Summary: Palm Sunday
Here He Comes â€¦ There He Goes
April 1, 2007/Palm Sunday
The texts for this Sunday that we call Palm Sunday tell us that Jesus had come into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Feast. According to the Jewish Faith, then and now, there are 3 great Feasts or Celebrations. Passover being one of them.
This feast/festival for which Jesus had come into town caused Jews from all around Jerusalem to come to the city causing the city to grow to over 2 million in number.
This festival was the annual celebration and remembrance of God’s work in delivering the Jews from Pharaoh’s hand in Egypt where they had been slaves for many, many years.
You remember this ancient event. Charleton Heston, I mean Moses approached Pharaoh 9 times telling him to let "my people go" and each time Pharaoh would say no and consequently God would send
Flies into the land.
Livestock were killed.
Boils broke out on bodies.
Hail and locust destroyed crops and
Darkness filled the land
until God was tired of playing games and said to Moses that there would be a final Plague. Every first born son of every Egyptian would be struck dead. Each home that didn’t have blood on the sides and tops of the door frames would be struck with death. But in the Jewish homes, the homes with lamb’s blood placed on the doorframes, God would Passover them, not bringing death.
And so Moses and his people did this. They killed lambs and sprinkled their doorframes with blood. And because Pharaoh and the Egyptians did not, they woke up to dead children. Which caused Pharaoh to release the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. God’s people were finally set free.
This historical event was the reason Jesus and every other good Jew made the journey to the temple in Jerusalem where they would celebrate Passover. They would sacrifice a lamb and eat the sacred meal, reciting this story of God’s mighty hand in bringing their ancestors freedom.
Jesus made this journey every year. When he was a child. As a teenager and as young adult.
Jesus would have made this walked into Jerusalem. But on this journey to Jerusalem for Passover, he did something different. According to our text, he didn’t walk. Rather than walking into town as he had always done, Jesus tells his disciples to get a colt/a donkey and when they get it and bring it to him, he gets on it.
Jesus will ride this colt/this donkey into town.
The logical question is why?
Why would Jesus do this?
Jesus wasn’t old; he was in his early thirties.
Could he be tired?
Could his legs hurt?
Why didn’t he do what he always had done - walk into town?
The answer to these questions, is the reason we celebrate and remember Palm Sunday 2000 years later.
Turn in your bibles to Zechariah 9:9, page 1480. Read verse 9:
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt,
the foal of a donkey.
The Prophet Zechariah told of the day when a _______ (king) would come.
A righteous King.
A King bringing salvation.
A King riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
What’s Jesus doing? Why does Jesus choose to ride a donkey and not walk into Jerusalem as he had done every other year?
Jesus is declaring himself to be the people’s King.
Jesus being a Rabbi, knew this scripture.
Many if not most who lined the street that day knew the Scripture as well.
Jesus is identifying himself as the One that Zechariah talked about.
And the crowds got it.
Up until now the crowds following him, listening to him, saw him primarily as a teacher, a healer, a welcomer of the outsider, but now in this action.
When the people, the crowds saw Jesus coming into town riding on the donkey, they see him as their King.
And so they did as their ancestors did, whenever a King rode into town coats and garments were laid in the road. Palm branches were waved.
And the ancient chorus chanted out.
"Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord? Peace in heaven and glory in the highest"
Matthew, Mark and John record the crowd crying out, "Hosanna," which is a word meaning "Save us"
Put in context, "Jesus save us.
O King bring your salvation.
your release to us."
Now notice something, Jesus doesn’t say a word. Neither Matthew, Mark, Luke or John record for us a word coming from Jesus’ mouth as he comes into town. He rides quietly and humbling.
Isaiah another prophet, foretold of this day, he writes in Isaiah 53:7, page _____.