Summary: Let’s trust the sovereignty of the Savior, let’s give what’s been given to us and let’s worship with all that we have.
Jesus Enters In
Rev. Brian Bill
April 8-9, 2017
This is Palm Sunday. This is Jesus. In order to fully understand the significance of this day, it’s important to grasp some background details…
• The Messiah would be enthroned as King in Jerusalem. The Old Testament makes it very clear that the coming King would do His main work in the city of David.
• Passover was about to begin. This celebration, which was Israel’s greatest feast, brought many spiritual pilgrims to Jerusalem and fueled the fires of messianic expectations. Some historians tell us that the population could have gone from 40,000 to 250,000 or more for the Passover.
It was during Passover that God’s people rehearsed their deliverance from a foreign power [Egypt] with the expectation that God would do so again [against Rome]. This yearly reminder helped the Israelites never forget that it was the blood of the lamb that provided their deliverance.
• Pilate and his troops arrived every Passover. Pilate didn’t like living in Jerusalem so he chilled in a seaport town on the Mediterranean because he didn’t like being around the Jews who deeply resented his rule. But he paraded in every Passover to display his military muscle. The presence of all this military would also send a message that no insurrection would be tolerated.
It’s fair to say the situation is filled with holy anticipation and high anxiety. Our world kind of feels like that right now.
Here’s how we’re going to be challenged today…
• Trust the sovereignty of the Savior (1-6)
• Give what’s been given to you (7-8)
• Worship with all you have (9-10)
1. Trust the sovereignty of the Savior. The word “sovereignty” is often used but not always understood. When we say the Savior is sovereign, we’re saying that He has the absolute right and might to do all things according to His own good pleasure. Everything is under His rule and control and nothing happens without His direction or permission, which means nothing takes Him by surprise.
Let’s pick up the narrative in Mark 11:1: “Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples.” It was no accident that Jesus timed His arrival to land at the beginning of Passover. “Bethpage and Bethany” refer to two little villages near Jerusalem. Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived in Bethany and Jesus used their home as a bed and breakfast during the final days of His life.
The “Mount of Olives” has tremendous significance. It’s where Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, where He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and after the resurrection He ascended into heaven from this spot (see Acts 1:12). Moreover, according to Zechariah 14:4 Jesus will land on this mountain at his second coming: “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west…”
It’s from this significant spot that Jesus sent out two of his disciples with a very special and specific assignment. Look at verses 2-3: “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’”
Think about the sweet sovereignty of the Savior and how everything is planned out in His providence.
• What village to go to – “the village in front of you”
• Where to go once they get there – “immediately as you enter it”
• What to look for – “you will find a colt”
• What the colt will be doing – “tied”
• What kind of colt – “on which no one has ever sat”
• What to do – “untie it and bring it”
• How to respond to questions – “The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately”
Sure enough, when the disciples do what they’re directed by trusting in the sovereignty of the Savior, everything happens just the way Jesus said it would in verses 4-6: “And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go.”
Jesus has all the details worked out, including their exact sequence, which actually should help us trust Him when He gives us an assignment or when we go through some affliction. There are no surprises with God. He knew all about the colt that would be tied up and He knew how the owners would respond and so He told them how to answer their question. What a staggering display of omniscience, sovereignty and providence!