Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Five Triumphal Entries of Jesus

Jn. 12:12-19

Thanks to:Bruce Gottesche, Jeremy James, & James Chandler in theirsermon ideas as found at Sermoncentral.com



Introduction

A. Our texts depicts a significant event in the life of Christ -Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

B. Do you know there are four other such significant processions in whichwe may refer to as Triumphal Entries of Jesus?
1. His entry into the world.
2. His entry into one’s heart.
3. His entry into our country, city or community.
4. His reentry to earth delivering the church back to God and destroyingthe wicked.
5. His final entry with the saints through the portals of heaven.


C. For a few moments let us examine together the five ‘Triumphal’ entriesof Jesus.I. His triumphal entry into the world Lk. 2:8-14.
A. The announcement of Jesus’ birth must have been an awesome andfrightening event. 1. The night sky lights up, an angel appears, then a host of angelssings.
B. Satan is about to be conquered! A savior is born! Peace now reigns inthe hearts of men.
C. In this event we begin to understand the Greatness of God and of HisGrace Toward Us.
1. His love for the human family is far beyond our comprehension (Jn.3:16).
2. His wiliness to risk personal loss for his creatures gone astray(image placeholder)(Phi. 2:5ff) boggles our mind.
3. One can almost see the tears in Paul’s eyes as he writes...(1 Tim.1:15).
4. Without his entry into the world God would not be as great as heclaims to be, God would not be as gracious as his messengers claimed!What a wonderful day it was when Jesus entered the world!II. Now his second triumphal entry is personal in nature, ‘His entry intothe heart.’A. Without Jesus we are:
1. Eph. 2:12 foreigners, strangers, hopeless, godless, Christless,worldly - empty.
2. There is nothing good in us (Rom. 3:12). We have abused ourselveswith personal vanities - narcotics, sex, riches, power, beauty.
3. When we see God’s grace, in light of our sin, we understand the depthof our need. We will appreciate His mercy and grace in a way we have notappreciated it before.
4. Without Jesus I am walking in darkness, child of the devil, doomed tohell.B. But in Jesus, when he makes his triumphal march into my heart Ibecome:
1. 1 Cor. 6:11 cleansed, sanctified, justified, a new creation,redeemed, loved, saved.
2. I am given a new name - Christian; a new relationship -Son/daughter; a new family - church; a new purpose - glorify his name.


Benjamin Reaves tells a story about a boy who’s mother died when he wasjust a child. His father, in trying to be both mom and dad, had planned apicnic. The boy had never been on a picnic, so they made their plans,fixed the lunch, and packed the car. Then it was time to go to bed, for(image placeholder)the picnic was the next day. He just couldn’t sleep. He tossed and heturned, but the excitement got to him. Finally, he got out of bed, raninto the room where his father had already fallen asleep, and shook him.His father woke up and saw his son. He said to him, "What are you doingup?" "What’s the matter?"The boy said, "I can’t sleep."The father asked, "Why can’t you sleep?"In answering the boy said, "Daddy, I’m excited about tomorrow."His father replied, "Well, Son, I’m sure you are, and it’s going to be agreat day, but it won’t be great if we don’t get some sleep. So why don’tyou just run down the hall, get back in bed, and get a good night’srest."So the boy trudged off down the hall to his room and got to bed. Beforelong, sleep came--to the father, that is. It wasn’t long thereafter thatthe little boy was back pushing and shoving his father, and his fatheropened his eyes. Harsh words almost blurted out until he saw theexpression on the boy’s face. The father asked, "What’s the matter now?"The boy said, "Daddy, I just want to thank you for tomorrow.""Living Expectantly" Preaching Today

3. When you and I stop and think of where we were when the Father foundus, when we consider the means that He used to draw us to Himself, whenwe think about what life would have been like without Him, we can’t helpbut be moved to gratitude. And when we think about what is in store foreveryone who believes, when we think about the glory of standing in thecrowd in Heaven to praise our gracious Lord, when we think about that daywhen we will no longer hunger or thirst, when all dangers will beabolished, where the living water is our refreshment and all our tearsdried, when we think about that day when the Shepherd will lead us, we(image placeholder)too will find ourselves lifting the Palm Branches to sing Hosanna.I hope we find ourselves swept up in the wonder of anticipation of thatday and we too will say, "Father, I just want to thank you for tomorrow.”

4. If you have not let Jesus march triumphantly into your heart andseized control of your life, you can do that today. His grace and mercyhas given you that opportunity this hour. Don’t let the moment passwithout acting upon what you know is the right thing to do.

