Palm Sunday: On the Road to the Cross
"For we who live are always being given over to the death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh" 2 Corinthians 4:11
An Invitation - to the Cross
"On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.” Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your King is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
Introduction: Often suffering is confronted with a desire for either avoidance or healing; God has other reasons...
1. Notice significant things about the "Triumphal Entry"
a. The king is riding on a donkey (vs. 14)
b. The cry or the shout was not of a celebration, it was the Hebrew for "please save"! (vs 13)
Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25, which says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!” (ESV). The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”
c. The Early Church's prayer during severe persecution was "Come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev 22:20)
2. Ever since Jesus died and embraced the Cross, a symbol of suffering and brokenness, followers of Jesus are being invited because:
a. You get to know Christ deeply (Phil 3:8-11)
This was exactly what I was reading last night!
b. You develop godly virtues. (Romans 5:1-5)
c. It perfects and provides future encouragement to God's Church (Col. 1:24).
3. Two possible responses to suffering/brokenness:
- Wish it goes away - you pray for healing
- You hate it, fight it, question it, deny it, cover it.
- RESULT: Bitterness and alienation
- Acceptance; God has permitted it (Romans 8:28)
- Embrace: 'don't understand it, but God has a purpose'
- Witness and worship; identify with Christ! Glorify Christ! (Luke 7:36-50, John 12:1-8)
Conclusion: The Cross and the wilderness are places where Jesus hangs out...