The Following is my Palm Sunday 2011 Sermon Preached at Hemlock Grove Christian Church, and also Rutland Church of Christ (double duty that day- eek!)

Not exactly how the sermon came off- I Ab libbed some parts here and there, but the basic structure is as written below.

Your King is Coming!

Good morning…..if you would, please turn to the Book of Matthew, chapter 21,

Matthew 21:2-3

The Disciples KNEW something was different. Jesus, who typically so often would press his Disciples to never mention any of the Mysteries of Jesus’ teachings, had made a request. “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.” (v.2)

This HAD to make them scratch their heads. How do you know? Are you SURE? “You mean you just want us to take it?”

It’s all right! Jesus said- if they question you, just say “the Lord needs it”- no big deal. I got this all under control!

 With questions in mind, they timidly obeyed- and guess what? It was al there- the donkey, the answer they needed- it was all taken care of!

Get a donkey….o, and by the way, I’m going to make an entrance!

            To today’s sensibilities, we may be thinking “A Donkey???” Where’s my stallion?? Where’s my horse drawn carriage???

            If you’re going to go to all the trouble to have a divinely  appointed mode of transportation  appear at your discretion, you’d think you’d pick something better than a donkey. It’s a Corvette as compared to Volkswagen beetle. Upgrade here Jesus! Travel in style-

            Well if you’re thinking that, you’re slightly misinformed. In the world that Jesus lived in, a typical Near Eastern society, the donkey, not the horse, was the emblem of royalty. For Jesus to come intoJerusalemon a donkey wasn’t just a selection between a horse, a camel and a donkey, and the donkey had the lower rental price. No, this was intentional – He was TRYING to get the people’s attention. ”Hey, I DO think there is something special about me I DO know who I am!”

1) Timing

            For the Disciples, this was EXCITING…and it was about time! If Jesus was the long awaited Jewish King- and they thought he was- it was about time he made some noise!

            You see, they’ve been waiting- for Jesus to do…SOMETHING. They have expectation of grandeur for Jesus- they expect him to be the long awaited King of Israel. It was going on three years, and they were getting antsy about getting the “Kingdom of God” on the road!

It was time.

The timing of God is something we can’t understand. So often it seems that when God wants to move in the life of a Christian, the Christian wants to say “WOAH! Holds your horses!” and when God feels it best to say put, the Christian wants to say “Hurry up all ready!”

            God has given us minds, in reflection of him, to make rational, thoughtful decisions, and God WANTS us to make choices. However, no matter what, God is going ot work THROUGH those choices. God’s timing is beyond our understanding- yet also perfect- never late, and never early. He moves when the conditions are best to show the world that THIS is what it means that I am God.

So intoJerusalemthey went.

We can’t be sure what was going through the minds of these disciples as they approached the City.  It wouldn’t be surprising if their minds were full of visions of triumph! What kind of king would Jesus be? Would he make a call to arms to drive the Romans out?

            More, what would this mean for the disciples? Would they be co-rulers? Would they have their own region- or Kingdom even?

            As their minds raced, the celebration slowly began. Jesus had been ministering, teaching, healing, and marveling for three years, and slowly word of Jesus- entering on a Donkey- spread through the streets of Jerusalem. He was up to something. It was time!

            “Hosanna!” they shouted! “Hosanna!” “Hosanna”- Here it comes! Lord Save us! Hosanna! Praise God, our salvation is coming! Hosanna! Our King is here to save us!

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt. 21:9)

This was no ordinary chant. This was a chant reserved for a King- and not just any King- a Special King. The long awaited Messiah. The savior of the People of Israel.

2)  Your King is coming!

As they chanted- Hosanna! Hosanna, in their minds, their through raced to another verse Zechariah 9:9, foreshadowing the Messiah.

5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
   ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
   and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The same goes for us today- SEE! Your king is coming- but are you paying attention? Are you paying attention to what God is doing?

God is active-

            In our texts, Jesus begins the long journey to the Cross at Calvary. He begins the process of relating to the world in the most tangle way who he was- by his love in dying on the cross. But in OUR lives, Jesus is also moving.

God works to bring good out of evil. Indeed, this is what Jesus came- to redeem humanity from evil, and bring it to good.

You see, for us, it isn’t that our King is coming- Your King is here

 and for this, we should celebrate.

I think we have failed to realized what it means that our King is HERE. Throughout scripture, men and women have sang, danced, written poetry, thrown huge parties- along with humbling themselves, patiently listening for God lead and sacrificing- all because God is here!

Typically, for us, we may remember that our King is here- but we don’t seem to make much of it. Maybe it’s that we’ve gotten used to the idea- Jesus is always here, so it’s no different than any other day.

But it could be that today, this very day, this COULD be the day that Jesus decides to go on the move- and totally change the course of your life. And when it’s the Time that God decides to move- watch out! It’s going to be amazing! You’re King is coming- it’s the time to move! Salvation is coming- and it’s going to be amazing!

There King was coming, and The crowd started to gather. Some of them knew what was up- they knew that Jesus was something special- they knew of his miracles. They KNOW of his sermons- they were there for when he proclaimed his new, different, world changing “KingdomofHeaven”. They hoped…they really hoped- that this was the Messiah. They

7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. (Matt. 21:7)

            This was done out of a matter of respect- and in light of who they thought Jesus was.

            In the Middle Eastern Culture, it was customary to lay down clokes in the road to make the way of travel eased. This makes sense. The roads were dirt roads, and rocky, all travelled over on foot or by animal. Add in a little rain, you have yourself a bonified mud hole.

3) What will we strip to lead the Way?

They made the road easy for God- they welcomed God. They sacrificed something of themselves- stripping off their outer tunics- and placed it down for God proceed over.

In taking off there clothing, and placing it on the road, it was as if they were saying “look here! This man is important! We’re not going to have him walking in the Mud! We’re treating him as a king!… because he is!

What will we take off to show Jesus to Be King? What will we render for the service to used by Jesus to show the Way of the Lord, and to be used for a holy Purpose?

It becomes a means for Jesus to enter in the manner he deserves- as God and King. We create a pathway, for God enter into our lives- and into the lives of others- and in our acknowledgement of him through what give to show who God is, God works though those- and works powerfully.

This is NOT getting rid of valuables for the sake of getting rid of them, but USING them to show Jesus to be the King.

How will WE show that Jesus is King? What do we have that we can give that says “Look! Jesus my King is here! The time that he is to be known is now! He has come!

No, not all the people that day understood or knew who Jesus was. Indeed, even his disciples are presented as misunderstanding fully who Jesus is. Yes, Peter who called Jesus the “Son of God” seemed to have figured SOMETHING about him, but even he was clueless when it came Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection! Yet, we will at some point have to ask who is this?

4) Who is this???

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

 11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet fromNazareth inGalilee.”

Who is this? What would you answer? Your answer in way, effects how you great him- and how you greet him, is a reflection, of what you expect of him.

What will you say? Your answer to “who is this” is the centrality of what it means to be a Christian.

The coming week is Holy Week with Easter being the culminating point. During the week, you’ll have the opportunity to think about this very question- “Who is this?”

Who is this? This is Jesus.

The Christ, the Son of the Living God.

This is Jesus- who can to save his people from their sins.

This is Jesus- who was and is and is to come.

This is Jesus- who died to set men free.

This is Jesus- Lord of all

This is Jesus- who is active, and is working within his church at the very moment that is needed. This is Jesus, Your King! Who is Coming!

Jesus is here. May we allow Him to enter into our lives as we give ourselves to his service.

Would you pray with me?