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Why Are You Shouting?

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Why Are You Shouting?

Intro
Mark 11:1–11 ESV
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’ ” And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Pray
[picture of roman domination of Jerusalem…police state in america?]
I think to understand today’s significance, and our text, we need to start where they are starting. That can be hard for us, because frankly, we have never known the oppression and the fear that they had known.
You see, these were a people who were emotionally, physically, and spiritually abused. They had overseers, in the Romans, who would constantly change the rules whenever it benefitted themselves. They were beat for no reason, even for just looking at them. And even their own Pharisees and Rabbi’s - their pastors - they would twist faith to their own benefit and their own ends, constantly making it seemingly impossible to experience God or feel His presence.
They had been waiting for salvation, it turns out. They knew that there was a Messiah to come! But, because of their spiritual abuse, and their dire situation, they didn’t know what He would look like!
Understand, when they saw Jesus come in on a donkey, there is no doubt in my mind that they would immediately think of the verses that predict this very moment! Matthew even includes them in his Gospel.
Understand, when they saw Jesus come in on a donkey, there is no doubt in my mind that they would immediately think of the verses that predict this very moment! Matthew even includes them in his Gospel.
Matthew 21:5 ESV
“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ”
Matt 21
Your King is coming, Zechariah says, coming to you on a donkey. The offspring, or in the lineage of, a servant - a beast of burden.
I am sure they would have all gotten that imagery. But knowing people, I am also sure that they probably weren’t looking forward to that type of King; the King of Peace. No, they were more interested in the King that Zechariah later mentions in the very same prophetic text.
The King of War.
Zecariah, a great prophet of the inter-testamental period, was led by God to prophecy about the coming messiah. He does so in two ways. There was this King of War, as described in chapter 14 of Zecariah, one who would come out from Jerusalem against all the armies of the world and prove victorious.
Zechariah 14:3–4 ESV
Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.
Zechariah 14:2–4 ESV
For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.
Zec 14:
He goes on to say that the world will flee, that there will be no light, and that from Jerusalem will flow living water. And the Lord will be King over all the earth.
That is who they were shouting for.
That is who they were shouting for.
We know that because of the words they shout and the way they shout. You see, it is all about understanding language, and understanding the situation.
You know, I am no stranger to shouting for stuff. I used to shout at my TV all the time in the Fall, you know, football season. But now I shout for our girls at soccer and our youth at ball games at school.
It’s funny, though. It always feels so funny shouting for a team of 6-8 year old’s playing sports, or shouting at high school kids. Seriously, I feel bad shouting just for my kid, so inevitably, whenever anyone does anything, I cheer them on in some way! And honestly, with Olivia, I sometimes I even get confused at which team is which!
It seems like that with all of us sometimes. Sometimes we can start shouting or rooting for something, or get excited about something, not knowing why, but just because everyone else around us is doing it too! And sometimes, we just shout because someone else is shouting, either at us or for us.
What we shout, when we shout, how we shout, what we shout for; it all matters. And it matters because it shapes the outcomes we experience and it shapes our expectations and reactions to our situations.
[picture of cemetery]
I remember going on out patrol in Haiti, while in the Army. We would walk through town, and neighborhoods. But the best times, and I use “best” very ironically here, the best times were spent walking through these large cemeteries trying to make sure there was nothing bad going on.
[picture of cemetery]
Looks like tons of fun, right?
Now I was pretty young, but I had taken four years of French up to that point in my life, so I was looked to as a sort of make-shift translator. And because Haitians that go to school have to learn French, I was able to speak to them in French and have them help me learn a little bit of Creole, so I was pretty useful in a pinch.
Well as we walked through this cemetery, we heard all sorts of stuff coming from behind the vaults, and behind the bushes. People chanting in hopes of raising the dead. People crying for help. And people cursing at us as we passed.
Of course, if you didn’t speak the language, it all kind of sounded the same, really.
That became very real to me one night when we heard a bunch of yelling off in the distance. As we walked toward it, it got louder and more panicked. Eventually we heard people running toward us and shouting at the top of their lungs, this primal shout; part fear and part anger.
Delivre Nou - Save us
Delivre Nou - Save us
Delivre Nou
So they are running to us, shouting at the top of their lungs “Delivre Nou, Delivre Nou” and here we are petrified, and not understanding what they are saying. So we raise our weapons to defend ourselves. And just as they are getting into sight, we get the whole picture. We see their faces, we hear them more clearly, and in that moment I finally understand why they are shouting!
I understand why, church, because I understood what they were shouting. {move slide}
Save us! Save us!
