Yesterday I gave a Palm Sunday message a little different than I’ve given before. Rather than focusing on the royal imagery we are given in the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, I focused on the fair-weathered crowd.
Matthew 21:8-9 tells us:
Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting,“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
Most of the crowd. As Jesus entered the last week of His life, most the crowd praised Him, and used Psalm 118:25-26 verbiage to identify Him as the expected Messiah.
This sight quickly evolved into a rioting mob that would chant “Crucify, crucify Him!” (Luke 23:18-25)
We Are The Crowd
What I wanted to convey to students on Sunday was that we are the crowd. Every week we proclaim “Hosanna (salvation) in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” as we enter our churches and direct our attention toward God, only to live a week that that screams “crucify, crucify Him” as we live by our own standards and seek to establish our own kingdoms.
What I wanted to accomplish Sunday was a tension. A tension that students would have to wrestle with this week as they contemplated the coming of Easter Sunday. I wanted students to feel like the wavering crowd. I wanted students to live in the tension between full surrender to Christ and living for their own wants and desires. The crowds were looking for a political king and what they got was a suffering savior. Many of our students are looking for a kind safety net and need to experience a sovereign Lord.
May we not shove answers down our students throats but rather invite them into the tension of faith where their wants and convictions wrestle in order to discover what they truly believe.