Palm Sunday ~ A Day of Decision

Homage or Decision (Palm Sunday) Scripture: Luke 19:28-44 Introduction Palm Sunday is “D day”—a day of decision. Its historical background reveals a world of difference between paying homage to Jesus and following Him. It seemed the great city of Jerusalem had accepted Christ and His way of life. On Palm Sunday, Christ’s success seemed assured, but by Friday He was crucified on a cross.   Jesus’ Ride Into Jerusalem Was an Act of Supreme Courage

  1. He exposed Himself before His enemies.
  2. He knew He would be rejected.

  It Was a Time of Disappointment Since Jesus had begun His ministry, He had been disappointed by Israel’s unbelief.

  1. His return to the synagogue in Nazareth (Mark 6:1-6 ~ “He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.”
  • Nicodemus’ spiritual ignorance (John 3:4 ~ Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”)
  • The rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-24)
  • The healing of the man born blind (John 9)
  • The aftermath of the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:25-70)
  • The night He was betrayed (John 16:12 ~I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.)

  It Was a Claim to Be Their King

  1. His entry was the fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9 (“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”)
  2. Christianity is mule religion—meekness and peace.
    1. In ancient days the colt or donkey was a noble animal. It was used as a beast of service to carry the burdens of men. More significantly, it was used by Kings and their emissaries when they entered a city in peace. They rode a colt to symbolize their peaceful intentions (cp. the judges of Israel and the chieftains throughout the land, Judges 5:10; Judges 10:4). This differed dramatically from a conquering King. When a King entered a city as a conqueror, he rode a stallion.
    2. Jesus was dramatically demonstrating two things: first, He was unquestionably the promised King, the Savior of the people; and second, He was not coming as the people expected. He was not coming as a conquering king or as a worldly potentate in pomp and ceremony, nor as the leader of an army to kill, injure, and maim. Therefore, the people must change their concept of the Messiah, for He was coming as the Savior of Peace. He was coming to save men not to destroy them. He was coming to show men that God is the God of love and reconciliation.
      1. The colt was a symbol of peace. Jesus came to bring peace, as pointed out in the above discussion.
      2. The colt symbolized service. It was a noble animal, an animal used in the service of men to carry their burdens. Jesus came upon the colt symbolizing that He came to serve men, to bear their burdens for them.
      3. The colt symbolized sacredness, for it had never been ridden before (Luke 19:2). Animals and things used for sacred or religious purposes had to be animals and things that had never been used before (Numbers 10:2; Deut. 21:3; 1 Samuel 6:7). This detail points to the sacredness of the event. It pictured that Jesus was deliberately taking every precaution to proclaim that He is the sacred hope, the promised Messiah of the people.
    3. Jesus entered as never before.
      1. There is no doubting what He was claiming: He was the real King of Israel.
      2. He was the eternal King promised by the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets.

  Jesus’ Ride Into Jerusalem Was a Time of Sadness

  1. It was, as we see clearly now, the day of their visitation.
  2. It was a time Jesus wept because of their spiritual ignorance.
  3. It was a day they could have seized their one and only hope for peace.
  4. They were about to commit the greatest crime in the history of the world.
  5. Every individual and nation has its day.

  It Was an Appeal to Make a Decision

  1. He was calling the people to a decision.
    1. He taught, preached, and performed miracles among them for three years.
    2. His was the question of Elijah: “1 Kings 18:21 (ESV) ~ And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.
  2. Jesus is asking today for a decision.
    1. He wants us to accept Him as King and Lord.
    2. He wants us to make our hearts His throne.
    3. He wants us to keep His words as rules for our lives.
    4. He wants us to seek His pardon and forgive others.

  Conclusion

Is this our day of visitation? Do we understand what He is trying to say to us? Do the things we know about and covet belong to our peace, or do they belong to ourselves? We can’t be drifters all our lives. Life is not the tossing of a coin—heads or tails—or making a decision based on the advice of a television psychic. We must allow Christ to take us captive.
 
Pastor Andy Lambert
{pastorandy@cvcog.church}

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