Walking in Triumph (Palm Sunday)
Title: Walking In Triumph
Series: Walking the Roads of Easter (Palm Sunday)
Scripture: Luke 19:28-40
Theme(s): Palm Sunday, Easter, Victory, Celebration
- Preparing for worship (19:28-34)
- Worship with all that you are (19:35-38)
- Not letting others steal your joy (19:39-40)
To “walk in triumph”, there is a path to follow and pitfalls along the way. One must prepare for walk. They must put themselves completely into the process. And, you cannot allow others to stop you. This morning, we will learn to “walk in triumph” together!
PREPARING FOR WORSHIP (19:28-34)
We find at the beginning of this part of our journey Jesus and his followers approaching Jerusalem. As they reach the outlying area, Jesus sends two disciples ahead of the group to gather what was needed for their entry. He is very specific about His instructions. He tells them that as they enter the village they will find a colt. And, not just any colt, but a colt that no one has ever ridden! He also instructs the two disciples in what they are to say if they are questioned about why they are taking the colt.
Jesus seems very specific about his instructions in preparation for His entry into Jerusalem. Jesus did not need an animal to ride into the city of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. In fact, this is the only recorded moment in the life of Jesus where he is riding an animal. He rode in on the colt to fulfill a prophecy of scripture. Jesus spent much time in preparation.
For us to truly walk in triumph, we must prepare ourselves to worship and praise God. Too often do rush into the house of God without preparing ourselves. How many times have you left worship with the thought that you had not received anything? Is it perhaps because you were not prepared for worship yourself? How do we prepare for worship?
We can prepare our hearts for worship through prayer and meditation. This is developing and maintaining a focus. We prepare for worship by involving ourselves with scripture. This is a form of inspiration. What good is focus without something to focus on? Some programs include a “call to worship.” This is an attempt to focus our minds and attention on God—to prepare us for worship.
WORSHIP WITH ALL THAT YOU ARE (19:35-38)
As Jesus entered into Jerusalem, the city of David, his followers began to “praise God in loud voices.” They were sharing “all the miracles they had seen.” They were bearing witness to the worthiness of Christ. They were demonstrating His worth by worshipping Him.
There is an often-overlooked section directly before this worshipful scene. In some of the other gospels, palm branches are mentioned, but here in Luke, they spread their cloaks, their outer garments, along the path. It is ironic that this passage is not more highlighted because it is this section that leads to the name, “Palm Sunday.” People, in an act of worship, laid all that they had at the foot of Jesus. During Jesus’ time, people did not own that many changes of clothing. They laid what they had along the way of Jesus.
Jesus in another passage tells a woman that there will come a time when people will worship in Spirit and in truth. Part of the truth of worship is that we cannot afford to hold anything back. We must be all in! There is no halfway with God. There is no in-between.
NOT LETTING OTHERS STEAL YOUR JOY (19:39-40)
During Jesus’ procession into Jerusalem, the religious leaders of the day came up to Jesus. They instructed Him to quiet His followers. They were making too much noise. They were drawing too much attention. Possibly, they were taking people’s focus off of those “leaders” in exchange for the true Leader that God provided for them.
Often, when others attempt to stifle the expressions of praise and joy in others, it is because they sense their own deficiency, their own weakness, where they fall short. We find an example in today’s culture. Whether you like the Denver Broncos or not, you probably know who Tim Tebow is. Is it possible that those who find fault in his witness are those who do not have a witness themselves?
You can imagine the look on Jesus’ face! He has just been accosted by the leading religious figures. Here He is the very embodiment of the scriptures, and yet they claimed they were the “chosen” teachers. He is the fulfillment of the prophecies that their forefathers and heroes of faith recorded. He was the promise and the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption. And they were only thinking of themselves. They were worried about the power and control they would lose if this new Teacher gained a following. It was fine for Him to teach while He stayed out in the countryside, but now He was coming into downtown Jerusalem—the big leagues—and this would not do!
Jesus looked over at them and told them simply, if someone didn’t say something, the very ground, nature itself, would have something to say about His coming! Our joy comes in the knowledge that Jesus is the finishing line! We “walk in triumph” because we know who waits at the finish line. We are all striving for the moment when we are told, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
This is not meant to be a complete sermon. This is merely a catalyst to help the writing and preaching process.