Palm Sunday

March 20, 2016     Luke 19:28 – 44    Triumphal Entry 

 

      In late 1990's in Watford, England, Matt Redman's church had a high caliber praise band and worship team, yet the pastor knew that the entire congregation had lost its way in worship.  Their focus had become to garner the applause of people, self-gratification and concerto performance based.  So during the worship service the Pastor asked "When you come through the doors on a Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God?"   Matt Redman says the question led initially to some embarrassing silence.     Eventually, heartfelt prayers and heart-driven songs were sung as they experienced God in a fresh way.   Through that experience, Matt wrote this: when the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come longing just to bring something, that's of worth that will bless your heart.    I'm coming back to the heart of worship, and it's all about you, Jesus.    I'm sorry, Lord, for the things I've made it, when it's all about you all about You, Jesus.   

     After a little while, they re-introduced band, praise team, etc. and with the renewed focus and intensity, the corporate time became authentic (real).  Worship from the heart is not about the newest, latest, greatest, or hottest song on the charts.    It's not about the oldest, most obscure, and well-known song.    In fact, true worship is not about a song at all, it's about a Son.   It's about our bringing to Him my soul, my life, and my all. (Jerry Watts Sermon: "Lessons from the Shepherds")   I often sit in the mornings when I have time and just tell the Lord I need you.   I need you today.   I need you in my life.  I know Jesus is in my life but I tell him I invite you into me into my life.   And I was thinking this week.  You know that is pretty selfish of me to say that.  What about just worshipping him for who he is.  What about God’s feelings?  What about what God desires and what Jesus wants.  Don’t get me wrong I think it is great to ask for his presence and I am sure that is not offensive to him. 

    As we consider the passage of scripture before us this morning we see that as Jesus entered Jerusalem the people did not with hold their praise.  Jesus comes at a critical time.   It is Passover time and Jesus comes as the sacrificial lamb.   This time of Jesus triumphal entry in Jerusalem was certainly a time to honor Jesus.   Give to everyone what you owe him, if you owe taxes pay taxes, if revenue then revenue, if respect then respect, if honor then honor.  In John 5:23 Jesus says that all may honor the son just as they honor the Father.   We honor Jesus just as we honor God the father.   But this was a time and today is the time for us to honor Jesus.   Jesus is coming to Jerusalem to die so that those who would receive Him and walk with him may have eternal life.   It was the time to bow down to Jesus to shout Hosanna and to honor Jesus.  Today we should be doing the same.  We give glory to God in the highest because God has visited man.  

    Hosanna was originally a Hebrew invocation addressed to God which means “O save,”  “save now” or “save us.”  Later it was praise to God or joyful shout.  In this sense it has been thought to be used at the joyous feast of tabernacles on the 7th day which came to be called the Great Hosanna or Hosanna day.   In the King James translation the word is only mentioned in the NT.  It is used 3 times in Matthew twice in Mark and once in John.   Luke writes blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.   Matthew says blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Blessed is the man or woman who comes in the name of the Lord.  Blessed is the one who holds forth the word of life.  

    It is estimated that over 2 million people were there.  The Jews had a chance to see Jesus.  They could not say they did not have a chance to see Jesus.   The whole crowd was ecstatic in worship.    The crowd of disciples Luke records began joyfully to praise God with loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.   They shout blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.   Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.   Does that remind you what Luke recorded earlier?   In Luke 2 at the time of Jesus birth Luke records suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel praising God and saying Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.   If you have Jesus in your heart and you are seeking to walk with him in obedience then the favor of God is upon you.   I am not saying that life is easy but that God’s favor is upon you.  He will meet your needs.  He will bless you and is blessing you.   His hand is upon you. 

     The disciples and the crowds throw their garments on the ground in front of the colt.   They do it as an act of worship.   They do it to show their support of Jesus.   They are rejoicing over the miracles that they have seen Jesus do.   God has visited man.  Our God Jesus is walking with men.   God had showed man his power and God’s ability to heal and raise the dead.   Lazarus had just been raised from the dead.   There is much to rejoice about.  The people did not care so much about their coats as they did about praise.   They were caught up in the moment of this.   These folks were poor and they were under Roman control and there was not much in their life to be excited about I suppose in some ways but this was exciting.   Jesus was a breath of fresh air to them.   They did not care if an animal stepped on their coat.    They did not care if it got dirty.   They were caught up in God.   They were caught up in worship.   Hosanna to the son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!   Hosanna in the highest.   

