Tunstall Sun Pm 16th March 2008
Place: Tunstall Apo. Date: Pm Palm Sunday, 16th March 2008.
Text: Matthew 21:1-11. Theme: Crowds, Crowns and CHOICES.
Introduction: Reading: John 12:12-19.
We hear from TWO crowds over Easter. With two far-reaching different outcomes.
1. One crowd called out “Hosanna!” Hoping for Jesus to be given a CROWN of gold, placing Him on a throne.
2. The other cried, “Crucify him!” Wanting for Jesus to be given a CROWN of thorns, placing Him upon a cross.
One crowd honoured Him, the other killed Him. One crowd named Him their Lord; the other named Him a blasphemer. These two crowds gathered around the same man, in the same city, for the same event, (the Jewish Passover), some maybe the same people.
One day Jesus was a hero, a few short days later He was given a criminals death. Both events were driven by the wishes of a crowd. I wonder if you had been there, which crowd would you have been in? The first, the second…or both?
I am sure, knowing the nature of people and the power of “crowd mentality,” that some of the same people who triumphantly called out, “Hosanna!” were also there in the crowd lifting their voices in the murderous cry of, “Crucify him!”
I want to remind you, on this “Palm Sunday” as we remember Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem that some people cheer for Jesus when it is convenient and popular but a true follower makes Jesus their Lord no matter what the crowd is doing.
We are all in one of those two crowds here today. Either Jesus is your Lord and you have come here to worship Him for who He is, or you are a part of the crowd who refuses to acknowledge Him. You are either for Him or against Him. There is no middle ground.
1ST POINT: THE CROWD FOR JESUS.
Matthew 21:8, 10 “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road…” “When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred…”
John 12:19 “So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!’”
Everybody repeat after me… “We are all individuals.” I hope you are in the right crowd today because you all just did exactly what I told you to do! We are all individuals with an eternal soul that will live forever and the final destination of our soul is completely linked to what we believe about this man Jesus who rode into Jerusalem on a little donkey 2000 years ago.
I am asking you today, which crowd are you in? What is the popular opinion among the people you are hanging out with? Is Jesus a liar, lunatic, or YOUR Lord?
One day a very large crowd made it popular to start yelling, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” And the Pharisees said, “Look, the whole world has gone after Him.” Three days later, another large crowd made it popular to yell, “Crucify Him!”
I can tell you today that I am not into Jesus for popularity. Being a Christian is not a popularity contest; it’s a decision.
1. I do not care what others are watching.
2. I do not care what everyone else is doing.
3. I do not care what you think or what you say.
For I have decided to follow Jesus! And I want tonight to lead a crowd to Jesus!
“I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.”
“Though none go with me, still I will follow…
No turning back, no turning back.”
2ND POINT: THE CROWD AGAINST JESUS.
Matthew 27:20, 22 “But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.” “‘What shall I do then, with Jesus who is called Christ?’ Pilate asked. They all answered, ‘Crucify him!’”
The appeal for popularity is a dangerous thing, “Everyone’s doing it!” If enough people decide something is cool, it can be GOOD OR BAD yet everyone in the crowd just has to have it. The latest fashion statement, mp3 player, mobile phone, iPod, if the right crowd has it, we MUST have it also.
It is the same, where is the crowd going this weekend? To the pub, match or concert? To watch royal wedding, or a man jumping to his death from a high building, a crowd will gather, and many will join the crowd to be part of that seen, be it GOOD OR BAD.
Why do we do we follow the crowd? Because the popular crowd makes it cool.
CONCLUSION: THE CROWD OR THE CROSS?
Listen to TWO voices!
Which is the louder to you?
The CROWD or the CROSS?
The CROWD says follow us, the CROSS says follow Me!
The CROWD says rely on yourself, the CROSS says rely on Me!
The CROWD says earn your worth, the CROSS says I am your worth!
The CROWD says bear your burdens, the CROSS says nail them to Me!
The CROWD says be happy, the CROSS says be holy!
The CROWD says if it feels good do it, the CROSS says for loves sake endures!
The CROWD says do, the CROSS says it is done!
Because of the CROSS, my interest in the CROWD died long ago!