Faithlife Sermons

A Difficult Final Journey

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Text:  Matthew 21:1-10

            This is Palm Sunday.  Do you remember what happened on this day?  In the week preceding this day, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead in nearby Bethany.  News of it spread like wildfire.  It is now early Sunday morning just before the Passover.  People are just breaking their camps and continuing their journey into the city.

            Along the road two blind men beg Jesus for mercy.  Jesus healed them.  Runners must have raced to Jerusalem with the news.

            Jesus calls for the donkey’s colt.  The disciples take off their outer cloak and put it on the colt to form a soft saddle.  Jesus makes His final entry into the Holy City.  The people on the road explode with enthusiasm.  They, too, take off their outer garments in the chilly morning air and lay them on the road.  Others cut palm branches and laid them down or waved them overhead.

            The crowd’s enthusiasm builds.  Someone shouts, “Hosanna!”  Then another, and another join in.  Soon crowds are shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David…blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”     Do you know what hosanna means?  It means “save us!”

            Indeed, that’s what He was coming to do…but not in the way they had intended.  They wanted a deliverer from the Roman occupation.  He was coming to save them from their sins.

            The road Jesus chose climbs the hills that surround Jerusalem.  It enters from the east and goes right across the top of Mount Olivet.  When He crests the summit, He could see the Holy City spread before Him.  Instead of a jubilant smile on His face, Jesus eyes swell with tears.  He stops the colt.  As He looks over the city, His chest heaves in sobs of despair.  Luke records His words.  Lk. 19:41-42

            Can you see the confusion on the faces of the disciples?  In my mind I imagine them saying, “Jesus, why are You weeping at a time like this?  Under Your feet are our clothes and palm branches.  These cheers are shouts of praise to You.  Why are you crying now?”

            Let me tell you why He wept.  Jesus saw things they couldn’t.  Their emotions were charged with the dreams of glory…but Jesus’ emotions were filled with nightmares of the destruction that was to come.  They shouted cheers of joy…He wept with knowledge of His own crucifixion.

            Jesus’ triumphal entry means the same now as it did that first Palm Sunday…HE CAME TO SET THE PEOPLE FREE!

            I have one question for you.  Will you throw down your robes of hesitation and surrender unconditionally to Him?!

            He’s the kindest and most compassionate King you will ever find!  Let Him enter your heart!

            If you’ve given your heart to Him, eat this memorial meal in remembrance of Him…in appreciation for setting you free!

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