Formations lesson for March 28: The Absurd Parade : Tuesday, March 9, 2004
March 9 2004 by Jimmy Allen

Formations lesson for March 28: The Absurd Parade : Tuesday, March 9, 2004
Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Formations lesson for March 28: The Absurd Parade

By Jimmy Allen
Focal passage: Luke 19:28-40

When I was a young boy, my family regularly watched our local high school's sports teams play. Of course, that meant we had to drive to "away" games.

A couple of the rivalries we had with schools in nearby towns were intense - so much so my dad was worried about leaving his car in their dark parking lots. To remove the incentive of an overly zealous fan damaging his car, my dad would remove our town license plate before we left home. I always thought it was a good idea. He saw no need to be obnoxious about our favorite team to the point it offended someone else.

Jesus didn't use that low-key tactic when he rode into Jerusalem. In fact, he chose the opposite. His triumphant entry would be more like decorating a car in the school colors, displaying signs for the away team and using a loudspeaker to play the school's fight song. Jesus wasn't trying to be stealthy because He was sending a message.

The Plan

Luke 19:28-34

Jesus' decision on how to enter Jerusalem wasn't made as He walked. It was a planned trip as shown by the fact use of the donkey had been arranged with its owner. The disciples just needed to use the password: "The Lord needs it."

The image of the colt held great significance.

One, it related to Old Testament prophecy. Zechariah 9:9 states: "Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!

"Lo your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is He, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

Matthew's version even quotes the verse.

Two, a colt is what kings rode during times of peace. Jesus was saying He was the king of peace, and by riding publicly on the colt, He was also saying He was a king with courage. He knew the authorities would be watching Him closely.

Are we willing to show courage about our faith in Christ?

One Saturday morning our church was doing visitation in the community to invite people to a special service or activity we were having. We gathered at the facility we were leasing on weekends and had a devotion before leaving. As part of the devotion, I described that we would be representing Christ to the people we meet. They probably wouldn't know us. All they would know about us was the fact we were Christ's representatives.

Do you want everyone you come in contact with to know you are a disciple of Christ? We may be leery about carrying that responsibility, but our faith or our light isn't a jacket to taken off and put on when we're cool or warm. In some environments, we may discover the identity as a Christian is well accepted. In others, though, we may be ostracized - possibly behind our backs. Being a disciple takes courage. Jesus modeled that courage for us.

People Rejoiced

Luke 19:36-40

The people responded well to Jesus' courageous move. They gathered along the downhill path along the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem and they threw down their cloaks as a sign of homage or respect to the king. Mark's version states the disciples also waved palm branches.

Jesus knew what would happen to Him in Jerusalem. By being so public with His entrance, He may have been giving the followers another opportunity to accept Him as the king.

The people shouted: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!"

The people were with Him.

Pharisees warned Jesus to tell His disciples to stop. But Jesus again showed courage with His response: "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."

The Mount of Olives, like the rest of the Bible lands, is covered with stones.

The imagery of them crying out is impressive. In North Carolina, it would be like saying the pine cones would shout.

As we prepare for our celebration of the passion week, we can read the words of the disciples. Let those words be a meditation of our hearts. They are words that help convey the divinity of Jesus during a season of the year when we emphasize His courageous humanity.
3/9/2004 12:00:00 AM by Jimmy Allen | with 0 comments

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