Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sermon Notes April 5, 2009

Text from Matthew 21:1-11

Pulled these excerpts from Reminded the people that Jesus came to save, we then have to go and do the work.

Parade or Demonstration?

I’m persuaded that as Mark describes it, Palm Sunday sounds more like a

demonstration, than a parade. Rather than a leisurely, organized march


the city, picture a potential mob scene. The legionnaires did. The


and religious authorities did. Given the unrest and violence which had

marked Passover festivals in the recent past, festivals celebrating


liberation from Egypt, officials knew better than to wade into the

middle of

a spontaneous protest. Indeed they waited until dark before acting.


held off until Jesus was in an isolated spot, away from the crowds.

Start with a parade on Sunday, and you’ll never get to a reason for an

execution on Friday. But start with a demonstration in a tense city


with pilgrims marking an earlier liberation from an oppressive regime,


you have a tinder box ready to explode. Listen to the chants and shouts


the demonstrators: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the


Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!” The Legionnaires


from yellow to orange alert. These were nonsensical claims for someone

mounted on a silly donkey. Perhaps they suppressed a smile, but they


gripped their weapons more tightly.

As this scene unfolded, as Dominic Crossan observes, “there was already


human being,” who was “accepted by millions of people as Divine, son of


God, and even God of God.” Yes the empire already had one who was

hailed as

Lord, Redeemer, Liberator, and even Savior of the World – the Roman


Octavian the Augustus.” The little band going before and behind Jesus

on the

road to Jerusalem with hopes for liberation running high was on a


course with an immovable force which imposed peace with power.

Craig Anderson, Parade or Demonstration?


Easy to Cheer, Hard to Serve

You have seen those bumper stickers that read "Honk if you love Jesus."


there was a follow up: "Tithe if you love Jesus. Anyone can honk."


loves a parade, everyone loves to get excited. Sometimes we, too, get


up in the excitement of the moment. We are filled with great

enthusiasm, a

fresh burst of energy over a particular project. Unfortunately our

enthusiasm soon fades. We lose interest. It was great while it lasted


now it's gone. It's easy to shout , it's hard to serve.

King Duncan, Collected Sermons,


About the Donkey

People often speak of donkeys in belittling terms. You may have heard


expression, "I'm just someone who has to do all the donkey work." Or

"So-and-so is as stubborn as a mule" (a mule is part donkey).

These sayings overlook the contributions of a truly valuable animal.


have served the human race for thousands of years. They were once

prized as

symbols of humility, gentleness, and peace.

In Bible days, donkeys that had never been ridden were regarded as

especially suitable for religious purposes. So it was most fitting that

Jesus sent for a colt to perform the royal task of carrying Him into

Jerusalem. How enviable was that donkey's mission! How like our mission


Jesus' followers!

A missionary in China calls herself "the Lord's donkey." She's a humble

believer, "carrying" her Lord faithfully into town after town and


others to do likewise. The Lord has need of many such "donkeys" in


world, humble people who will carry Him into their Jerusalem and make



The donkey had to be untied before Jesus could use it. We too must be

released from worldly attachments if we are to serve Christ. Are we


to be the Lord's donkey?

Our Daily Bread, March 24, 2001


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