Posts Tagged ‘Palm Sunday’

Celebration!

April 14, 2016

Palm Sunday is recognized by every Christian denomination that I am aware of as a day of celebration.

Mark 11:1-11

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples; and He said to them, “Go into the village opposite you; and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it. And if anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it,’ and immediately he will send it here.”

So they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door outside on the street, and they loosed it. But some of those who stood there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the colt?”

And they spoke to them just as Jesus had commanded. So they let them go. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David
That comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!”

11 And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve. (NKJV)

I.  Celebration!

On the original Palm Sunday Jesus was coming to Jerusalem for the Passover.  He was well known throughout the land .  Lazarus had just recently been raised from the dead.  Jesus was welcomed to Jerusalem by crowds of people who recognized what He had done and praised God.

I remember in my childhood, growing up in a Lutheran church, Palm Sunday was a big deal. The children would march in and form a double line, holding palm branches up in the air.  The choir and then the minister would enter, all the while the organ would be playing joyfully.

I think that it is important to celebrate.

I am not talking now about Palm Sunday.  I am talking about celebrating other events in our lives.  Life is filled with a cycle of work and rest, struggles and victories. It is appropriate for us, as the people of God, to recognize what God has done in our lives and to celebrate the victories.

II.  Remember!

The Christian church certainly continues to remember Palm Sunday.

On that day, the crowd remembered the great things that they had heard and seen.

We have seen God’s blessings in our lives.  We should remember what God has done in the past for us, for our families, for our friends.

Sometimes, when times are tough, we forget that God has been very good to us.

We should remember what God has done.

III. Trust!

As we look into the future we can trust that God will be with us.  He will guide us.  He will protect us.  He will provide for us.  He will enable us to handle whatever circumstances we might face.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus looked ahead to the cross.  He knew what was coming.  He also knew that after the cross, would come the resurrection.

We do not know what the future holds for us.  We may  be called upon to endure severe tests or trials, but we may be assured that we will be victorious in the end.

Resurrection Day is coming!

Proverbs 3:5-6*

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

These are the sermon notes from 3/20/16.  All scripture quotes are from the New King James Version of the Bible.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

*This is the recommended memory verse for this week. 

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Go! Serve! Praise!

April 13, 2015

I appreciate that so many churches all around the world will be focusing on the same basic topic both today and next Sunday.  In a small way it shows the unity that there is supposed to be in the body of Christ.

Luke 19:28-40

 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’”

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

I.  Go!

The disciples were given instructions by Jesus.  They followed those directions.  We are given directions by God in the Scriptures.  We are to follow them.  We also grow in our ability to hear the voice of the Spirit.  The Spirit will also give us direction if we are willing to be sensitive and obedient.

II.  Serve!

The people lay their clothes in the road to show their love,respect and admiration.  In what ways do we show our love and respect?  We are called to lay down our lives for Christ if necessary, but what are we doing with our lives?  We should be willing to serve God in whatever capacity we are able to serve.

III.  Praise!

Certainly we should offer praise to God.  Whether it is with our voices, or our instruments, it is good, right and fitting to give thanks and praise to God.  He is worthy to receive our worship and praise.  We should praise God not just outwardly, but with our whole hearts.  Our attitudes should be humble and obedient to the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.  We should praise him not just with our voices, instruments and hearts, but with all of our lives.  May our very lives be an offering of praise.

This message from Palm Sunday is not meant to be a single Sunday in the year, but rather a pattern by which we live out our lives.

This message was preached on Palm Sunday 3/29/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

Palm Sunday

April 14, 2014

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week.  On Palm Sunday we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  Next Sunday will be Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.  In between these two Sundays of celebration are Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  These two days are tremendously important.  On Maundy Thursday, among other things, are the washing of the feet of the disciples by Jesus, the first celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the prayer in the garden of Gethsemane, and Judas’ betrayal of Christ.  On Good Friday we have the crucifixion.  The primary reason that Jesus came to earth.  He was after all, “the lamb of God, who came to take away the sins of the world”.   If Jesus had not died for us, we would still be left in our sins.  There is no other way for us to be forgiven than through the sacrifice of Jesus.

I.  Rejoice:  Luke 19:28-40

 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’”

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

The disciples rejoiced over the mighty works they had seen.  After all, they had seen a multitude fed from a few loaves and fish, they had seen the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the blind see.  They had even seen the dead brought back to life.  There was much about which to rejoice.

