Pastor Dwane Parsons will be speaking on Palm Sunday on “Good News from Jerusalem (King for the Day!) Worship with Judy and her team. CCLI License number 1001973.
Remember when you were a kid and you got to be king for a day on your birthday?
You didn’t have to do your chores,
You got pick to eat whatever you wanted (Pizza for breakfast lunch and dinner!)
You got to watch whatever you wanted to watch and boss around the cat for a bit.
*King for a day.
Now imagine you were an adult, and someone told you, you are king for a day.
They hand you your crown and congratulations! Now go “king it up!”
Well, if I was king for a day, the first thing I’ll need is a crown.
So, as king for the day, there’s gonna be a few changes around here, I can tell you.
First of all, every politician in Queen’s Park gets to live in public housing for a year, and every family that lives in public housing gets to live in a politician’s fancy house.
Secondly, I’d make every weekend a 4-day paid weekend.
Third, I’d limit winter to four weeks between Christmas and early January.
Finally, If I was king for a day, I’d outlaw cilantro.
Because it’s the right thing to do.
Cilantro tastes like soap.
So think about it for a second, if you were king for a day, what would you do?
(What if I handed my crown down to you? Now remember – WWJD? No beheadings!)
*Well, in our scripture today we kind of get a glimpse of what Jesus did when he was king for a day.
It’s a week before Passover, and Jesus rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. (donkey vs. horse – horses are for war, donkeys were used to come in peace when a king wants to enact a treaty.)
We call it the triumphal entry.
A crowd grows, the excitement builds.
His disciples, then the people start rejoicing and praising God.
They sing out, “Hosanna!” “The Lord saves!”
Jesus is given a kingly welcome.
So what does he do next?
1) He turns around and prophesies the fall of Jerusalem.
Lk 19:41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it
Lk 19:42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.
Lk 19:43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
Lk 19:44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
In the year 70AD, Jesus’ prophecy became reality.
Titus of Rome came in and laid siege to the city, resulting in massive loss of life and the destruction of the temple.
So where is the good news part?
Make him King for a day and he prophesies everybody’s doom.
2)He gets off his donkey and makes his way into the temple.
Lk 19:45 Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling.
Lk 19:46 “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be a house of prayer’ ; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’’”
He proceeds to turn over the tables and make a huge mess, scattering the money changers and the people selling animals for sacrifice.
The moneychangers were Jews who exchanged Roman coins for Hebrew shekels, because the Law stated that anyone entering the temple had to pay a small tribute, half a shekel.
Of course, they charged a fee for money changing, and they took advantage of the pilgrims who travelled far by selling animals at high prices.
This was extremely offensive to Jesus, as they were making it difficult and costly for people to get in to worship God.
They had turned this house of prayer into just another place where money ran the show.
So where is the good news part?
Make him king for a day and he causes a riot in the Temple.
3)Jesus heals, gets more Hosannas and harangues the Pharisees.
Mt 21:14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
Mt 21:15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
Mt 21:16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’ ?”
We see Jesus the way we like to see him, surrounded by adoring children and healing the sick.
But even that moment is intruded upon by the Pharisees.
In fact, if you keep reading through Matthew, their attacks get bolder and Jesus’ rebukes get stronger.
The Pharisees had a real growing problem on their hands –
Jesus was popular with the people.
He showed divine and supernatural authority to perform healings and messianic miracles.
He constantly caught the Sanhedrin with their religious pants down.
Every exchange with Jesus made Jesus look more like a King and made them look more like clowns.
They’ve just about had enough of this “King for a day.”
The triumphal entry is setting the stage for what is going to happen in 4 short days.
Betrayal, crucifixion and murder.
And the greatest miracle of all, this king for day will become King of Kings and savior forever.
And that’s where the good news comes in.
What is the point here?
*Would it be good news in your life if you let Jesus be king for a day?
For some of us here, we have declared “Hosanna, Jesus is king!”, but we’ve actually kept him locked out of our “city gates”; locked out of our daily life, locked out of our wallets and locked out of our hearts.
We are afraid to let him go further and deeper into our life because he might start messing things up.
The problem is, if we don’t let him in, we never will see the healing, grace and rescue that he brings with him.
Jerusalem, and ultimately the Jewish people, completely missed the messiah and in a few short years would experience annihilation at the hands of the Romans.
That’s why Jesus’ first act was to warn them about the danger of refusing to be “gathered like a mother hen gathers her chicks” into the Father’s plan of salvation.
They Jews wouldn’t accept Jesus as King, and ultimately wouldn’t accept Caesar as king either, and it led to their destruction.
Jesus being king for a day was bad news for the Pharisees and the prideful Jews who refused to heed him.
Jesus being king for a day was good news for people who wanted to draw near to God.
It was good news for children and the broken people.
What would your life look like if you allowed Jesus to exert his kingship over all of your life?
What if you expected a peaceful king, but He came in prophesying doom and tipping over tables?
What if allowing Jesus in as king will turn your life upside down?
I believe that to allow Jesus in as King is to actually turn your life around, for good.
Will you try something with me?
Monday morning, as you get up, pray this simple prayer:
“Jesus, be king for the day in my life today.
Turn over what you need to.
Heal what you need to heal.
Holy Spirit, do whatever you want in and through me. ”
I believe you will be singing Hosanna’s before the day is out.
Imagine if you did it every day this week!