Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The story of the Bible is the greatest of all stories. It is the story of Christ and His entering into the struggle of humanity in order to rescue his fallen creation. The great story of Christ permeates all of Scripture including every individual scene.

A great story is held together by a great plot

One overarching theme, which binds every scene together

Compelling lead character – a dangerous dilemma involving

loss of certain order, the lead characters attempt to solve the problem and restore order, a villain, a companion or companions, interesting side characters, plot twists, a climax, and finally resolution of the problem, or order regained

Most great stories include them. From Shakespeare, to Tolkien, to Jane Austin even to Hollywood -- these great narrative elements can be found

Every great story is a collection of many great scenes woven together into one great overarching plot. One great scene in and of itself cannot convey the entirety of the story, but one great story is made up of many great scenes.

The story of the Bible is the greatest of all stories. It is the story of Christ and His entering into the struggle of humanity in order to rescue his fallen creation. The great story of Christ permeates all of Scripture including every individual scene. This morning we are selecting the scene of Christ’s Triumphal Entry.

The Triumphal Entry is one great scene in the great story involving many great story elements. Not only do great stories involve great plots and great scenes, but also great detailed elements. Great story details can be surprising, which only adds to sweetness of the story. As we consider the Triumphal Entry this morning, let’s do so by considering three sweet details of the scene. And we want to pay particular attention to how these important details point us to the larger and greater story into which they fit.

I. Jesus enters Jerusalem (v.1)

Since 16:21 movement of story has been towards Jerusalem

Jesus is aware how his life will end – but he knows the story does not end with his death. He foretold that he would even rise from the grave

So what was his mission?

Luke 19:10

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

2 Corinthians 5:18

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”

Restoring our relationship to God and to each other

Jesus knew his mission and was keen to see it through

Do we know our mission?

Our mission is the mission of our father in heaven

Same mission as Jesus – hopefully our mission will not lead us to the cross

Vision – Mission – Values – Purpose

II. Jesus enters Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey (vv.2-7)


disciples – borrow a donkey (?) from a disciple

Matthew 21:2-3

“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. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

A borrowed donkey for the great story?

We know that God can and does use donkeys at times for His purposes. Numbers 22: the Lord opened the mouth of Balaam’s donkey after he had struck it three times and through the donkey the prophet was rebuked.

Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed on a donkey

Moses took his family back into Egypt on a donkey

God has used donkeys in His story before

but no donkey had a purpose like this donkey

Matthew – Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey is a fulfilment of Old Testament Messianic prophecy

The prophet Zechariah wrote a full five hundred years before it happened that the Christ would mount a donkey and come into Jerusalem.

Zechariah 9:9

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.

Why is this donkey so important?


Was a famous Christian whose testimony of suffering in Nazi concentration camps and God’s grace through it all touched millions of lives. A few years ago, in a press conference following a ceremony in which Corrie Ten Boom was given an honorary degree, one of the reporters asked her if it was difficult remaining humble while hearing so much acclaim. She replied immediately, “Young man, when Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches and throwing garments in the road and singing praises, do you think that for one moment it ever entered the head of that donkey that any of that was for him?” She continued, “If I can be the donkey on which Jesus Christ rides in his glory, I give him all the praise and all the honour.”

The donkey’s great role was to lift up Christ and carry Him to His most glorious work. This is the same purpose, which makes the story of our lives worth telling. We become a part of God’s great purpose in human history; our lives are stitched into the mosaic of God’s purpose to elevate Christ to the supreme position in the universe.

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