Do we rejoice about what Christ has done for us?  We may not have had quite the same spectacular stories as the early disciples, but do we not have stories of the faithfulness of God?

II.  Weeping:  Luke 19:41-44

Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Luke immediately follows the story of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem with this recital of Jesus weeping for the coming destruction of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem was to be destroyed because “they did not know the time of your visitation”.  They had not accepted, truly, that Jesus was the Messiah.  This prophecy came true when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army in 70AD.

The close proximity to the story of the triumphal entry reminds us of the mixture of emotions that Jesus must have felt.  Sure, He enjoyed the celebration of Palm Sunday, but He fully understood the events of the coming week.  He also knew that not all would receive the gift of salvation that would be offered.  There is a curious mixture of joy and sadness.

We too, should have a burden for the lost.  We should pray that God would touch their hearts, that they would respond to the gospel and be restored like prodigal children coming home to the Father.  Yes, we can celebrate, but we should also, at times, weep for the lost, and pray that God would work through us to reach them with the gospel.

On a related note, this mixture of emotions goes both ways.  During times of testing or trials, when life is painful and difficult; we can rejoice in the knowledge that, in Christ, we are victorious.  That in the end we win.  That Christ is with us always, even in the days of darkness.

III.  Cleansing:  Luke 19:4-46

Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is  a house of prayer’, but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”

The triumphal entry, weeping over the city, and now the cleansing of the temple.  The account in Luke is filled with powerful emotions.  In this section Jesus is distraught over the way that they house of God was being treated.  Some have used this portion of scripture to condemn bake sales in the foyer, or any kind of fundraising sale in the church building.  I think that they have missed the point.  The various fundraisers that go on in a church are not for personal gain.  They are for worth while causes. However there are some issues that we should face regarding our attitude towards the house of God.  Are we attending merely for the sake of appearance?   Perhaps, we are concerned about status?  Maybe we are simply trying to network to further our business.  Certainly, it is possible to have the wrong attitude towards church attendance.  We should be gathering together to pray, to worship, to learn, and to both encourage, and be encouraged by our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Palm Sunday is a wonderful day of celebration, but as we celebrate, let us remember to pray for the lost, and to maintain a right attitude in our own hearts towards the house of God.

These are the sermon notes from 4/13/14.  Any advertisements that may follow this blog are placed there by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any payment from them.

A Time to Serve

April 2, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from April 1, 2012.

I.  Luke 19:28-40  A  Time to Celebrate

There are times in our life that we celebrate.  The times of celebration are fun.  What would life be like without times of celebration?  Yet not all of life is celebrating.

II.  Luke 19:41-44 A Time of Weeping

Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem.  He knew that the city would be destroyed within the century.  This saddened him.  There are times in our life when we want to cry.  Sometimes it is due to events in our own lives, and sometimes it is in response to what is happening in the lives of others.

III.  Luke 19:45-46  A Time for Action

Sometimes the circumstances of life motivate us to act.  This motivation may be caused by injustice, or sin, or compassion for the lost.  There are times that we might be angry, we should use that anger in the right way,  as motivation to right a wrong, not to do wrong.

IV.  John 13:1-17  A Time to Serve

As Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, it was a lesson for us in humility and service.  We are called to live a life of service.  We live to serve, and in serving, we live.

Conclusion:  We recognize that life is not all about the celebrations.  There are times to weep, there are times to act, and there are times to serve.

A Shield About Me

March 30, 2010

On Sunday morning in the second service we were singing the old song based on Psalms 3:3, “A Shield About Me”.  My wife, who was leading worship felt impressed to linger for a while on this song, which was the last in our list.  It contained both a statement of faith, and the response of worship.

I later preached on the triumphal entry, it was Palm Sunday after all, but I included the prophetic word that Jesus spoke over Jerusalem, and the episode of Jesus driving the merchants, and money changers out of the temple.  I refered to judgement against the city, and in the temple.  I connected these to a warning that judgement could come against our country, and even against Christianity.  Would anyone deny the presence of sin in our land, or in the church that calls itself Christian?

However, the good news is; for those who are trusting in the Lord, for those who are faithful and obedient, God will be a shield about them.