Journey to the Resurrection: The Triumphal Entry
NOTE: SUNDAY POSTS ARE INTENDED TO BE USED ALONG WITH THE SERMON. THEY ARE NOT FULL THOUGHTS WITH IDEAS WORKED OUT. YOU CAN LISTEN AS YOU READ ALONG AT http://www.threeriversc.org/#/sermon-audio
Our passage for this Palm Sunday is not a “go do these 5 things now” kind of text. It’s a kind of “come and see glory” kind of text.
We Don’t Forget Luke’s Purpose
“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”
Jesus told a parable immediately preceding our passage for today for the purpose of tempering the Messianic expectations that had reached a feverish pitch.
The people wanted immediate rescue from the Romans and a King that would instantly vanquish Caesar and particularly Pilate.
Already not yet. There is so much of the kingdom is those three words. Jesus’ Kingdom was already present but not yet at it’s full revelation and wouldn’t be in the near days.
“Jesus’ parable countered their expectations with an allegory of his own life that spoke of his incarnation, his investment in his followers, his rejections by his enemies, his coronation as King (through his death, resurrection, ascension and advance to the nations), and finally his return to judge the world.”
Verse 11 – The purpose of the parable
Verse 12 – The incarnation
Verse 13 – Investment in his followers
verse 14 – Rejection by his enemies
Verse 15 – Coronation as King
Verse 15b – 16 – Judgment
See Jesus’ Mission-centric Preparation v. 29-34
Here is a link you can follow to read about Bokassa I and his 22 million dollar coronation in the Central African Republic. Dignitaries, the display of his favorite of his 9 wives in her $73,000 gown and much more are on opulent display at a wicked man’s overpriced coronation.
This was in 1977. His coronation was ¼ of the entire nation’s budget.
Thankfully, his reign ended in 1979 after he had inflicted his cruelty on many, a French special forces group came as the hands of a successful coup.
This is an example of opulence without purpose that nations bestow on their leaders.
Not so with the King of the universe. Big contrast!
Jesus’ coronation of death, burial and resurrection will come at his own expense on a Roman cross, and be effective for an entire kingdom of sons and daughters to be priests to God who are justified, counted sanctified and glorified in one fell swoop.
Jesus is on a mission!
Jesus is executing the plan determined in eternity past to receive a people to himself from the Father v. 29-34 (Titus 1:1-3)
Why a donkey? Jesus is on mission, on point, executing the plan.
1. Zechariah’s prophecy (Jesus still executing the plan) Zechariah 9:9; cf. Matthew 21:4-5
2. The donkey identified Jesus with the kings in the royal line of David, especially with David himself
A donkey was regarded as a royal animal before and during David’s reign. After David’s reign, Hebrew kings switched to horses and the donkey was considered unsuited to the dignity of kings.
Father, Son and Spirit made the covenant with David (2 Samuel 7) that one from his line would rule over his people forever.
The gospels go to great lengths to give you the genealogies that connect Jesus to David.
David served as prophet, priest (Psalm 110:1-7; 1 Samuel 23:9), and king.
Prophet – speaks God’s words rightly
Priest – represents God to man rightly and man to God rightly
King – rules God’s people well under the laws and values of God
Jesus, fulfills and actively fills the roles of prophet, priest and king.
Prophet – Jesus spoke and continues to speak the living word to us through Holy Spirit (Matt. 5:22; et al.)
Priest – Jesus offered sacrifice for our sin, continually brings us near to Father, continually prays for us (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34)
King – Jesus continually rules his people well.
Jesus is letting people with eyes to see and ears to hear know that he is that promised King from David’s line.
3. The use of a donkey speaks to Jesus’ humility and the way of his kingdom Philippians 2:5-6
During a time in which kings rode horses, Jesus distances himself from the pomp of human installed kings and fallen humanity’s idea of leadership.
Humble service is of greater value than book trained leadership.
Humble obedience to Jesus’ leading is proper leadership.
Jesus is not showing up and expecting people to do what he says. Jesus is modeling the way of his kingdom in making good decisions and going first.
4. Everything works out just like Jesus said v. 33-34
Jesus Makes a Statement in the Triumphal Entry v. 35-40
1.The People spreading their cloaks on the road in reverence and submission v. 36
This displays reverence and a willingness for Jesus to take everything they had.
2. Jesus is adored as the king of Psalm 118 v. 38
Psalm 118:26 is a line from the Hallel Psalms that were chanted at the end of the Passover Supper and at the Feast of Tabernacles. This particular line would be modified over time and used as a greeting as they met one another headed to the temple.
It is, however, a beatitude addressed to the king as he approached the temple rightly used in it’s context.
The implicit kingly reference became explicit in this triumphal entry as they crowd modified it again and shouted verse 38, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The people added “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” This reminds us of chapter 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”
Whether the crowed realized it or not, Father and Spirit were bringing praise to the Son through the lips of all whether they would betray him or follow him because their Creator and the Creator of the universe was present among them!
Lest you think this impossible that God can bring praise and truth from people regardless of their disposition, just look at John 11:50-52.
Father can bring truth and right from mouths that are wrong and unwitting. He spoke through a false prophet, Balaam. He spoke through Balaam’s donkey. He spoke through Caiaphas.
Father is bringing praise to the Son for his work about to be accomplished in Jerusalem at the cross.
3. Jesus is praised as the deliverer John 12:13
“So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
The palm had been the symbol of the second Maccabean revolt. The Maccabean’s delivered the returned exiles from the clutches of Antiochus and other post-Alexander fiends before the Romans took over.
“Hosanna” was an anticipatory cry that literally means “save” or “save us”.
The people correctly viewed Jesus as their deliverer. But not in the way they thought.
The people wanted to be out from under Rome. Jesus came to deliver them from an much darker oppressor, the curse of sin.
Isn’t that just like us now? We think our greatest problem is what is in or might be in the White House when in fact our greatest enemy is not our President but rather our own rebellion against the King and his Kingdom.
4. The Pharisees understood what was being communicated and Jesus didn’t deny it but rather encouraged it v. 39-40
“Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”
Whether their motive was fear of the Romans seeking to crush a perceived coup or the belief that the praise of Jesus was misplaced, we don’t know.
What we do know is that Jesus took this ordained moment to make himself known again to the masses that they may know.
“I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
The anticipated moment spoken of in Genesis 3:15 was upon creation. All of heaven stands in awe as their Creator humbly and victoriously and resolutely strides toward the cross and if image bearing lips had of been silent, Father would have made the rocks give notice of what was taking place.
What is the statement? The curse was about to be broken, salvation made available for saints of the past, present and future and a kingdom won through obedient sacrifice not rebellious brute force as the eternal Son of God would personally break the curse and make a way for guilty rebels to be reconciled back.
This week we stand in the death of Christ anticipating the resurrection of Christ.
Psalm 147:1 “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.”