Summary: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Mark 11:9-10.
Theme: Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord
Text: Is. 50:4-9a; Phil. 2:5-11; Mark 11:1-11
The entire message of the Gospel revolves around one unique historical event: the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross. Concerning this the writer of Hebrews says in 10:14, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Perfected and forever speak of a sacrifice that comprehends every need of the entire human race, and its effects extend throughout time and into eternity. A single sovereign act of God brought together all the guilt and the suffering of humanity and offered one all sufficient solution. To receive God’s solution we must all make our way to the same place: the cross of Jesus Christ. This is the reason why the authors of the Gospels devote nearly a third of their length to the final week of Jesus’ life. Contrary to the practice of biographers who normally devote very little space to the death of their subjects each one of them give a detailed account of the events leading to His death. The many processions taking place this morning are an enactment of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Jesus chose this humble and unassuming way to proclaim that He is the Messiah, the King they were expecting. He chose a procession, which was different from the impressive Roman ones the people were used to. In these processions rulers or generals would ride on decorated horses or in golden chariots accompanied by officers in polished armour. Jesus’ procession, however, was different because Jesus did not come to rescue the world as a warring king, but as a gentle, humble and peace-loving king – a king that no one would have a problem approaching. The only way to respond to such a King is to say ‘blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’.
The Jews had been expecting the Messiah and Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem fulfilled in every detail the prophecies made concerning Him. The triumphal entry took place at a time when people from all over the world had gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The occasion provided them with the opportunity not only to hear and witness what was happening but also to take the Good News back with them to their various nations. Although the people had waited for a long time, Christ arrived at God’s appointed time, the right time for His presence to make the greatest impact. He came at a time when there was an extensive Roman Empire with one administration and one language and this was essential for the spread of the gospel. The people had already either witnessed or heard about Jesus’ power and authority that was confirmed by the many miracles He performed. He healed every sickness and disease and even raised the dead back to life and the raising of Lazarus from the dead was still fresh in their minds. The triumphal entry itself was a demonstration of His power and authority. Although the Lord did not own a donkey, He knew where to get one and the few words “The Lord needs it” were all that the disciples had to say for the owners to release their donkey to them. Jesus again demonstrated His authority by riding on an untamed donkey that had never been sat on before, and we all know how stubborn donkeys are.