|Create Date||April 11, 2017|
|Last Updated||June 15, 2017|
(For word document click title above) Palm Sunday John 12:1-11 Lorna Laister 9th April 2017
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday.
What can we learn from this very special day? What is there in this story that can possibly connect us with first century people?
It’s Passover time and many crowds of believers descended on Jerusalem for the holidays. The Romans were afraid of a revolution.
Read the whole section John 12:12-19; Matthew 21:1-11
the Roman world, kings rode horses, sitting up high, leading their armies. The military parade showed how powerful a king they were.
But this was not the sort of king that Jesus was, and it was not the sort of king that Zechariah had predicted. Zechariah did not predict a military hero coming back from battle. He was predicting a king of peace, a king who did not need to show off his army.
Jesus followers came out in droves to welcome him.
They put palm leaves on the ground because this is the way people in the first century greeted a king.
They shouted, “Hosanna!”…..John 12:13
They would escort him into the city.
They were eager for Judea to have its own king independent of Rome.
Fast forward a few days we will find that the crowds were yelling something quite different. They were yelling “Crucify him, crucify him!” They were jeering: “If you are the king of Israel, then save yourself.”
The crowds demand a crucifixion. One day, the crowds were praising Jesus as a hero. Not long after that, they were so angry at him that they wanted him to be killed. What happened to turn the tide of public opinion? The people were looking for a king who would drive the Romans out of Judea. They were looking for a king who would give them food, safety, and prosperity – material things.
The disappointment had set in
The very next day after this “triumphal entry” he showed anger at the way people were tricking people out of their money. (Matthew 21:12) AND Instead of kicking the Romans out of Judea, he kicked the Jewish moneychangers out of the temple — and that’s all. This was not a hero — this was a disappointment.
Then, in while continuing to teach in Jerusalem (chapter 21:33,) Jesus told the parable of the tenants, and his conclusion was definitely not a way to win a popularity contest: “The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit” (verse 43).
Jesus is saying that the main problem around here is not the Romans — IT IS YOU. You are not producing the fruit you should be for the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God comes BY CONQUERING SIN, not by conquering foreign armies. SIN IS NOT CONQUERED THROUGH PHYSICAL POWER, but through righteousness, meekness, and submission. Death, the ultimate enemy, can be conquered only through death.
So Jesus did not do what the people expected. The people were disappointed, and many were angry. That kind of emotional roller coaster can happen sometimes after an intense emotional high. This guy won’t be a hero, so get rid of him. Crucify the imposter.
Ironically, this is the very reason that Jesus had come to Jerusalem, because this is the kind of hero he was. He was a hero who would be crucified. HE WOULDN’T DO WHAT THE PEOPLE WANTED — HE WAS HEROIC ENOUGH TO DO WHAT THE PEOPLE NEEDED. The people’s biggest enemy was not the Romans — it was sin. The Romans were a temporary problem; sin was a problem with eternal consequences.
It still happens today
The people had a different priority, a different god. Instead of serving God, they wanted God to serve them. That happens today, too. People hail Jesus as their Saviour. They sing hosanna. They praise Jesus. They participate in the parade — and yet in time they disappear. Their enthusiasm fades, and they fade away. Jesus is not what they wanted him to be.
It is the same today. When we follow Jesus, we take up our cross to follow him. BUT…
- We did not become Christian because it was the popular thing to do
- We did not join this parade to get power
- We did not join in order to tell Jesus what we want him to do for us
We joined this parade because we believed in Jesus. We believed in a man who saves us through his death. We joined it because we were willing for Jesus to tell us what to do, even if it cost the clothes off of our backs, even if it cost us our lives. We have to be willing to follow Jesus to shame and death, because we know that by doing so, we will also follow him to glory and life forever.
Yet although we KNOW what we should do We KNOW how we should think - yet we still get disappointed with God. With Jesus.
When things are really tough. And you’ve prayed for something for years and there seems to be no answer.
When you are still poor and you do not know how you can survive.
When you have lost yet another member of your family.
When we pray “your kingdom come” and the evil is still so very really out there.
It’s OK to be disappointed with God.
- It’s not OK to ignore him
Can you let him take your life and shape it the way he wants to?
Do we hurt Jesus because we are disappointed in him? Because we pray for years and our situation is the same?
Are we disappointed that he doesn’t do things the way we want?
Do we want a King who will give us what we want?
Do I hurt Jesus? Yes. And I am sorry. It’s a start. But never the end
The end is that I am forgiven.
I need to live in that.
Today we are at the beginning of Holy week. That means that we are heading really fast to Easter. But there are the dark days of Jesus to work through, with Jesus, before the glory of Easter. We have the chapters at the end of the Gospels to read. Difficult chapters. While you read these chapters ----
Will you ponder on these questions?
- When does God disappoint you?
- What do you think about when God disappoints you?
- How do you feel?
- Will you express how you feel towards God?
- Will you shut him out or battle with him?
- Will you remember that he loves you very much?