Summary: Palm Sunday Sermon
Title: You can learn a lot from a donkey
Place: Oakdale Church
Date: March 20, 2005 (Palm Sunday)
Subject: Palm Sunday – Celebration Sunday
A few years ago the National Ad council began a running a new series of commercials to encourage people to buckle up. We all saw the two crash dummies in some funny situation being piled into a wall and the pieces of their dummy bodies being strewn all over the car. The buckle up banner would then flash with the voice saying, “You can learn a lot from a dummy. Buckle your safety belt.”
We’re going to change that just a little bit this morning but the idea is the same. Often times it is amazing what we can learn from unusual places or things, like learning to buckle up from a dummy. The proposition I would like to make this morning is that you can learn a lot from a Donkey.
Today is Palm Sunday the traditional day that we honor the triumphal entry that Jesus made into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover with his disciples. We also know that this marks the beginning of the final week of Christ’s life as Christ would die on a cross and then rise to live again on Easter Sunday morning. For us as a church this also marks the end of our stewardship and holiness series that we have been working on over the past 10 weeks. So a lot is wrapped up in this Palm Sunday for us.
But here at the start of this week there is small figure that doesn’t get a whole lot of press in the Bible, unlike Peter, Paul, Moses, Abraham, Adam and many other hosts of Bible characters, this character only gets a few verses in each of the gospels and one verse in Old Testament prophet’s writing, Zechariah 9:9, such a small occurrence but such a big part to play. Who is this small character? He is a donkey and really we can learn a lot from a donkey.
Over the past 10 weeks we have been exploring the fact that we are called to holiness and a major part of holiness is that we are to be stewards of all that God has given us. Stewardship and Holiness leads us into the attitude or realization that all is God’s and while I enjoy it now, I will only enjoy it for a season and then it will be gone, then I will be gone. We are called to be holy and we are called to be stewards, in fact, we are called to be stewards of the very lives that we have been given to live and how we do this we can learn from a donkey.
As you study Jesus’ life he was a wise steward of his life. He knew full well his purpose that he was to die for our sins as the perfect sacrifice. His whole life was to come together in this one huge act of stewardship, the very breath that he breathed to live, the very life that he gave up on a cross was the ultimate act of stewardship and holiness. It was the pentacle of all it means to be holy.
To be holy simply means to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart soul and mind and to love thy neighbor as thyself. The ultimate expression of holiness came in this final act of stewardship for Jesus, the very giving of his life on a cross for our sins. Jesus was so in love with God that He knew there was no other way and he was not willing to try to find another way. He was so in love with his neighbor that he was willing to lay down his very life for our freedom. Jesus was a steward of his very life.
We are called to be like Christ, we are called to be stewards of our very lives and this morning, from a simple donkey, we are going to be challenged to do just that. You can learn a lot from a donkey.
Open in Prayer
I. The Donkey Was Available
As we read through this story the very first thing we see is that the donkey was available. He was not being used for another task, he was not preoccupied but he was available for Christ’s use.
I would like to read you a passage from the Old Testament about a young man who was available. I Samuel 3:1-14
When the voice of the Lord was rare why did Samuel get chosen? Because he was available! He was ready and soft at heart to hear and God spoke to him and continued to speak to him the rest of his life as he became one of, if not the biggest major prophet of the Old Testament.