Highland Avenue Community Church of the Nazarene in Rancho Cucamonga, California

What Crowd Are You In?

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http://www.highlandave.org/audio/041314message.mp3

Pastor John Watkin

Sermon outline is available for download (Microsoft Word file) – Click Here

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the last week of Jesus’ life on earth before His death. It starts with a great reception as He enters Jerusalem in triumph. But by the end of this week Jesus faces the total rejection of the cross.

Palm Sunday tells us of a Christ that was praised, misunderstood, and taken for granted. These attitudes are mirrored in two crowds who meet Jesus in Jerusalem. This week’s message asks the question,“What Crowd Are You In?”

On this day, two crowds met. One came from Bethany. They were primarily pilgrims from Galilee and followers of Jesus. The other crowd was from Jerusalem and much more skeptical about Jesus. John 12:12-13 (NIV) says,

“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Blessed is the king of Israel!’ “

This upbeat crowd shouted, “Hosanna!” or “save now” as they proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah and King. This is in direct contrast to Luke 23:18, 20-21 (NIV) that describes another crowd on Friday…

“But the whole crowd shouted, ‘Away with this Man! Release Barabbas to us!’ 20Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21But they kept shouting, ‘Crucify Him! Crucify Him!’ “

This negative crowd has their way and later we see a group gathered around the cross that includes palm wavers and those who wanted Jesus crucified. It’s while He is on the cross, that Jesus encounters the two thieves who are crucified along side of Him.

Their attitudes reflect the two crowds of that last week and they reflect the divided opinions about Jesus today. Hopefully this message will help you to decide what crowd you are in!

 

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