Readings: Zechariah 9:9-10 & Mark 11:1-11
(a) Palm Sunday!! The day when Christ was welcomed with
great acclaim into Jerusalem.
(b) I'm sure every time we read this story, we are struck with how fickle people are! After all, these are the same people who, a few short days later, were
crying CRUCIFY HIM !! CRUCIFY HIM !!
(c) There is so much to say around that event, and I'm sure it is a theme that has been used often down through the years, so instead of looking at that main
event, I want us to rather look at one of the SUBTITLES of the story, something which, all too often, we pass over.
(d) If you've not already 'switched off, then you will have no doubt realised from our Bible Readings, that I am speaking about a rather insignificant little
colt, the foal of an ass.
When we were in College, at a party, an Officer introduced us to a game. It asked you to help the king of Siam get back his missing bird, and we all ended up, kneeling round a box with our hands in the air saying, "WA TA NA SIAM" FASTER AND FASTER!!
You then wait to see who notices first, that you end up saying, without your knowledge, "WHAT AN ASS I AM!"
(e) I hope you'll pardon me saying it this morning, but I want you to look at yourself as something of an ass !!
All joking aside, I believe there are striking and helpful parallels which we can draw with this little animal, that has been immortalised within the pages of
(a) We are told in verse 4 that
the colt was found at the place "WHERE TWO WAYS MET"
(b) Does it not remind us of the two ways set before us at the time WHEN WE DECIDED FOR CHRIST!!? The time when we were told from the Word of God, "Choose ye this day Whom ye will serve"
(c) There is a false teaching around today, concerning election and predestination: that is where it is believed that we have no choice in the matter of Christianity, that God chose us to be so before we were born, and therefore we have no say in the matter.
TOTAL UTTER RUBBISH!!
(d) It is true that God could see the decisions that we would make before we were even born, BUT THAT IN NO WAY INVALIDATES THEM!! NEITHER DOES IT MEAN THAT GOD MANIPULATES US LIKE PUPPETS!!
IT MEANS THAT EVEN IN SPITE OF OURSELVES, GOD STILL GRANTS US F R E E W I L L! !
(e) On that day of our personal decision, TWO WAYS were open to us!! The BROAD way that leads to everlasting destruction, and the NARROW way that leads to eternal life.
Someone once said, "This choice, this fork in the road, is the sign and
occasion of our freedom. If there were no choice, we would not be free; if there
were a million equally good choices, we would not be free".(George
Butterick,'The Interpreter's Bible')
(f) We had to make the DECISION!! It was our PERSONAL CHOICE!!
Thank God for the words of the chorus which say, "I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS". Thank God too for those faithful Christians who helped us choose aright!
Those who helped us CHOOSE THE WAY TO JESUS!!
(g) If there is someone here, and you are at a CROSSROADS IN YOUR SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE - make sure you CHOOSE ARIGHT!!
A WRONG CHOICE COULD MAKE A MESS OF YOUR LIFE AND INDEED ETERNITY!!
(a) When they found the colt, it says, "they loose him"!
(b) Do you remember the time when you were bound in sin?
(c) Jesus said that He had come to "bring DELIVERANCE TO THE CAPTIVES"!!
(d) THE LION OF JUDAH SHALL BREAK EVERY CHAIN!! HALLELUJAH!!
(e) So many people today are BOUND in CHAINS OF HABIT, CHAINS OF LUST, CHAINS OF FEAR, CHAINS OF HATE - and so we could go on. The Devil is an expert at taking seemingly innocent things and forging them into chains to imprison and destroy mankind!!
(f) But thank God for the POWER OF THE RISEN CHRIST!!
HE ALONE CAN RELEASE THE CAPTIVE AND SET US GLORIOUSLY FREE!! HALLELUJAH!!
(g) As Christians, we must be CONTINUALLY CAREFUL that we do NOT become ENSNARED AGAIN with the forces of evil, because SATAN is continually SEEKING TO TRAP and bind the Christian thereby making them USELESS FOR GOD!!
(h) I am reminded also, of the fact that when Jesus said, "Take up thy cross and follow Me", the word He uses in the Greek for 'cross', can also be translated "STAKE" as in that which is hammered into the ground to tether an animal! So Jesus could just as well be saying to you and me this morning, "TAKE UP THE STAKE WHICH TETHERS YOU, AND FOLLOW ME."
