This sermon is part of the sermon series "Cross Roads". See series.
There are times when the greatest power to change the world proceeds not from an act of forceful self-assertion, but from an act of gracious self-denial. Sometimes it is only by voluntarily surrendering the very rights, desires, and comforts this world tells us to hold fast to at all costs that a longer-term victory is won. We are taught this lesson most vividly through Christ's example on the Cross. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once summed up the contrast between the approach to power commonly taught by the world and that modeled by Jesus: "Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality."
Forgetting and asserting himself
It must be said, however, that walking the Cross Road is not always about yielding or surrendering. There are also times when walking the way of Jesus means standing up and speaking out in a manner that might seem too forceful for some people. This is the stretch of the road where we meet Christ and his disciples on the day of Christ's triumphal entry.
It is helpful to know that 500 years before these events, the prophet Zechariah had foretold the coming of a Messiah in these terms: "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea."
In Luke 19 we see this prophecy coming true. Jesus approaches Jerusalem, riding on a donkey. Recognizing his kingship, people spread their cloaks on the road in front of him and wave palm branches. Verse 37 says: "When [Jesus] came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began ...
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