“The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!” John 12:12-13
What are you expecting this Palm Sunday?
- The People Expected A Kingdom
A week later they cried “Crucify Him!” Why? Because: They had wrong expectations. They had greeted Him as the KING OF ISRAEL!
- Watch as they slip off their garments in honour!
- Watch them as He takes a whip, and they shout “Hurray”!
- Watch them as He drives out the money changers, and they shout “Hurray!”
- Watch them as He argues with the Pharisees, and they shout “Hurray!”
But when He’s been arrested, and whipped, and humiliated, their faith is shaken. If He was really the King of Israel, He would not be in this position! So now they cry “Crucify Him!”
They greeted Him as THE KING OF ISRAEL. But He is MORE! He is the King of the Earth. Before He can take the throne He must battle the enemy.
- The Disciples Expected Their King
Mat 21:6-8 “ The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. The crowd spread their garments on the road “
So here is something unusual and interesting. The disciples put their clothes on the donkey. The crowd put theirs on the road. You see, the disciples cared about THEIR king’s comfort. But the people cared about the kingdom. They greeted Him as THE KING OF ISRAEL.
The disciples didn’t want to share Him with anyone else! He was THEIR King! Paul learned the lesson that this Jesus belongs to all: 1Corinthians 1:2 “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.”
He is OUR Lord – but He is not ONLY ours! You see, we are the first fruits. James 1:18 “In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”
God has called you and me – not as individuals – but as a CHURCH – to be a token! Do you see it? The Church is a proof or model of God’s intention with all of His creatures.
We are the first fruits – the token of a bumper future harvest. Revelation 7:9 “After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands.”
- Jesus Expected Kingship
He expected to be King of the Earth: King of kings – and Lord of Lords! He expected the reconciliation of all His enemies!
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” Hebrews 10:12-13
Now listen: Forgiveness of sins has nothing to do with people! Even as they nailed Him to the cross, He asked GOD for their forgiveness. No repentance! They sneered cruelly. He did not say “Lift up your hand” and then I can forgive you.
He is the MAN Christ Jesus. The Mediator between God and men. And this is His first mediation: “Father forgive them!”
Do you believe that God did forgive them? “O! Yes! Of course!” – You say!
But let me press you on that. They are nailing the Son of God to a cross. Do you have no doubts at all that they would be forgiven? So why do you have grave doubts regarding the drunkard, and the thief, and the adulterer, and the liar, and the lover of money? If he can forgive the ones who crucify Christ, is there anyone He cannot forgive?
Or even your family. It is not His will that any should perish! Do you think your family can thwart God’s will? We believe in the forgiveness of sins. Don’t we?
That is what the Church believes. It is written in our creed! “Every knee shall bow! And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!”
Let me give you hope this morning for a wayward son or daughter, or a loved one. “All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.” Psalm 86:9
Do you remember the parable of the lost sheep? “What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”