Our Savior Lutheran Church
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
April 9, 1995
(What an odd procession...no band, no dignitaries save a poor man on a young donkey...)
THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY OF CHRIST INTO JERUSALEM WAS A MOMENT FOR WHICH HISTORY HAD LONGED.
The long awaited arrival of the Messiah into the holy city of Jerusalem was the defining moment toward which all of Jewish history had waited.
Here was the fulfillment of all the Old Testament prophesies.
Here was the solution to all of their sins, the ultimate fulfillment of the sacrificial system.
Here was the arrival of the Kingdom of God, for where the Christ is, there also is the Kingdom!
The jubilation of the company of disciples was, therefore, understandable!
For what event are we willing to march into the public square and shout at the top of our lungs?
For God?...Not German Lutherans!
Remember, the shouting was done by Jesus large crowd of disciples.
They shouted because the claims of Christ had been confirmed in their minds by the miracles He had performed:
Time and again Jesus had set aside the natural law and exercised His supernatural power.
The raising of Lazarus had been the final straw that convinced the crowd that this was no ordinary man.
By now, Jesus was well known throughout all of Judea.
These people were very likely NOT the same people who would later that week call out for the death of our Lord...a common misunderstanding.
Time and again we read that the High Priest and the Sanhedrin wanted to get their hands on Jesus...but not when the crowds were around.
Why else would Jesus be tried in the middle of the night in contradiction to Jewish law?
Why else would there be weeping along the Via Dolorosa as Christ made His way to Calvary?
No, these are not very likely vicious crowds that stood before the judgment seat of Pontius Pilate....These were the people the Sanhedrin were trying to avoid!
THE REACTION TO JESUS ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM WAS HARDLY UNANIMOUS IN APPROVING OF THE CHRIST.
When the Pharisees heard the clear Messianic labels being applied to Jesus, they were deeply offended and demanded that Jesus rebuke them and correct them.
The felt that if this were to continue, Jesus would soon have the whole of the nation in His hand. (Jn. 12:19)
They saw Jesus' authority increasing and their own decreasing...soon no one would listen to them anymore, they would only listen to this Jesus!
It was all getting out-of-hand and something absolutely had to be done!
Today, the reaction to Jesus is hardly unanimous.
Skepticism or blatant unbelief abound, but for exactly the same reasons.
We doubt because we refuse to accept the authority of someone else.
We reject because we don't like the notion that we are inferior beings, subject to a superior God.
We disbelieve that the solutions to our personal problem with sin and the resultant corruption of the world does not lie in our hands... in fact, it is beyond the ability of humanity to correct.
You see, we are in many ways quite like the Pharisees.
Our pride in ourselves can prevent us from seeing our need for God.
Our stubborn insistence that we must be our own authority and the only solution to our flaws and defects rubs us the wrong way.
Which group would we be in if we had been there on Palm Sunday? The shouting disciples or the stifling Pharisees?
JESUS' SERVES NOTICE THAT EVEN THE MOST STUBBORN UNBELIEF WILL NOT STOP HIM OR STIFLE THE CELEBRATION.
God's plan for the world's salvation cannot be stopped!
It is the perfect plan, executed by the perfect God to bring about a perfect result!
That is an unstoppable formula for success.
When God makes up His mind and moves to action, no force on the face of this earth can deter His will.
Look at the forces throughout history who have tried with all their might to stifle the Church of Jesus Christ and the message we represent.
Almost immediately, the Roman persecution of the Christian scapegoats began.
The concerted effort to eliminate Christ and His Church continues to this very day in nations like Sudan where a Christian holocaust is on-going.
God's plan for the world's salvation takes the world by total surprise!
Jesus brings the world a plan of divine design and befuddles our human reason.
We want a power King, not a donkey King!
We want someone to win, not be nailed to a cross!
God's plan is exclusively conditional.
If our heavenly Father is going to subject His Son to death to pay for our sins, then no one had better insult that sacrifice by suggesting that there are other ways to accomplish the same goal.
Any effort to be tolerant of other "gospels" discounts and degrades the unique sacrifice and death of God's Son.
Any effort to add human will or effort to God's completed work of salvation is an insult to the cross and God's plan of salvation.
We hear words of human pride when we hear attempts to create a God of our own making or a plan of salvation of human invention.
ILLUS: The Church of All and of All Churches
The attempt is to tell God that He got it wrong by sending His Son.
Whose parade will you join today? Will you be shouting out the Messianic claims of the disciples or will you be stifling God's plan of salvation? Let us rejoice that God's plan is unstoppable, unalterable and unchanging. Let us raise our voices to our God and King as He rides by on the donkey! In Jesus' name, Amen!
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