Summary: The journey into Jerusalem was an overture of deliverance; it begins in obscurity and ends in victory; Jesus can do the same for you, us, and our world today!
DO YOU NEED A TRIUMPHAL ENTRY?
Sermon Objective: The journey into Jerusalem was an overture of deliverance. It begins in obscurity and ends in victory. Jesus can do the same for you, us, and our world today!
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
When I lived in the Chicago area I had the chance to attend a few Chicago Bulls basketball games. This was in the late 80’s and 90’s and Michael Jordan was in his prime. I still remember how they began each of these games. The arena would go dark and silent and then there would be loud music (I can still here the tune played), laser lights would sweep across the arena and then they would introduce the team. You know who the last one introduced was right? It was Michael. And it was done with louder music, a louder announcer and a raucous crowd! You could not help but get caught up in the emotion of the event.
Well, Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem had no laser light show and no articulate announcer introducing him but it did create quite a stir among the common folk. I would have been easy to get caught up in the emotion of the moment. No doubt, many did.
And, in contrast to M.J. who was just a good basketball player, Jesus was a genuine hero to the people! He taught them as no one else did.
• He loved them even though they could not buy his love
• He spent time with them – something the blue bloods of Judaism or Rome never did
• He set them free from disease
• He pardoned them from sin and washed away the guilt
No wonder there was a parade!
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was not a self-congratulatory road show – it was to finalize the liberation and love he had shown these people. They had no idea what would happen in the next week or how costly his love for them was going to be; but Jesus knew, and still, he went to Jerusalem!
Jesus entry to Jerusalem stood in contrast to the pomp and circumstance that often accompanied such a parade. You may remember a couple of years ago I told you about a “counter parade” that was certain to take place the very same week that Jesus entered the city. While Jesus was coming into Jerusalem from the east Pontius Pilate was entering (every year before Passover) from the west.
His parade came with a huge army and a lot of intimidation and power.
Not so, Jesus. Jesus’ entry was strikingly different – and strikingly more effective.
Jesus came to Jerusalem as:
1. A SUFFERING SERVANT AMIDST COMFORT AND DISINTEREST
The suffering servant motif of Isaiah is at the very heart of the ministry of Jesus. It strikes the deepest and most common need of every human life – the need for a savior to take away our sin. Palm Sunday is first and foremost Jesus providing himself as a lamb – a “guilt offering.”
1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.