When we didn’t understand their situation, and their words, we were ready to destroy them, but once a little clarity came into the picture, once we understood why they were shouting, we understood that they needed saving, and that we had a job to do. But understand when we were ourselves shouting at them to “get down,” or were shouting from fear in our hearts, we couldn’t understand anything. But when we listened, we heard all we needed to hear.
[Picture of Jesus on Donkey]
On the flip side, we can sometimes have our message lost in our own shouting, can’t we? We, like the Jews, shout for salvation, but as we run toward God, do we run toward Him looking to be saved, or to tell Him what to look like, and what to give us to make us happy?
Are we looking to be saved by God, or looking to save ourselves by using God?
That is the question that should have been on the minds of those shouting for Jesus in our text. Just like us all, they heard about Jesus somewhere, and then through some providence, are able to come into His presence in some way. Of course they would come to that place with an idea of what they thought the Messiah needed to look like, right? Just like us!
They wanted a conquering hero! And church, until they could quiet their souls and really listen to Jesus, they were never going to experience Jesus the way He intended! You can’t hear what He is saying if you are shouting constantly about what you think He is!
So we have to ask ourselves, “Why are you shouting?” What are you looking for?
For the Jews, the answer was simple. So simple, in fact, that it is laid out right there in our text!
For the Jews, the answer was simple. Even more than simple, it is laid out right there in our text!
As I said, these folks understood Jesus from prophecy, Isaiah, Zechariah, many other authors and prophets, but like myself and those other soldiers on patrol, and the Haitians running towards us, they only had a part of the picture. But even so, they knew one important fact - one thing that matters the most when dealing with a life or death situation!
They knew they needed saving.
You can see it in their words. “Hosanna!” They shouted. “Hosanna!” The same cry of those Haitians, and the same cry of every single person in this room, and this world, at some point!
Save us!
That is what “Hosanna” literally means. Save us.
Save us from this bad situation we got ourselves into, or save us from our oppressor; save us from our hurt, save us from our sin, save us from ourselves!
[[[[talk about the people understanding Jesus based on prophecy, but not having the whole picture…shouting “Hosanna” which means literally “save us!”]]]]]]
I mean, if we are shouting this week those same Hosanna’s, we must be crying to be saved!
That is why they were shouting for Jesus. They knew that they needed a Savior, the Messiah, they knew that their situation was bleak. They needed Salvation, and they saw that in Jesus!
They saw in Him not just the fulfillment of one prophetic moment. They saw in Jesus the absolute completion of all scripture! They saw in Him every word ever written or taught throughout their lives, even if they didn’t fully understand it!
That is why they were shouting!
But why are you shouting?
[picture here]
You know, we live in a day and age were our needs are seemingly covered. We are so blessed, in fact, that faith in general is on the decline in our world. There is a whole generation, in fact, called the “Nones”. They are a generation that has looked to faith, to God, to church, and chosen to cherish none of it.
And lest you think they are to blame, understand that sometimes what we shout at colors other’s perception of faith.
Just like those Jews who thought Jesus was a conquering King, we sometimes look to shape what Jesus is. So we live out our lives “shouting” our faith through our opinions, our moments with others, and in turn, they get a picture of what we think of Jesus.
And church, just like those soldiers on patrol with me, who couldn’t understand the cries of those people, assumptions get made, stereotypes are born, and bad decisions get made.
You see, what we shout matters. How we shout matters. Who we shout to and for matters!
Every time we call out to Jesus, or place our expectations on Jesus, we show the world what we think Jesus is!
So make no mistake, what we shout matters!
Doesn’t always feel like that with us, though, does it? No, sometimes it feels like we are shouting at Jesus more than we are shouting for Jesus! Sometimes, when we feel neglected or like God isn’t coming through, we might feel more angry than grateful. Sometimes we are scared, and some other times we might even feel like we are just shouting to be shouting.
Are we shouting for just the righteous judge? Are we shouting for the Lion and not the Lamb? Are we shouting for tradition, or social standing? Are we shouting only for the King of Peace or the King of War, or do we shout for the complete picture of Christ? The true Salavation of this world! The King of everything! The unfiltered love of God poured out from the cross and into our lives!
[picture of calvary…happy]
Listen that is what we need to be shouting for! We must turn our Hosanna’s around! The Savior has come, and our sins are made clean, we are saved! Death and destruction no longer await us! This day is so much more than a conquering King returning to overcome some oppressor! This is the Salvation of the world! The conquering of death! The fulfillment of every scrap of prophecy! The culmination of God’s plan for His creation!
