Palm Sunday 2023
• But Jesus wasn’t entering in that frame. His entrance was holy and solemn. He was proclaiming salvation but not through the way the crowds did. We see for a moment that the groups were lined up but then realize quickly they were not.
Look beyond the crowds to follow Jesus because He offers more than the crowds are waiting for
Matthew 23:37–39 ESV
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”
• Christ enters our lives in His terms and in His way.
The Unlikely Donkey:
Luke 19:29–32 ESV
When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.
• Look at how much time is spent on the directions of this animal.
• Because Jesus is showing us what He is about. He is not bending to the will and the power and influence of the crowds.
• We live in a world that is constantly changing and shifting because it can never get it’s footing. It can never find the right balance.
• But the God who rides a donkey knows exactly where He is going. In fact, He is the only one who knows what to do and where to go.
– Often times I wonder if it will feel like getting a donkey when we should be preparing for a parade.
• But the goal isn’t comparison or usefulness, it is matching our expectations to Christ.
The Unlikely Stone:
• This was a Fairweather crowd. The crowd that celebrated him also crucified Him
– Jesus does not use the crowds to show salvation.
• Listen, if these crowds weren’t here, the stones would begin to cry out.
• Faith isn’t determined in the effectiveness of our approach or our strategies nor is faith determined by the size of the crowd.
• Our goal is to worship Christ when the crowds grow silent.
• We are beholden to the God who calls us to get donkeys and who makes rocks sing.
• But part of what we do, as we receive the peace of God through His work on the cross is then to be able to offer that same peace to the crowds who can’t find it on their own.
The Unlikely Savior:
• Christ is not who the crowds expected and He didn’t do what the crowds expected.
In Christianity we have to define where our triumph ends. Our triumph ends in the person of Christ at the cross. Anything other or less than that is the demand that we ourselves have become triumphant in our actions, values or policies.
The line in the sand we draw as Christians isn’t at the boundary of politics or borders of success but the cross of Christ. This week is a needed reminder of that.