. Do you have a mental picture of the street? Now, I want you to imagine a small parade rounding the corner at the YMCA. It is mostly people walking, but there is one car in the procession with a person riding high in the back.
There are crowds on both sides of the street cheering and waving and making a big commotion. You join the crowds and push to the front. As you are pushing to the front, you hear singing and hear musical instruments from somewhere. You finally make it to the front. You look at the procession passing by. You finally see the person in the car.
Who is it? [allow the congregation to answer]
What kind of car is it? [allow the congregation to answer]
What kind of songs are being sung? [allow the congregation to answer]
I wanted to give you that mental picture because if you were arriving at this scene, you would have some very basic questions that you would want answered. You might ask who that person was, if you did not know? You might ask why they were here in Lock Haven. You might as where they are going? All great questions to ask when looking at something like this.
Let’s read from the Bible how the events of Palm Sunday turned out.
READ LUKE 19:28-44
I hope that you see the situation that we painted earlier is quite similar to the one recorded for us in Luke 19. You can also read about it in Matthew 21 and Mark 11 and John 12. The road in question is the road that leads from Bethphage and travels to Jerusalem over the Mount of Olives. There were people hailing Jesus as He rode in on a donkey. They were praising God and praising Jesus. I noticed as I read this that they said, “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” I find that appropriate praise for Jesus given that in Luke 2 the angels that proclaimed His birth sang much the same song.
If you were arriving at this scene, you would have some very basic questions that you would want answered. You might ask who that person was, if you did not know. You might ask why they were there in Bethphage outside of Jerusalem. You might as where they are going? All great questions to ask when looking at something like this. I. WHO IS THAT?