(I) Soap on a rope may be fine in the bathroom, but a Christian on a rope is useless to the Lord! No matter who holds the other end!
(a) In verse 2 we are told that
this colt was UNBROKEN for riding, for no-one had ever sat upon him. HE
(b) In other words, he had NEVER LEARNT THE ART OF OBEDIENCE to a master - THAT WAS UNTIL HE MET THE GREATEST MASTER OF ALL !!
(c) I continually meet many CHRISTIANS WHO ARE STILL UNBROKEN!!
THEY ARE STILL DISOBEDIENT TO THE CLAIMS AND COMMANDS OF CHRIST!!
(d) The colt did NOT have to be FORCED, IT WILLINGLY OBEYED THE COMMANDS OF CHRIST!! IT ACCEPTED HIS LORDSHIP
(*) When John Wesley was preaching in America, he spoke about this colt being unbroken, and a cowboy came up to him and said, "If this Jesus could sit on an unbroken animal and ride him like that, then He's the Man for me."
(e) Another point of course, is that throughout Scripture, if an animal was to be used for sacrifice or any other holy purposes then that animal had to be pure
(f) This animal was to carry the Lord of Glory, and therefore had to have this same purity.
(a) The colt had BEEN CHOSEN BY CHRIST!!
(b) There is a certain chorus that we sing which says, "CHOSEN
TO BE A SOLDIER, CHOSEN BY GOD"!
(c) Jesus said in John 15:16,"YOU HAVE NOT CHOSEN ME, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU"
* Let me make it clear, that I am not invalidating what I said earlier about election and predestination – we still have the choice of saying yes or no – of accepting or rejecting the will and the way of Christ!
(d) You may think yourself USELESS, WORTHLESS, AND HELPLESS, but let me tell you something - THE LORD HATH NEED OF YOU!
(e) To say we are not up to the task IS AN INSULT TO HIM, for, He says, "IT IS NOT BY MIGHT NOR BY POWER, BUT B Y M Y S P I R I T ! !"
(f) The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:27, that the Lord "Chooses the weak things of the world to confound the mighty".
(g) This was only a YOUNG COLT, but look at the work God had planned for him.
POINT 5 "HE SAT UPON HIM"
(a) We read in verse 7, how this young colt CARRIED THE KING OF KINGS!!
(b) We sometimes think of the "Little Donkey" that carried Mary to Bethlehem, and the wonderful honour involved - why even a song was composed about that
(c) The little colt in our reading is perhaps often forgotten, and yet what an honour is his, FOR HE CARRIES THE KING OF GLORY, IN MAJESTY INTO JERUSALEM!!
(d)EVERY CHRISTIAN IS EXPECTED TO CARRY CHRIST TO THE WORLD!!
We are PUT IN TRUST WITH THE GOSPEL.
(e) The chorus says,
"Lord use me, here am I use me,
I want to be greatly used of Thee;
Across the street or across the sea;
Lord here am I use me"
(f) THIS COLT MADE A VERY GOOD JOB OF CARRYING CHRIST - HOW ARE YOU DOING???
(g) Some years ago, our daughter Joy shared with us, something which was quite new to me. She had been hearing in school, how on the back of the donkey the marking of the cross is clear to be seen.
The apostle Paul says, "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus"(Galatians 6:17)
(a) Isn't it wonderful what we can learn from this lowly beast, fulfilling the God-given task that merited him for ever being enshrined within the pages of Holy Writ!
(b) ARE WE COMPLETELY AT THE LORD'S DISPOSAL ??
(c) ARE WE TRULY 'BROKEN IN' - AND OBEDIENT IN EVERY WAY TO THE LORD ??
(d) ARE WE DOUBTFUL AS TO WHAT THE LORD CAN ACCOMPLISH THROUGH US, THEREBY DOUBTING HIS POWER ??
(e) WHAT SORT OF JOB ARE WE MAKING OF CARRYING THE KING AND HIS MESSAGE TO OTHERS ??
834 (276) - CHILDREN OF JERUSALEM
45 in HAPPINESS & HARMONY - MAJESTY, WORSHIP HIS MAJESTY
16 " " " - FATHER WE LOVE YOU
4 " " " - AS THE DEER PANTS FOR THE WATER
36 IN HAPPINESS & HARMONY - KING OF KINGS
55 " " " - SING AND MAKE MUSIC
"I have decided to follow Jesus"
"Chosen to be a Soldier" (225)
"Lord use me here am I use me"