Summary: Jesus made final preparation to fulfill His mission and so we should do likewise.
A Messiah's Ride
Text: Matt. 21:1-11
1. Illustration: A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him in front of the service station. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. "Reverend," said the young man, "sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip." The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business."
2. Jesus walked everywhere he went, except for a few boat rides and this one donkey ride.
3. He was on a journey, in fact I entitled this series on Matthew "The Journey of a Messiah, and now this journey was coming to its ultimate conclusion.
4. On this donkey ride we see...
a. The Preparation
b. The Prediction
c. The Praise
5. Read Matt. 21:1-11
Proposition: Jesus made final preparation to fulfill His mission and so we should do likewise.
Transition: First of all we see...
I. The Preparation (1-3).
A. As Jesus...Approached Jerusalem
1. Today is Palm Sunday, and on this day we celebrate the final phase of Jesus' journey to the Cross-and our salvation.
2. Matthew tells us, "As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives..."
a. Jesus finally approached the ultimate destination of his trip from Galilee, the city were he predicted he would be crucified.
b. Getting to Jerusalem from Jericho involved an difficult uphill hike of about 15 miles in distance and about 2500 feet in altitude.
c. The Mount of Olives is a ridge, about two and a half miles long, lying just east of Jerusalem and running roughly north and south.
d. But before He and the Twelve entered Jerusalem they stopped at the little hamlet of Bethphage.
e. Except for its being closely associated with the Mount of Olives and Bethany, nothing else is known of the town, there being no other biblical, historical, or archaeological evidence of its existence (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 16-23).
f. Bethpage is mentioned only here and in the Gospel's of Mark and Luke, and was located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives (Turner, 265).
3. As they made their preparations to enter the city, "...Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 'Go into the village over there,' he said. 'As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me.'"
a. From this text and many others it is clear that Jesus was always in control of the events that affected His life.
b. He initiated His own coronation when He sent two disciples to procure the mount on which He would ride into Jerusalem.
c. In doing so he set into motion a series of climactic events that culminated in the voluntary gracious sacrifice of Himself on the cross that had been divinely planned.
d. Although the village was nearby the two animals obviously were out of sight, or Jesus would simply have pointed to them.