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Palm Sunday 2008 - If only you had known

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Reading: Luke 19:28-44
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.  Luke 19:41-42 (NIV)

I.   The Lord Has Need of it

     A.  He needs a Donkey?

           1.  Of all the things our Lord and Savior would need, why a donkey?

                 a.  Why does Jesus need anything?

                 b.  Aren’t donkeys, stubborn, awkward animals, didn’t he have enough of that?

                 c.  Wouldn’t a regal steed be much better?

           2.  Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9

           3.  A horse is a military animal, a donkey is a small utility vehicle.

                 a.  A horse is a Cadillac: A donkey a pickup

                 b.  A horse = power, a donkey = service

     B.  He makes a Public entrance

           1.  Jesus was a marked man, he doesn’t quietly slip into Jerusalem.

                 a.  His disciples knew there was a plot to kill him. (John 11:16)

                 b.  Jesus knew he was going to his death.

           2.  He enters publicly as Messiah.

                 a.  He is making a calculated statement about who he is.

                 b.  He chooses to declare himself now, where before he wanted it kept quiet.

                 c.  He will be killed as Messiah, not as just another rabbi.

     C.  He descends the Mount of Olives

           1.  He would come back here often in the next few days to pray (Luke 21:37)

                 a.  This place will come up several times in the next few days.
Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, (Lk 21:37)

                 b.  This is a place of prayer for Jesus and the disciples.

           2.  He rides down this same mountain which four days later he would sweat blood

                 a.  In a place not too far from this path, he will beg the Father for another path.

                 b.  There will be no other path.
Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives… [He] knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Lk 22:39-44)

II.  The Stones would cry out

     A.  Which stones?

           1.  To the religious leaders this was wrong

                 a.  Improper praise! (spirit of religiosity?)

                 b.  Fear of Romans? (spirit of fear?)

           2.  The stones of the temple? (v.44)

                 a.  These will lie in ruins in just a few years

                 b.  Those under the foot of the donkey?

           3.  The people were quoting Psalm 118:26

                 a.  In v. 22
The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; (Ps 118:22)

                 b.  John the baptizer: God can turn stones into children of Abraham (Matt 3:9)

     B.  Praise is Right and Necessary

           1.  It was right that Jesus be hailed as the king who comes in the name of the Lord.

                 a.  He is the King of Kings.

                 b.  He comes in the name of the Lord.

           2.  It is necessary that he enters Jerusalem as messiah to face his execution.

                 a.  It is time for Israel to acknowledge Jesus for who he really is.

                 b.  It is time for us to acknowledge him.

III. Jesus Weeps again

     A.  The people’s hope was too Small

           1.  They wanted a kingdom that fit their own imagination (Luke 19:11)

                 a.  They wanted a return to the way things were before the Romans came.

                 b.  They wanted to go back to the time of David and Solomon.

                 c.  And Jesus weeps for them

           2.  We continually avoid our most basic problem: we make a mess of our lives

                 a.  We blame it on the Romans, or the Republicans or the Democrats.

                 b.  We blame each other, parents, children

                 c.  But we make a mess out of our own lives—and Jesus weeps.

     B.  Jesus enters Jerusalem to be Rejected

           1.  Jerusalem will kill him — he knows that.

                 a.  They don’t want him, they want the messiah of their imagination.

                 b.  Jesus knows they will not be able to accept him for who he really is.

                 c.  And Jesus weeps.

           2.  His tears are for them: they will miss out on the peace Jesus brings and they reject

                 a.  These aren’t tears of self-pity.

                 b.  These are tears of lament, of tragedy.

                 c.  For whom does Jesus weep today?

     C.  Now is the time of God’s Coming (v.44)

           1.  They will be punished because they do not recognize the time of God’s coming (v.44)

                 a.  Jesus comes in the name of the Lord and as Lord.

                 b.  But they missed it, they had on the wrong set of glasses.

           2.  Today is the day of God’s coming to us

                 a.  He comes riding into our lives in a way we might not expect.

                 b.  He comes to be more than we can imagine.

           3.  Receive him for who He is.

                 a.  Receive him anew today.
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Is.62:5)

The Bottom Line:

Accept and Praise our coming King for who he Really is.


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