    The people were happy and excited.   They were celebrating and rejoicing.   But they really did not have ea handle on what was happening nor did they understand Jesus.  They did not understand Jesus Kingdom.   They were misguided.  They wanted a king and to be set free from Roman control.  Hosanna means save now.  Jesus save us now.   They did not understand that Jesus was going to die.   They did not understand that his kingdom was not of this world.   They could not see that their answers to life lied in Jesus death.   They did not understand that was going to die for their sin.  They said blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord.  It was an ancient custom to throw their garments down on the ground which signified respect and submission to a monarch or king.  There is an example of that in II Kings 9.  MacArthur suggests that there may have been hundreds of thousands of people with a mob mentality a mob frenzy around Jesus.  The people were not looking to save their souls but wanted a man to come forward like David in the Old Testament a man of war that would restore the nation’s greatness.  Jesus did not come to make war with Rome.  He came so men could be at peace with God.  When he comes again that will be war. 

   They thought Jesus was the answer for the Romans.  There are millions today that believe that Trump is the answer for America and millions that believe that Hillary is the answer for our nation.  Our nation has fallen morally.   We have killed millions of innocent babies and we are far from God. We have a huge illegal drug problem.   The answer to this nation is revival and Jesus.  The answer to this nation is prayer.  Yes it is important who we vote in and Christians need to pray that God’s person gets in.   These candidates would like us to believe that they can solve all our problems but they can’t.   They would like us to believe they are the answer for this nation.   Our hope and allegiance is in Jesus. 

       God is humble and here Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey.  God stoops himself to hear people pray.   Jesus was certainly more than a conqueror but he came on a colt   He came in on the colt to signify that his reign would usher in a time of peace.    As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt that day, he entered the city as a King, but he rode in as one who would enter to signify that his was a peaceful entry.    When Kings entered as conquerors, they would enter riding upon a prancing stallion at the head of their military entourage.   No matter how the king entered the people were obliged to turn out to praise them as they rode through the gates.   Jesus, being the very Son of God, could have chosen to enter Jerusalem that day on a prancing stallion, but this was not God’s plan so Jesus did not ride into Jerusalem as a conqueror.  The Romans probably snickered at him.  They would come on a stallion with chariots and soldiers their legions following. 

    He will come back on a horse.  Scripture says every eye will see him.  The Romans will not be mocking him then.   No one will be mocking him.    In Revelation 19 John writes I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.   His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.  He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.   The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.    Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. God spoke and created the worlds.  Jesus spoke and fig tree dies and Jesus speaks that dead live.  “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” Jesus speaks and sword comes out of His mouth.  It is over – that’s all folks.   He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.    On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.

   He came to bring blessing though often it can divide families.  There is a war between light and darkness.  His kingdom was not to be a kingdom that would be taken by might of man, to cast out those who reigned over Israel.    Jesus did not come to over throw the Jewish leaders and the Romans.   Jesus left them in bondage to the Romans.   In AD 70 the Romans destroy the temple and that ends animal sacrifices.   No more sheep needed to be slain for the lamb had been slain.    His kingdom would be a kingdom of peace that would be established in the hearts of those who believed upon him. 

    Verse 39-40 - Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"   Not everybody is happy about the triumphal entry.   There are always those who with hold and are against Jesus.   But look at Jesus response - "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."   Praise is going to break forth.   John the Baptist said that God could raise up off spring of Abraham from the stones on the road.   God can take the DNA of Abraham and infuse it into stones and cause them to become people.   God made us out of dust right?

     It was a time to praise God.  The people are shouting Hosanna save now and Jesus is doing just that.   Jesus is on his way to the cross to save sinners.   The Father and Jesus would be in pain beyond comprehension in a few short days about a week.   But now the Father and the heavens rejoice.  God’s answer for man’s sin is coming.  Forgiveness and reconciliation for mankind to God is about to take place.   God the Father had worked for centuries to bring everything to this point in time.  It was the fullness of time.  It was a time to shout and praise God.  It was a time to celebrate.   As Luke records glory in the highest.   Jesus was making a way for men to be called out of darkness and come into God’s glorious light.  

   Are you shouting hosanna this morning?   Are you shouting glory to God today?   Glory to God in the highest.   Hosanna I can come to church and worship God.   Hosanna glory to God in the highest because my sin has been paid for.   Glory to God because I am on my way to heaven. 

  Hosanna in the highest because Jesus has paid the price of our sin.      Hosanna in the highest Jesus is alive today.      Hosanna in the highest my God reigns.    Hosanna in the highest Jesus our healer is here.    Hosanna in the highest God’s wrath has been removed from us.    Hosanna in the highest nothing can separate us from His love.    Hosanna in the highest Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.    Hosanna in the highest because I am forgiven in Jesus.    Hosanna the prince of peace is here.    Hosanna the altogether lovely one is here.    Hosanna the bread of life is here.   Hosanna the author of life is here.    Hosanna the Lamb of God is here who takes away the sin of the world is here.   Hosanna God’s glory is here.   Hosanna Immanuel God with us is here.