Summary: Jesus reveals he is a MEEK ,MOCKED,and MAJESTIC king as he fulfills his purpose at the end of his earthly ministry
SERMON : JESUS THE KING
My grandfather used to say that he wished he knew where he was going to be when he died, and then he wouldn’t go there - (joking that he could avoid his death that way)
But Jesus knew exactly where he would be when he died, and the scriptures tell us that he set his face like a flint to go there……
He knew he was to arrive as a MEEK king, so he sent his disciples over to Bethany to borrow a donkey. This was a customary way a king visited his people during peacetime. He would ride a donkey rather than a white stallion as he would if going to battle. The people recognized this sign and cried out “Hosanna” which means, “save now.” Jesus was giving them an open demonstration of his Messiah ship. But they were expecting a political king who would free them from the Roman yoke, not a king to free them from their sin.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they “knew not the moment of their visitation.”
He did several things that upset the people…like turning over the moneychangers’ tables in the temple, but the authorities didn’t want to deal with him now during their festival celebrations. But this was God’s timing and Jesus was moving steadily towards Calvary.
Then Jesus borrowed a room to celebrate the last meal with his disciples. He tried once again to help them see that He would be the true Passover lamb this year. He said, “This bread is my body and this cup is my blood that was shed for you. Just as the blood had been spread on the crossbeam of their homes that night in Old Testament times so that the death angel would pass over them, now his body would be spread out on a cross and the blood would save them from death.
After dinner, when he was betrayed and arrested in the garden, the soldiers beat him and put a crown of thorns upon his head and a purple robe on him and stuck a reed in his hand as a scepter and bowed down and mocked Him as they said, “Hail to the king.” There are marks in the paving stones in Pilot’s courtyard even today that the tourist guides tell us represent a children’s game called, “playing king.”
Pilot brought Jesus out clothed in this way and sat him down in the judgment seat and asked the Jews, “Shall I crucify your king?” What dramatic irony! Jesus is both king and judge. Those who will not kneel before him as king, must come before him as judge. Pilot told Jesus he had the power to release him or crucify him, but Jesus corrected him and said the only power you have is given to you by God! So the age-old and very current argument over who is responsible for crucifying Jesus is told, here…God is responsible!
This is a planned processional to the cross. Jesus was never a victim of circumstances. God is in control. Pilot and the crowd are shouting, but Jesus is calm and confident.
John 18:36 & 37 Jesus says to Pilot, “My kingdom is not of this world….and , “for this reason was I born.”
So Pilot listened to the crowd and Jesus was nailed to the cross with a sign that Pilot had made that said, JESUS OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS -a sign made in jest to further mock this man who claimed to be king.
Jesus hung there for six hours, feeling the pain and despising the shame. The people still mocked, saying, “If you are the Son of God, come down off the cross and we will believe you.” But if he had come down, there would be nothing for us to believe in. He responded by praying, “Father forgive them.” He stayed until the debt was paid in full for all the sin we would ever commit. Then he cried out, “It is finished.” The word in Greek and Aramaic is only one word, “telesta” which is a victory shout. Like the kids use today, “YES!” to indicate we made it , we did it, we reached the goal.
Then John says he bowed his head, and he uses the words which mean like someone leaning their head back on a pillow with contentment and relief that a job is done, a work finished. Jesus then said, “Father into they hands I commend my spirit.” Notice, that at this point he sees the Father again! The relationship has been restored. The temple veil has been torn. There is no more separation because there is no more sin. God sees him the way he sees us, covered by the blood, righteous and holy and able to enter the holy place.