Somewhere a husband and wife are painting a room either bright pink with ballerinas or bright blue with baseballs, depending on what they see in the sonogram. The room whiffs the subtle smell of Lysol and baby powder. They have to finish soon because they want to be ready to welcome home their brand new baby.
On the other side of town yellow ribbons entwine up the old oak tree, around the front porch columns. Tiny flags stand like soldiers at attention in anticipation, while larger flag hangs over the front door. A crowd stands around chatting, watching out of the corner of their eye a single dirt road, waiting to welcome their solider home from boot camp, from Iraq or Afghanistan.
Across town, near noon dad and mom are busy in the kitchen, while little Jimmy sits in the living room with the preacher. The preacher makes small talk: I appreciate your family inviting me to Sunday dinner. Do you know what we’re having? Jimmy replies We’re having goat! The preacher says Jimmy, what makes you think we’re having goat? Jimmy smiles and says well, I heard my dad tell my mom, “We might as well have the old goat for dinner today!”
A long, long time ago, in a city on the other side of the world, a great multitude gave a royal welcome to a long awaited King. They thought they knew Who He was. They thought they knew what He came to do. They were wrong about a lot of and yet He was more than worthy of the welcome they gave Him. Today, we’ll read about their welcome to help us welcome that same King into our lives. Our text is Mark 11:1-11.
Jerusalem is a royal city waiting for her King.
Centuries before the events recorded here a shepherd boy who rose to the throne turned made Jerusalem his capitol city. David was a man after God’s own heart, and Jerusalem became known as the city of the great King—not just King David, but King Jehovah.
But sadly sin and rebellion corrupted this great city. After David came Solomon, and after Solomon came a long chain of chaos: kings who committed unspeakable acts to idolatry and murder and other injustice. Finally, the Babylonians cut the city on a hill down to the ground, sent her king and her people into exile. Now the man who called himself King, a son of Esau named Herod, rules in Jerusalem as a puppet of the Roman emperor. But the people remember a promise, spoken in
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.
Generation after generation read this promise, pray this promise, and die without ever seeing it come true. But today, they finally see it happen. Today they will offer their King a royal welcome.
It begins in vs. 1-7 when Jesus sends two of His disciples to get Him a ride into Jerusalem. Nowhere else does the Bible mention Jesus riding an animal during His ministry. As far as we know He got around like most other people, walking wherever He went. So this ride is significant.