Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Biblical claims about Jesus are presented to refute popular myths about JESUS.

(Power point and outline available)

Begin message by inviting children to platform:

Have on hand a bucket full of rocks and stones. Read scripture passage and direct children to spread palms and join in the shouting of the crowds in v. 38.

After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.’”

The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?”

They said, “His Master needs him.”

They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.

Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:

“Blessed he who comes,

the king in God’s name!

All’s well in heaven!

Glory in the high places!”

Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”

But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.” Lk. 19:28-40 (TMNT)

At v. 40, address children: You are probably wondering why I have this bucket of rocks with me this morning. Well, we may have a "rock concert" this morning. I see some of you smiling, don’t you believe that these rocks could sing.

The week before Jesus was crucified, he rode into the city of Jerusalem on a small donkey. His followers were lining the streets and they were praising Jesus and saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" They were creating quite a stir and some of the religious leaders asked Jesus to keep his followers quiet. Jesus answered them and said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.” (Lk 19:40)

Do you think these stones could shout praise? If the God who created them told them to they could. They could shout the praises of the God who created them. One might tell how David used one of them to slay a giant. Another might tell how Elijah had used stones to build an altar to God. Still another might tell how God had used them to build a temple. Yes, these stones could shout out loud, but we will not let them. We will burst into song, and bless the Lord.

We came here this morning to praise our God, we didn’t come to hear a "rock concert."

Sing: “Shout to the Lord”

Have you ever purchased an original work of art and gotten home only to discover the back reads: “made in Taiwan”? You’ve been had.

What if you bought you’re dearest one a beautiful diamond and later get it appraised and find out it’s a fake—that it’s cubic zirconium. You’ll certainly experience some friction in your relationship in that case.

Or you buy a shiny used car that loses its transmission the next day.

Or maybe you buy some antiques and----well I went to the Antiques Roadshow recently. Have you ever seen that show? Here’s what happened.

(Do a parody of the Antiques Roadshow: Someone brings items to appraiser who is a fake—s/he miscalculates values, drops items, overall is incompetent. Consumer finally gets upset and shouts to appraiser, “You’re a fake.” To which appraiser storms off stage stating, “I am the greatest---you’re a fake.)

I have always sensed there was something strange about the original Palm Sunday celebration in Jerusalem. A huge question mark looms in the background. There is a glaring discontinuity about the whole event. Think about it...A crowd estimated to be between 100,000 and 200,000 lines the roadsides to cheer an itinerant preacher from Nazareth named Jesus; yet they are not really sure why they are cheering. They are not even sure who Jesus is. What if a ticker-tape parade were held down New York’s Fifth Avenue for an unidentified celebrity...and a half-million people showed up?! That is about what happened on the first Palm Sunday in Jerusalem.

The city of Jerusalem was bursting at the seams with religious pilgrims there for the annual Passover Festival. It has been estimated that some 2.5 million people were in or around Jerusalem. The crowds were enthusiastic but, as the politicians would say, Jesus’ support was broad but shallow. The big money, the power structure hated him. Many in the crowds were not really yelling "Hurrah for Jesus." They were using his parade as a way of saying, "Down with Rome!"

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