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What Can I Learn From Palm Sunday?

What Can I Learn From Palm Sunday?

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What Can I learn from Palm Sunday?

April 5, 2020

Introduction: Today most Christians are celebrating Palm Sunday some are mourning the fact that they can’t pass out palm branches and wave them during worship.

I have a confession to make although I grew up in a Christian Home and began going to church at the age of two I have no memories of Palm Sunday being a time where we had Palm branches and waved them.
How about you Pastor Josh?
In the chat in a sentence share a memory (childhood especially) you have Palm Sunday?
Loved reading last week about a aunt who shared the memory of a Palm Sunday some time ago, 5-year-old Stephanie sat on her lap while they listened to the pastor’s sermon together. He described Jesus’ approach to Jerusalem and how the crowds cried, “Hosanna, Hosanna!” At that, Stephanie perked up and began to sing, (sing this part)- “Oh, Hosanna, now don’t you cry for me!” (Brenda Fossum, Duluth, MN, “Heart to Heart,” Today’s Christian Woman. From a sermon by C. Philip Green, We Want To See Jesus, 4/14/2011)

Now Palm Sunday doesn’t get as much attention as next Sunday, Easter Sunday. But we shouldn’t forget that Palm Sunday and its events are what really an important part of the journey of Jesus to Easter Sunday. Pastor Josh that got me to thinking what are the poignant lessons for us today from these events recorded in the scriptures? Let’s go to Matthews gospel… Pastor Josh please read it for us…

Matt 21:1-11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!” 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” NIV

I believe there are several lessons to be learned here and perhaps the best way to uncover them is to use an interrogative (questioning) approach, so the first question I want to ask is:

Why Come Riding on the Donkey? (Matt. 21:2-5)
Obviously, the fulfillment of Prophecy (Matt. 21:4)
Zech 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. NIV

ASK: Why would this important?

Prophecy is among the great proofs of the validity of the scriptures
Jesus fulfilled every prophetic pronouncement of the ancient texts
Perhaps the greatest reason he comes riding on a donkey is what it symbolizes (Matt. 21:5)
Ask: What does the text say about this and most importantly why is it important?

Pastor Josh?
Comments from online?
He doesn’t come into the city as an oppressive conqueror but gives them opportunity to acknowledge who he is!

Today Jesus still comes with gentleness and humility
Allowing each person – you and me to choose
ASK: When we don’t choose are, we really choosing?
Before we leave this point let me remind you that the scriptures reveal he will enter Jerusalem again a second time and the book of Revelation reveals this time as the mighty conqueror against all who oppose him
The second question we ought to ask to learn the important lessons of Palm Sunday…

Is there a significance to the Palm branches, cloaks? (Matt. 21:8)
Please text what you think those of you joining us live – while I ask Pastor Josh his thoughts on this

Historical Context:
One is that it was common practice in the ancient world to welcome home a king or war hero by laying out a path of branches for him to ride/walk on – like rolling out the red carpet today
Josephus says that Alexander and Agrippa were received at Jerusalem in this way
Palm branches were a symbol of power and victory over enemies. In Roman athletic competitions, the winners were awarded palm branches as a symbol of strength.
They Wanted Him to Be Their King
Ask : Why do you suppose they wanted to make Him their King?

Some because the miracles of loaves and fishes
Others because they wanted a political Kingdom, one that would free them from the tyranny of Roman oppression.
For the most part they make him the kind of King they wanted!
The question I need to ask myself is why do I want him to be king?
Which leads us to the third question we ought to ask to learn the important lessons of Palm Sunday…

Why did they Shout Hosana? (Matt. 21:9)
Pastor Josh I must tell you that I had erroneously in the past thought that their shouts of Hosana were some sort of declaration of his Lordship.

Ask: What do you think “Hosana” means?

Pastor Josh!
Online Responses?
The literally meaning for hosana is “save us”
To be truthful to the text when you place hosana in the context of them calling Jesus the son of David
And saying, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
They are calling him the messiah – they are saying Messiah save us now!
Here is the point they wanted immediate deliverance from the circumstances of the pollical tyranny – not deliverance from the tyrant of sin and self!

Today many are calling Hosana save us! We want and need a deliverer But what are we asking him to save us from?
Many are calling on God today and are called out today to God save us in regard to all that we are experiencing with covid 19
That’s good and right but ultimately he has come to deliver people from the plague, the spiritual virus of their sins because…
The final question we ought to ask ourselves to learn the important lessons of Palm Sunday is…

Who is this Jesus? (Matt. 21:10-11)
This is the single most important question that you and I will ever answer!

Ask Pastor Josh, how did the crowd answer this question that day? (v.11)

“This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Yes he was a prophet – prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem which happen in 70 AD
Prophesied one of his own would betray him and who it would be
Prophesied his own death
Ask: But was he just a prophet?

Who is Jesus? He is more than a prophet
Ask: How do we know he was more than a prophet?

He had power over sickness – miracles recorded in gospels
He had power over the elements – winds and waves obey him
He had power over death – destroy this temple, raise in up in 3 days
He even claimed power over the forgiveness of sins which precipitates his death

You see the lesson of Palm Sunday is that Jesus when he entered Jerusalem that day didn’t come to establish an earthly kingdom but first the spiritual kingdom.

If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:

Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God. Please contact me at pastor@abundantlifegp.com we will get you some materials to help you follow Jesus and be his disciple.