A Joyful Celebration
Noisemakers such as kazoos, whistles, horns, bells, clickers and some flags or banners.
Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" Mark 11:9-10 or Matthew 21:9 (NIV)
I really enjoy a great celebration, don't you? What are some things that people like to celebrate? A birthday party...a holiday...or a sporting event? How do they celebrate? Well, one way people celebrate is by making a lot of noise. Look, I have some noisemakers for some of you this morning. (Pass out noisemakers.) Another way people celebrate is by waving flags or pennants. I have some of those too. (Pass out flags and pennants.) Still another way people celebrate is by shouting and cheering.
This morning, let's have a celebration. Let's celebrate that we are here today to worship and praise Jesus. Let's all give three cheers for Jesus while those of you who have noisemakers make some noise and those of you who have flags wave them high! Are you ready? Here we go! "Hip, Hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray!"
Wow! That was great and I think this is good day for us to celebrate Jesus, because today is a very special day. Today is Palm Sunday. It is a day when we remember how people celebrated when Jesus entered into Jerusalem on a Sunday some two thousand years ago. You've probably heard the story, but let me tell it again.
Jesus was walking with his disciples toward Jerusalem. As they came near to the city, Jesus told two of his disciples to go on ahead into the town. He told them that they would see a young donkey tied there that had never been ridden. "Untie the donkey and bring it to me. If anyone asks you what you are doing, just tell them, 'The Lord needs it. He will send it back to you soon.'"
The disciples did what Jesus told them to do and it happened just as he had told them. They found the young donkey, untied it, and started to lead it away. Some men were standing nearby, and they said to the disciples, "Where are you taking that young donkey?" They told them what Jesus had said and the men let them take the donkey.
The disciples brought the young donkey to Jesus and they put their coats on it to make a soft place for Jesus to sit. As they made their way into the city of Jerusalem, people went ahead of Jesus shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" Others followed behind and they were also shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna in the highest!" All the while, people lined the streets cheering and waving palm branches.
It was a wonderful celebration, but it was a bit noisy! Do you think Jesus liked all that noise? I do! The Bible says "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Just as those people celebrated two thousand years ago, we have come here today to celebrate Jesus. What better day to do that than on Palm Sunday?
Father, we celebrate today just as those people celebrated in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. This is the day that You have made; we will rejoice and be glad in it! In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.