Sunday, March 20, 2005

One Last Celebration

Intro: I really enjoyed our luau.

  1. But then I enjoy parties.

  2. I am not much of a party animal, but I enjoy being with people, I enjoy having fun with people.

  3. Jesus liked parties too. His first miracle was at a party – actually a wedding.

  4. Then there were the togethers at at Lazarus' place.

  5. But this time the celebration was for Jesus.

Read Mark 11:1-11


Tran. The Triumphal Entry stands in contrast to much of the rest of the ending of Jesus' life.

  1. Conflict is the theme that dominates much of the remainder of Mark.

  2. Jesus is at odds with the religious leaders

  3. Jesus is at odds with his Judas

  4. His disciples dessert him.

  5. But that is later in the week. Today will be different. Today will be a celebration.

T.S. During the next few minutes I want to look at the Occasion, the Place, and the Participants of that day.

  1. The Occasion

    1. It would not be just any ordinary trip to Jerusalem. It was Passover time in Palestine. It was the time of the year when the Jews remembered their escape from Egypt.

    2. It had been almost 1500 years earlier. Pharaoh had been challenged by Moses to let the Israelites return to their home in Palestine. After refusing to do so, God sent a series of 10 plagues. The celebration of the Passover allowed the Jews to remember God's provision during those days. The Jews had painted their door posts with the blood of the lamb – in doing so they had God's promise that their children would survive.

    3. And the people came. Not just Jesus, not just the disciples – but the Jews came from all over Israel, and in many cases from around the world.

    4. God had saved his people – their lives, like ours, did not deserve it, but God chose to show his grace to these descendants of the first century Jews.

(Appl.) Those events that had occurred 1500 years were just a snapshot of the salvation that God offers to us. Salvation did not just happen – but it had it roots in all that God planned for his people. And now, his salvation is not just for the Jews, but for everyone.

  1. The Place

(Ill.) Downstairs there is map of Jerusalem during Jesus time. After the service – take a minute to look at it.

    1. To the east of the city is the Kidron Valley.

    2. Just along there is the Eastern Wall of the city and the temple lies just to the other side.

    3. Just to the east of the Kidron Valley lies the Mount of Olives, where Jesus was going to be betrayed at the end of the week.

    4. There just over the ridge is the village of Bethany. And to the east of Bethany lying between Bethany and Jericho is Bethphage.

    5. Jesus comes from Jericho, through Bethphage and Bethany, and then he stops on the Mount of Olives.

    6. The instructions are simple – go into town, find a young colt, and bring him to Jesus – he even tells what his disciples what to say.

    7. I suppose that they could have had any number of common responses -

      1. Let somebody else do it

      2. I don't like colts – there too hard to handle

      3. I need some rest

      4. I expect there could have been others. What God asks of us is not terribly difficult – yet we do find excuses. Let's skip the excuses and say “Yes” to God. Whether it is in the church, in our communities, or in our families, God can have a role – if we will say “Yes” to him.

  1. The Participants

    1. I don't know if Jesus knew about the crowd ahead of time. I don't know if he expected anybody to be there other than his own 12 disciples.

    2. But as Jesus entered Jerusalem that day, the crowd was there. There is the suggestion that those who read Marks account would be reminded of the honor that would normally be given to Caesar.

    3. The people spread their coats down.

(Ill.) I remember cartoons in the paper as I grew up when the woman was about to leave the curb and some cartoonish gentleman tore off his coat or sweater and covered the puddle. I suppose as a child I thought this was how gentleman behaved. Maybe 50 years ago they did – but in my memory I never remember seeing this take place. Yet here, scripture clearly tells us it happened 2000 years ago as Jesus entered Jerusalem.

    1. “Hosanna!’” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!” Hosanna is the Hebrew word for “PRAISE”. They are praising the coming King. They are not looking for a sacrifice. Jesus had to be the sacrifice before he could be the King.

    2. I am reminded of Paul's words in Philippians 2 - “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,to the glory of God the Father.

Conclusion: We too are called to bow before the King.

  1. Jesus still deserves our respect.

  2. Jesus still needs our praise.

  3. Jesus still needs our Hosannas.

  4. This week, as you prepare for Easter, take time to praise Jesus. Turn off the TV.

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