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Where Did They Go Wrong?

Philippians 2:5-11

Rev. Kurt Hering

Palmarum
Trinity Lutheran Church  
Layton, Utah

Play MP3 of this sermon

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 

Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.

[The folks in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday] are simply not in their right minds—at least not as God created them and meant them to be. They are thinking in earthly terms, empassioned by the desires of their sinful hearts.

...While it is true that you, along with the Palm Sunday crowd, go wrong at every turn. What happened between Palm Sunday and Good Friday was all perfectly right. Make no mistake about it, in the person of Christ both God and Man rode that lowly beast of burden into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to suffer and die for you on the Friday called, "Good."

And He descends here for you today as well, for the very same reasons—He has to, because if He doesn't you cannot be in your right minds either.

To hear the entire sermon preached for Palmarum, Palm Sunday, click on the MP3 audio link provided above.

The audio begins with the Old Testament Reading. The sermon begins at the 11:33 point of the mp3 file.

A servant of the Word and His folk,

Pastor Hering

For those of you who prefer to read or read along while listening, the preaching manuscript follows below.

Nota bene: Sermons are meant to be heard. Bullet points in the manuscript are explained and filled out during the preaching, so you will need ot listne to the audio file to get the full effect.

TEXT: 5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8

Dearly beloved of God,

Where did they go wrong? What happened between Palm Sunday and Good Friday?

Everywhere and nowhere at all.

Everywhere:

• They did not have the mind of Christ, but how could they?

o From the beginning—The Fall: "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." Romans 5:12

o From birth—"sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived m."e Psalm 51:5

o On Palm Sunday—"Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to

spirit." John 3:6

So the folks are simply not in their right minds—at least not as God created them and meant them to be. They are thinking in earthly terms, empassioned by the desires of their sinful hearts.

Luther—"He's not concerned with teaching us how to farm, plow, sow, harvest, be a housekeeper, pile up money, conduct war, or rule over land and people. All such things he entrusts to earthly kings and lords…. Our Christ-King, on the other hand, wants us to know how to inherit the kingdom of heaven, how to be saved and become eternally rich,, so that we may finally enter that better life."

"My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." John 18:36

And yet here He is, coming into Jerusalem with the fanfare of a king, with a crowd that wishes to coronate him and crown him as their king and conquering hero.

So, in a sense, they were not going wrong at all. They had the prophet Zechariah's words well in mind.

5"Say to the daughter of Zion,

'Behold, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'" (Zechariah 9:9)

8Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" Matthew 21:5, 8-9

Furthermore, everything that happened between Palm Sunday and Good Friday had to happen for them, not to mention to fulfill prophesy.

He was despised and rejected by men;

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his wounds we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the LORD has laid on him

the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6

• Nowhere at all

o This is why He came

8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he opened not his mouth. Isiah 53:7

o You and I would have been, indeed are no different. We do not have the mind of Christ any more than they. The same earthly concerns cloud our minds and empassion our lives.

While it is true that you, along with the Palm Sunday crowd, go wrong at every turn. What happened between Palm Sunday and Good Friday was all perfectly right. Make no mistake about it, in the person of Christ both God and Man rode that lowly beast of burden into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to suffer and die for you on the Friday called, "Good."

And He descends here for you today as well, for the very same reasons—He has to, because if He doesn't you cannot be in your right minds either.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Let us, like Paul, "know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 …so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-6

And since God has seen fit to send His Son in this way and "…has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11

Let us bow our knees together again today, and often, here in the Divine Service to feed on the Word of God, and even Him made flesh at the table of the Lord. And let us go forth in joy to the cross of Good Friday, knowing there is no going wrong in the way of the cross by which Jesus has gone before us and leads us to the empty tomb of the Resurrection and eternal life-- in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.



Send Rev. Kurt Hering an email.




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