Palm Sunday – The Road to the Cross Pt. 1

James Weidner III   -  

Luke 19:28-40 (ESV) 28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.

1. The offerings that ushered Jesus into the city of Jerusalem.

1.1. “Go and you will find’ 1.1.1. Not just any colt.

1.1.2. But a colt that had not been ridden before.

1.2. The Lord has need of it.

1.2.1. They threw their own cloaks on the colt.

1.2.2. Another offering to be used to bring the Lord in.

1.3. There is always an obeying, often times a going, and a giving that is included in ushering Jesus into the proper place in our lives.

1.4. What in our life does the Lord have need of?

Main text:

John 11:5-6 (ESV) 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.

John 11:17-27 (ESV) 17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”


* Welcome to Palm Sunday…
* For the past couple years I have led Palm Sunday with a reading the story of Lazarus.
* Lazarus’ miracle meant so much and taught us so many things… Last year review:

  • The miracle was a picture of salvation.
  • Lazarus had need to be loosed even after being raised from the grave.
  • Lazarus was still bound with grave cloths.
  • He needed help being loosed as does many people who come into new life with

    Christ. This is where community, patience, and discipleship come in.

  • So that we do not go through life still wearing our grave cloths.

1. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Philippians 1:21 (ESV) For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

1.1. Jesus’ response to Mary was He is the resurrection and the life.
1.2. Lazarus’ miracle was a precursor preparing the people to believe Jesus rose from the grave.
1.3. The progression of Jesus’ raising the dead was teaching us he is the Resurrection and the Life.

1.4. There were three resurrections from the dead in Jesus’ ministry.

1.4.1. Jairus’ daughter still on her death bed – Mark 5:42 & Luke 8:51-56

1.4.2. City of Nain Widow’s only son – Luke 7:11-17

1.4.3. To the raising of Lazarus having been in the grave for 4 days.

1.5. Though he die, he will live.

“Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,”

1.5.1. Ela… If I was to ask all of us the question “would you die for the cause of Christ”…. In your heart you would want to say yes, but if completely honest and put yourself at the moment

1.5.2. But what if we do not have to physically die, would we live for Christ as though we were dead?

1.5.3. Death comes before life.

1.6. The resurrection is unto a new man.

1.6.1. Ela… you have to know that Lazarus was changed even though not technically saved… you still have to imagine that he was changed. There is no nearer near death experience than what Lazarus experienced. He was dead.

2. After the resurrection of Lazarus the road to the cross began it’s final accent.

John 11:45-53 (ESV) 45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”

2.1. People with wrong motives will always find a way to justify their actions.

2.1.1. “The Romans will come and take away our Nation”
2.1.2. There was no trust or faith in God’s protection or provision.

John 11:49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

2.2. As the phrase goes: Caiphas would roll over in His grave if he knew what His words really meant.

2.3. The plot began with a prophesy.

Acts 2:23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

2.4. Jesus no longer moved around in the open.

John 11:54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.

3. The house was filled with the fragrance of worship.

John 12:1-8 (NKJV) 1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

3.1. When Jesus arrived to Bethany the scene was very different from the last this visit.

3.1.1. Instead of mourning there was joy.
3.1.2. Instead of doubting there was faith.
3.1.3. Instead of fasting there was feasting.
3.1.4. Instead of griping there was understanding.

3.2. Lazarus was now sitting at table with Jesus.
3.3. Lazarus was no longer wearing his grave cloths. Ela…
3.4. Mary anointing Jesus with expensive costly oil…
3.5. Mary’s offering filling the house with the fragrance of worship, gratitude

3.5.1. This act of worship was expensive.
3.5.2. Our worship should cost you something.
3.5.3. Our worship should fill the house with a fragrant aroma.

3.6. Though, not everyone is going to worship.

John 12:4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. 7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the  day of My burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

3.6.1. Some will say your offering of worship is a waste. 3.6.2. Some will despise your offering.

4. People came to see the miracle man.

John 12:9-11 (ESV) 9 When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

4.1. On account of Lazarus many were believing.
4.2. This is the reason the Church uses Facebook and websites and marketing and fancy productions…
4.3. Because people are not being raised from the dead.

4.4. Or at the least miracles happening on a regular basis.

4.5. There was a plot to kill the miracle.

4.5.1. People who are hungry for God want come and see what God has done.

4.5.2. Religious people just want to kill the miracle and let us go back to normal routine.

4.5.3. These were the final days leading up to the Triumphal entry.

5. The Triumphal Entry.

John 12:12-19 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!” 14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: 15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”

Luke 19:36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

6. Word had spread that Jesus had recently raised Lazarus from the dead, and curious crowds had begun to gather (9, 12).

6.1. But it’s the first three words of verse 12 that I want to focus on: “The next day.”

6.2. The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. (Emphasis added)

6.3. What is so important about these three words?
6.4. To better understand their significance, journey back with me 3,500 years to the time of the Exodus.
6.5. It was the Lazarus miracle that prepared and gathered the hearts of the people for the prophetic entry into Jerusalem.