I'm not sure if one of those links is better than the other, so let me know if you see a reason to prefer one. I'm curious.
Text: John 12:12-14; John 13:21-28; John 19:15
Let us look at the two crowds of the Easter Story today:
I. The first crowd: shouting "hosanna" and seeing the signs and miracles of Jesus
A. This crowd are those who cheer the benefits of God in the here and now
B. This crowd are those who find some form of good in Jesus
1. Good teacher
2. Good morals
3. Good intentions
II. The second crowd: shouting "Crucify him!" and putting their trust into the kings of this world
A. This crowd are those who refuse to look beyond themselves and this world
B. This crowd are those who find no good in Jesus
1. No worthwhile teaching
2. Unnecessary restrictive morality
3. Powerful intentions
4. Or, no power at all
III. These two crowds are not the only people, though:
A. There's Jesus. You're not Him.
B. There's Pilate and the chief priests. You ought not be them, either: they come to the story with their minds made up
C. There's the disciples. We ought to be them--
1. What sets them apart? Why are they different from the crowds? Intimacy with the Messiah
2. What has happened to draw them apart, what experience has separated them from the crowds of Palm Sunday?
IV. The Last Supper--they are different because of the time spent at the table with Jesus.
A. Listening to His words: we have lost an important part of many of our meals. The time around the table is not just about food but about relationship. You need to be there with your family, with others, as best you can
B. Opportunities for grace: Judas is there. Peter is there. Both face choices in front of them and neither will do well with those choices--Judas will betray Jesus then end his life; Peter will try violence then denial. Yet the table was for them, and the others, a place of grace
C. Learning what it really means: Jesus walks them through the most important lessons they'll need:
1. Service to each other: in His washing of their feet
2. The pain of sin: the bread, broken, a reminder of the death of His body
3. The price of sin: the cup, poured out and distributed, as His blood poured out for our forgiveness
4. The promise: that the disciples would take the bread and the cup with Him again in the new kingdom; that all who follow will live with Him
V. So where are you today? You are invited to the table--but to reach that point, one must leave the crowd--
A. Accept His word
B. Acknowledge that your sin caused His death
C. Surrender to Him as Lord
D. Walk with Him daily
VI. If you are His, then this table is for you.
A. A reminder of the cost
B. A pull from the crowds--either one
C. A commitment to go forward with Him
After the Triumphal Entry, we see this odd little story: a group of Greeks come to Philip and ask him if they can see Jesus.
Philip goes to Andrew, and they go to Jesus. And Jesus says...
That this world:
1. Is about His glory
2. Requires that we die to bear fruit--that fruit? Lives following Jesus
3. We must serve Him by following: doing what He did, teaching what He said
Scripture is not clear whether or not the Greeks actually saw and spoke to Jesus--I think they did.
They represent a world that still, in all of the things that go wrong, cries out "We wish to see Jesus!"
1. We wish to see great preachers--whether they are great at it, great-looking, or both.
2. We wish to see grand buildings--though we do not neglect the places God has blessed us with, nor neglect to do what is needed to have places to gather and grow
3. We wish to see glorious programs--though we come to take part in activities, they are no real comfort in death
How about you?
Have you seen Jesus?
Are you willing to hate your own life that others may see Jesus?
Are you following in the steps He took, though they lead through cold, dark mountains or on streets of gold?