2.12.16 3.14.2021 Matthew 21.1-17 Opportunities on the Way of the Cross

Finding Hope in Following Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The way of the Cross begins with Messiah's triumphal entry.

Entice: You may at one time or another in your life...
take a

Walk on the Wild Side...

you may do the

Walk of Life.

You may even

Walk like an Egyptian

Perhaps you have boots that are

Made for Walkin’

All are possible options. Yet there is no other path which is more essential, which takes greater deliberation, exposes you to greater risk, and promises richer reward than

Walking the way of the Cross.

Matthew 21:1–17 ESV
1 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ” 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 And 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!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, 16 and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “ ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” 17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.
Engage: This journey begins with a celebration! We know how it ends. Jesus chose to walk the way of the Cross. Some who began, withdrew. Some went part of the way, others most of the way. None went all of the way. In the end He died alone. Yet, the way of the cross is filled with opportunities.
Expand: The opportunities the choices were clear even on that first day. Some were walking in faith. Others just showed up and became part of a mob. Others were defiant. One was determined that God would be honored.
Excite: The opportunities brought to us on the way of the Cross will not always be the opportunities we want. Our interactions with Jesus will at times, appear to be accidental or coincidental. Some will even be confrontational. What will you make of them.? The way of the cross walked by Jesus allows us to see the temporal, every day flow of our lives in eternal perspective. Don't waste a chance such as this!

The opportunities we each have on the way of the cross are both relational and conditional.

Explain: Which choice will you make, what option will you exercise?

1. Obedient Direction.

1.1 Attention

1.2 Execution

2. Opportunistic Devotion.

2.1 Enough Information

2.2 Ample Opportunity

3. Outspoken Determination.

3.1 Dignity vs. Duty.

3.2 Prayer vs. Profit.

4. Oppositional Defiance.

4.1 To the message of Jesus.

(They did not like what He said...)

4.2 To the methods of Jesus

(They did not like what He did...)
Shut Down:
Opportunities bring options. Choices. Decisions. You may have followed Him all the way from the Galilee and are still eager to obey, Maybe you know of Him only by reputation and are eager to celebrate-though you may be unclear on who or what you are celebrating. Maybe, like His adversaries you cross your arms, stomp your feet, hold your breath and defy His authority. Some will look and his example and find the voice of duty.
Which way is your way? I have drawn attention to what the text teaches. You-and you alone can determine which opportunities you will seize as we walk the way of the cross.
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