Sermon Outline On Luke 19:29-44
Was this a ride of triumph into the city of Jerusalem or not? It sure seemed like a great party. Yet, there are tears of sadness and heartache.
Jesus sent two of his disciples to bring Him a young colt to ride on as He came into the city of Jerusalem. When Kings came riding into anyplace they would arrive on a great stallion. Yet, Jesus came riding in a donkey. A sign of humbleness for any person. However, the people still came shouting hosanna! And Glory to God in the highest heaven! They came waving the wonderful palm branches ‘“ a sign of honor and triumph. They came laying down their own cloaks off of their backs as if laying down a red carpet of honor as Jesus came down the side of the Mount of Olives as He approached the City of Jerusalem.
Even as the people celebrated Jesus triumphant entry to Jerusalem the leaders of the Temple called out to Him to make the people stop. Jesus told them if the people did not cry out with joy then even the rocks would do so! What a beautiful thought and scene that would be. Nothing could stop the praises that were taking place.
As Jesus came down the Mount of Olives He had a good view of Jerusalem. The City of God. The place of the Holy Temple. Jesus looked over the city and all that God had tried to provide for His people there and Jesus wept. He wept because the people and refused to see Jesus for who He really was and they had refused to hear God’s message. God had so much that He wanted to give to the people and they were consistently refusing to hear. They did not recognize God’s visit to them. So, like so many other people you would think that Jesus would ride triumphantly into the city, bring God’s Kingdom to the land and take over. Right? Wrong. It seems the exact opposite was about to take place. Instead of arriving with His Kingdom Jesus was about to be brutally crucified on the cross and He knew it. Was this triumph for Jesus or failure? We have the privilege of knowing that ultimately there was triumph in a way we could have never imagined. However, if you looked at that week for purely what it was in earthly terms we would have deemed Jesus ministry on this earth as ending in dismal failure. That is because in human terms we tend to think of success by what position we hold at work, in the community or in the church. We think of success by the cars we drive, the size of our home or the possessions we have.
Jesus saw success in purely a different form. Success for Jesus was helping people to understand that God was about love and grace and forgiveness. Success was about bringing wholeness and peace in a person’s life. Jesus knew success was about bringing us back in relationship with God. In the eyes of the people Jesus was a failure because He did not bring the kind of Kingdom that THEY wanted, and, in reality, they missed out because they could not hear the message of the kingdom that He was trying to give each of us within ourselves. How many of us have missed God’s message in our lives because we were looking for one certain message that we wanted and not the one that God was trying to give us? ‘“ Which, of course, is far better for us. Jesus committed the unpardonable sin of not being the kind of Messiah everybody was expecting.
Holy week is also known as Passion Week in honor of the passion of all that Jesus was willing to do for us. The word “Passion” may give us pause. We’re used to the kind of “passion” that Hollywood puts out. But the first meaning of the word given in Webster’s Unabridged is originally, ‘suffering or agony, as of a martyr,” and the second meaning: “the agony and sufferings of Jesus…”
How about that? “When he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace…’. Jesus wants us to have peace in our lives but sometimes we are too afraid to hear the message because we fear that some kind of chaos might come into our lives when in reality we are staying in chaos by the way we live our lives. However, Jesus message is all about peace and grace and we need to learn to trust that message.
Sometimes that message is hard for us to hear though when we also hear Jesus talking about the fact that we need to make sacrifices in our lives when we don’t want to. The cheering did stop for Jesus because Jesus began to talk more and more about a cross. In the early part of his ministry Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God. They wanted to hear about it but they misunderstood. They thought Israel was going to return to the days of King David’s glory. But increasingly Jesus began to talk about sacrifice’”even giving up your life.
The story is told of the peewee baseball game. When the young boy got up to the plate he looked over to the coach, and he saw him give the signal to sacrifice bunt. He then promptly proceeded to take three big swings and strike out. The coach ran up to him and said: Didn’t you see me give you the signal to sacrifice. Yes, the boy replied. But I didn’t really think that you meant it.
Isn’t that what we so often say to God? Yes, Lord, I heard that talk about sacrifice but I didn’t really think that you meant it. The cross says emphatically that He did mean it. The cheering stopped because Jesus more and more began to talk about commitment; it stopped because Jesus opened up the doors of the church and invited all people to come in. But most importantly of all, it stopped because Jesus began to talk about a cross. It stopped because Jesus did not bring the Kingdom the way we wanted Him too.
It’s kind of like dealing with your teenagers. You know that you set certain rules and limitations and curfews in their lives for them because you know it is what is best for them in their lives. They don’t like it and don’t want to listen. Sometimes they break the rules and find themselves in serious trouble and it is only then that they understand that maybe you do know better. It is only because they think they know better but they don’t. Don’t we do this with God sometimes? We think we know better and we insist on doing things our own way or want something our own way.
The disciples wanted Jesus to establish His kingdom here on earth. They wanted it their way. Jesus told them no and sometimes they got angry. Instead, Jesus talked about the need for the cross and sacrifice. Only in this way would God’s true kingdom be established forever. They didn’t understand but ultimately they trusted Jesus and didn’t interfere ‘“ as well as, most of them ran for their lives. Jesus knew what was best for them and for all of God’s people and so He made the sacrifice.
When Jesus entered into Jerusalem so long ago riding on a donkey He did come in great triumph. Triumph to bring God’s kingdom to us in a way that could never be destroyed by any earthly leadership or country. Jesus is bringing to us this week a Kingdom that is filled with redemption and love and grace. However, to truly appreciate all that Jesus has given for you be sure to live out this week with Christ and be willing to go to the cross with Him so that you can truly celebrate in His resurrection and love and grace for you. Thanks be to God. Amen.