III. The third great triumphal entry of Jesus is when a country, city, ora community welcomes his presence. John 12.A. There were several groups waiting for Jesus in Jerusalem as is in ourcommunity.
1. The Critics- At Jerusalem it was the religious leaders. They hated Jesus. They saw him as a threat to their control. They wanted nothingmore than to kill him. It wasn’t that they just wanted him dead, theywanted him gone, forgotten.
a. Not much has changed. Our community is full of critics. They wanthim not just dead, but gone forgotten. Remove him from government,school, work place. Accept him as just a great teacher, not God in theflesh. He must not be realized as the only way to heaven. You see, He isa threat for them. Because of him they cannot teach evolution withoutcontention, gay activism without reprimand, pro-choice without conflict,open marriage without rebuttal as well as a host of freedoms the humanistworld advocates.
b. There are critics in the church espousing spiritualism instead ofholiness, attendance rather than service, tolerance rather than truth.
2. The Curious- They actually have some interest in Jesus. The whole(image placeholder)city was stirred and asked- Who is this man? They wanted miracles, theywanted freak shows. People will always gather to see a show.
a. Want a crowd, start a fire. Want a crowd- start protesting. It isn’tthat the crowd really cares about any cause, they just want to see ashow. They were the ones, who when Jesus called them to follow him, theyhad excuses- I have to bury my family member, I have to go take care ofsome business, I have married a wife.
B. But there are those in the crowd who we identify as ‘The concerned.’
1. When I read this story it causes me to think of parades. I canremember being a spectator at so many parades (in front of the TV).Thanksgiving Day parades were the best. Sure the floats were gorgeous andthe clowns funny. But all came to see only one man. My older brotherwould tell me “Look, look, here he comes”....then the TV would zoom inon the man - Santa Clause. Yes! Christmas couldn’t be far off now.
2. The ‘concerned’ lives for an audience of one.
3. While the crowds become fickle and shortly begin to cry “Crucify Him”the concerned stand their ground and promote his cause. They representthe faithful, the steadfast, the unmovable, those who abound. They laborand wait like the farmer for the early and latter rains. They keep theirlamps burning and extra oil in their backpack.
4. You see, we cannot live for the opinions of others. Opinions changelike the weather. Belief systems alter to appease the unstable, careless,unrighteous. Jesus is the same yesterday today, yea forever. Regardlesshow man wishes to interpret scripture, his doctrines never change. Thepurpose of the church hasn’t changed in 2000 years. The reason for(image placeholder)baptism has not altered since the beginning of the church. The manner ofChristian living has never been revised or updated to fit currentphilosophies.
5. The concerned does not live for the audience and opinions of others.We live for the audience of one. Jesus Christ.
6. Some loved Jesus, some hated Him, that didn’t change who he was. a. They wanted Jesus to be an earthy king and ruler. In fact earlier,crowds had tried to take him by force and make him their king. Otherswere convinced he was Satan in the flesh. Public opinion did not changehow Jesus lived, or who Jesus was. BECAUSE JESUS WAS LIVING FOR ANAUDIENCE OF ONE, his Father.
7. Some will love us, some will hate us, that doesn’t change who we are.It shouldn’t change how we live. If all the world goes crooked, don’tcrook with it. If we are living for an audience of one, then we canhandle criticism without it killing us. When we lay down to sleep atnight, it is not man’s opinion of us that matters, but God’s opinion.
8. Let Jesus march victoriously into our country, city or by keepingourselves unspotted from the world.IV. Now let us turn our attention to his triumphal reentry to earth Rev.19:11-21.A. For some this will be a glorious day, for others a heart stoppingevent.B. This is the day he gathers his elect and delivers them to the Father(1 Cor. 15:24-26).
1. On that day all kings shall relinquish rule, all superpowers willturn over their authority, even death, hell and the grave will ceasetheir horrible dominance over the world. Jesus will returned, and that to(image placeholder)judge. Let us be found watching least when he comes on the earth, hefinds no faith.V. His final victorious entry is when all the saints assemble and go withhim through the gates of heaven (Rev. 7: 9-17).A. This a picture of hope.
1. It gives us strength. It keeps us focused and will help us keepgoing.B. It is a picture of purpose. 1. It is tough to keep running is you don’t see a purpose. In fact, Ihave heard that one of the most devastating punishments in aconcentration camp is when the captors make their prisoners domeaningless labor. They might have them move a pile of rock from one spotto the next . . . and then back. It is labor without a purpose andeventually it eats away at a persons willingness to go on.
2. Life can be like that. We face obstacle after obstacle.We get through one operation and another is waiting.We pay off one debt and another makes its claim on our life.We get one child healthy and the other gets sickWe cross off one item from our "To Do" list and add three othersWe survive one crisis and another wave of trouble washes over us
3. I have always wondered why people run in marathons. Most know theyhave no chance of winning. During the race they encounter cramps, theybattle exhaustion, and at time dehydration. They spend months punishingthemselves and depriving themselves in preparation for this longexhausting journey. Why? I am told that it is because of the joy andsatisfaction that comes when you cross that finish line. It is not thewinning . . . .it is the surviving and conquering that brings joy.
4. So there is running the race that is set before us. It’s not just to(image placeholder)run to encourage others to run, it is to win the prize, the high callingof Christ Jesus - Heaven!
5. Yes! When we march through those gates with Jesus, we will be on theOther Side of Our Struggles!

CONCLUSION

1. I frequently forget that there is life beyond Matt. 25 - judgmentscene.

2. Now I see a parade and I’m marching in it. I am following the one whomarched into this world with intent to save it, I permitted him to marchinto my heart taking control of my life. Now I am helping him march intoour community by the work I do for I know one day he will reenter theatmosphere at any given moment to assemble me and all the saints in ournew body so we may follow him right through the gate waving our palmbranches, crying “Hosanna, blessed is he that comes in the name of theLord!”

3. Will you be in that procession? Will you be in that final triumphalmarch?

4. Don’t follow the world and be handed a shovel and pick for the coalsof fire you will have to stoke for the Devil. Give your heart to Jesusand he will put a branch of peace in your hand, a robe of righteousnesson your back, a joyful spring in your step, and merry mirth in your song as you go through the pearly gates leaping and shouting for joy for theone who loved you and washed you in his blood.

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