Church, we don’t shout for some man who gives us great advice, or helps us when we get sick, or who helps us find a job or a mate or who makes us more comfortable or happy! No we shout for the one who marched through this life, and Jerusalem, toward Calvary! Listen, as soon as He enters Jerusalem, every single step Jesus takes, every moment we commemorate this next week, He gets a little bit closer to the cross. And as He gets closer, He piles more and more sin on His shoulders! Each moment He adds on all the evil that has ever been done, or ever will be done! All the hurt! All the anger, all the pain, all the strife, all the greed - everything that has ever been done, by you, by me, by anyone - it all rises up and stands in the way of our conquering King of Peace as He marches toward final victory!
But church, we don’t shout just to encourage Him a little in the face of great opposition! We don’t shout because He is going to try really hard and make us proud, like our kids! No we shout our Hosanna’s from the depths of our souls! We shout “Save us! Save us!” from the very core of our being and there, in the blackness of our lives, in the midst of death and torment, we see our Savior, and church, in that moment, He hears us! He hears us as we gasp for air as we beg for mercy as we cling to life by a thread - there in those moments He marches closer to us, closer to Calvary, where He will stand in our place! He will take up our cries and our pain! He will rise up on that cross with His arms spread wide in victory!
You see, when Jesus enters into Jerusalem, and the crowds gather to shout “Save us!” He isn’t just entering into that city to save those people. No Jesus is entering our hearts too! He is entering our lives! But just as important, Jesus is entering the final leg of His great journey from birth to the cross! So when Jesus enter’s that town, and our lives, He does so as a part of His march towards Calvary!
A march that will find Him despised and rejected by men as Isaiah says! He was oppressed, afflicted, hated; we hide our faces from Him, and we chastised Him! He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.
But there, in all the shouts and all the pageantry and all those hopes and dreams of salvation, there Jesus shows us the truth! Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows! He was pierced for our transgressions; crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought US peace! And by His wounds - by His wounds; those wounds that are really our suffering and our shame and our sin - those wounds that piled up on Him with every step He takes towards the cross this week. By those wounds, church, we are healed!
Mark 11:9 ESV
And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Mark 11:10 ESV
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”
Mark 11
Blessed is He! Blessed is the one who saves us! Blessed is our Lord! He alone is our strength and our song! And as of today, church, as of this day when He enters our hearts, He has become our salvation! We shall not die, but we shall live!
Psalm 118:19–26 ESV
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Save us, we pray, O Lord! O Lord, we pray, give us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.
Psalm 118:19-
That is why we are shouting! Listen, we shouldn’t be shouting because the world sins in our eyes. We shouldn’t shout because we think we are right, or because we think we are the winners! We shout, because Salvation has entered into our lives today. We shout because we are safe. We shout because God is here. We shout because He came, just like He said He would. And church, we shout because we know that at the end of this great march into Jerusalem, and our lives, lies Calvary, and the cross, the very doorway to our Creator! The overwhelmingly beautiful offering of Christ that allows us to enter into eternity!
That is why we are shouting! Listen, we shouldn’t be shouting because the world sins in our eyes. We shouldn’t shout because we think we are right, or because we think we are the winners! We shout, because Salvation has entered into our lives today. We shout because we are safe. We shout because God is here. We shout because He came, just like He said He would. And church, we shout because we know that at the end of this great march into Jerusalem, and our lives, lies Calvary, and the cross, the very doorway to our Creator! The overwhelmingly beautiful offering of Christ that allows us to enter into eternity!
That is why we are shouting! We have been delivered, saved from death and from a life without God!
We all need a Savior. And today, church, today, that Savior has entered into our lives and into this world to fulfill all of scripture. That is what Palm Sunday is all about.
And the good news? No matter what you are facing, no matter where you are in life, Jesus hears your shouts, Jesus understands you, and Jesus died for you, that you might live for Him.
And the good news? No matter what you are facing, no matter where you are in life, Jesus hears your shouts, Jesus understands you, and Jesus died for you, that you might live for Him.
And that begins, church, when you shout “Hosanna!” Save me, Lord.
[[[[[??????I never did finish that story about the Haitians. You see, when we saw them, and they us, there was still a moment of tension. Even though I shouted to not shoot, they were looking for help, the others with me kept shouting orders at them. Telling them, in English, to get down, to be quiet. All the while the Haitians were yelling frantically at us in creole. You can imagine this chaos of fear and confusion going on in the middle of a cemetery in the middle of the night. It was almost surreal.
Sometimes we shout and don’t know the reason, and sometimes, church, our shouting, whether joyful or not, gets in the way of us hearing what someone else is saying.
So I heard and understood just a fraction of what they said, and they likewise only a fraction of my broken creole, but in that moment, when we both listened, they heard that we wouldn’t hurt them, and we heard, praise God, that/?????]]]]]]
Invitation -
That is why we are shouting. Salvation has entered into our lives today. We are safe. God is here. He came, just like He said He would.
Invitation
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