What is a hero?

Our kids are confused about their heroes today. As a child mine were buried in the pages of comic books: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. They were good all the way through. They saved us by vanquishing evil and triumphing over sin.

Today’s kids are confused about their heroes. More than a dozen “wannabe gangstas” have been charged recently in Sharon for “assaultive” behavior in the city.  They are simply emulating the “thug life” often glamorized on television, movies and music.

Name your heroes:



Older Brothers / Sisters

Grandparents. . .

When I gave this sermon, one man told me afterwards, “Hero? I never had a hero in my entire life!” Maybe that’s why cynicism and sometimes bitterness has ruled his adult life. Our kids need healthy role models to grow into responsible, healthy adults. Jesus was/is that role model for many of us. His humility in the midst of the popular crowd’s accolade has always touched me deeply. Jesus challenges us all to look deeply into our hearts to see what is really important to us. Today we celebrate a Hero’s Palm Parade.

April 1, 2007 / Palm Sunday

Pastor Phil Roland - Sheepfold Ministries


The Celebration of Palm Sunday

JOHN 12:12-19

Jesus deserves a true hero’s welcome in our hearts and in our nation. We are honoring the wrong role models. Only Jesus can be our hero.”" Pastor Phil

The Philosophy of Relativism

America lacks heroes on a national scale. This reflects the fragmentation and pluralism of the society, which now lacks universal values and beliefs. Heroes stand for what is right. If someone is your hero, it’s because that person does what you would like to see accomplished.” Kenneth E. Clark, former president of the American Psychological Society

I. PROFILE OF A HERO – Zechariah 9:9

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

A. Definitions

1. Person possessing exceptional courage, nobility and strength

2. A Champion: someone who fights for a cause

B. Jesus became a local hero by raising Lazarus – John 11:46

“Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will

live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Do you believe this?"


A. People had prayed Messianic Prayers – Psalm 118:25,26

“O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the

name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.”

B. The Prophets had Proclaimed His Coming – Isaiah 62:11

”Indeed the LORD has proclaimed To the end of the world: "Say to the daughter

of Zion, 'Surely your salvation is coming; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His

work before Him.'"


"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.”

A. Dichotomy – One man’s hero is another man’s villain – Text: v.19

1. Our Soldiers in the Middle East

2. Our President

3. Local Firemen and Police

B. Know our Palm Parade Hero by His Actions

1. Lame Walk 5. Hungry Fed

2. Blind See 6. Demon-Possessed Freed

3. Deaf Hear 7. Dead Raised to Life

4. Dumb Speak

A Hero’s PALM PARADE, Texts:

JOHN 12:12-19

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.

13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! " "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Blessed is the King of Israel!"

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,

15 "Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey's colt."

16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that they had done these things to him.

17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.

18 Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him.

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!"

This song is dedicated to looking up to our heroes while there sill alive and still with us.

(slightly adapted from the song by Phil Ochs, less vv. 2 & 6)

There's no place in this world where I'll belong when I'm gone,
And I can't show the right from the wrong, when I'm gone,
And you won't find me singing on this song when I'm gone,
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here.

And I won't breathe the bracing air when I'm gone,
And I can't even worry 'bout my cares when I'm gone,
Won't be asked to do my share when I'm gone,
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here.

And I won't be running from the rain when I'm gone,
And I can't even suffer from the pain when I'm gone,
Can't say who's to praise and who's to blame when I'm gone,
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here.

Won't see the golden of the sun when I'm gone,
And the evenings and the mornings will be one, when I'm gone,
Can't be singing louder than the guns when I'm gone,
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here.

And I won't be laughing at the lies when I'm gone,
And I can't question how or what or why when I'm gone,
Can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone,
So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here.

There's no place in this world where I'll belong when I'm gone,
And I won't know the right from the wrong, when I'm gone,
And you won't hear me singing on this song when I'm gone,
So I guess I'll have to do –

I guess I'll have to do it –

I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here!

Phil Ochs wrote a powerful song. He committed his life to a cause. Sadly, ten years later, he committed suicide. The cause wasn't enough.

What are you going to do?

I hope you will choose to follow Jesus, wherever he leads.


He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book; he never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never visited a big city.

He never traveled more than two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but himself. He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away.

He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing---the only property he had on earth. After he died, he was laid in a borrowed grace through the pity of a friend.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.