Summary: The triumphal entry into Jerusalem was a microcosm of the coming week; it showed the Savior compassion and resolution.
HE WAS STEADFAST, NONE-THE-LESS
And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51)
It began early Sunday morning as Jesus was walking toward Jerusalem. Jesus stops for a moment and sends 2 of his disciples ahead of Him into a nearby village to carry out a special errand. Here is how Luke records that event:
"As He approached Bethphage & Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, saying to them, `Go to the village ahead of you, & as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it & bring it here. If anyone asks you, `Why are you untying it?’ tell him, `The Lord needs it.’" [Luke 19:28b-31]
The two disciples must have wondered about what Jesus told them to do, because none of the Gospel accounts about the ministry of Christ ever mention Him riding any animal to get from one place to another. He must have walked thousands of miles; there is no mention of Him ever riding, except in a boat across the Sea of Galilee.
But now, He gives this unusual command to go into the village to get a colt that had never been ridden, and to bring it to Him.
Jesus knew what He was doing – where was going – and why.
Jesus’ decision to go into Jerusalem must have been one of the most difficult he ever made.
Riding a colt into the city was a public declaration that He was a King. You see, in times of war the conqueror would ride upon a prancing stallion. But in times of peace, the king would ride a colt to symbolize that peace prevailed.
By doing this he was “upping the ante” so to speak. Throughout His ministry he had shied away from proclamations regarding His true identity but now he was making a very high profile one about himself.
And not only that – he was defining the type of Kingdom he would preside over … a Kingdom of peace not war.
And most of the gathered responded with joy.
All of a sudden Jesus stops. He pauses. He looks out over the city and … and … and begins to cry.
The King is crying!
More fully yet, God is crying!
Why? Because he knew the rejection that awaited Him. He knew what three short days held in store for him. Could Jesus see Golgotha from his current vantage point?
This was no parade as the crowds presumed … this was a death march.
Jesus knew that just over the horizon was the cross, looming like a monster ready to consume Him.
But Luke tells us that in spite of it all, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).
In the span of a week we will come full circle to the reigning King but first there would be “Hell to pay.” First there would be unmentionable and indescribable suffering.
Throughout Holy Week we will give you opportunities to understand these last days of Jesus more fully. Each day we will offer worship or service opportunities that I trust will give you insight into horror of this unfolding drama.
WE WAVED PALMS TODAY.
We waved palms today. We waved them in celebration and acknowledgement. It is appropriate to celebrate this foreshadowing of Jesus’ full identity but it is also incomplete.
Maybe you are inclined to be a “palm waver”. Maybe your personality is given to emotional expression. Good; Jesus always welcomes genuine praise and Heaven knows we need more celebration in the church.
We, like the first celebrants, are sincere. We like gathering and marching with the rescued.
• Among the crowds would be people He had healed.
• Some had been among the thousands He had fed.
• Many more had seen some of His miracles, & listened as "He spoke with authority." They had listened, & their lives had been changed.
• Bartimaeus was there. A man who had received his sight in replacement of his beggar’s rags.
• I supect Zacchaeus was present too. He had paid back his debt to society and had made his peace with God.
• And the lepers? Their skin had been cleansed & now they were rejoicing for the healing that the Lord had given them. I think they were there too.
• Maybe Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus, Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene. I am certain they were there – everyone was flooding into Jerusalem on this day.
Identifying with this crowd in its acknowledgment of Jesus the Peaceful King is wholesome and worthwhile.
But … exuberant expressionists can be moody too. If you identify with the crowd here … you must identify with them on Friday too.