Summary: Palm Sunday - How many in the crowd were seeing the "big picture?" Are we seeing the big picture personally or focused on just a small part?
This is the sixth week of the Lenten season and today we’ll be taking a look at the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘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, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.’
“This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
“The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.
“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.The crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
“When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds answered, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’”
In the past three years of His ministry Jesus had done some amazing things!
- Jesus had had some “intense theological” discussions with the Jewish leaders of the day.
- Jesus had attended dinners in the homes of those considered by the religious elite to be nasty sinners.
- Jesus had fed four thousand men plus women and children with only seven loaves.
- Jesus had fed five thousand men plus women and children with only five loaves of bread and two fish.
- Jesus had actually touched someone with leprosy and had healed the dreaded disease.
- Jesus had healed a dying servant of a Centurion just by speaking from a great distance.
- Jesus had healed a man who was blind from birth on the Sabbath.
- Jesus had healed a crippled woman’s arm on the Sabbath.
- Jesus had healed a lame man on the Sabbath.
- Jesus had even healed a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, almost it seemed, without Him even knowing it until after the fact. (Luke 8)
- Jesus had raised the daughter of a synagogue leader from the dead.
- Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead!
And now, Jesus is coming to Jerusalem for the Passover! Can you even imagine the excitement? Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people from all over the known world coming to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration! Many of them have heard of the miracles of Jesus. Miracles did not go unnoticed in Jesus’ day any more than they would go unnoticed now.
Certainly this Jesus who had worked such powerful miracles could devastate the Romans with one word from His mouth!
The people of Israel were thinking, “Could this be our King?
Could this be our Redeemer who would free us from the tyranny of Rome?”
He had done so many mighty miracles, only one more was necessary to fulfill the earthly dreams of the Hebrews of that day, just one more.
There’s a Southern Gospel song that says, “Can He, Could He, Would He? Yes, He can, He could, He would and He did!”
But, on this Passover week the refrain would go, “Can He, Could He, Would He? Yes, He can, He could, He will but not now!”
Jesus would certainly accomplish what was necessary to free all people from slavery but it would be from slavery to sin, not slavery to Rome.
Try to place yourself back to the time of Jesus as He was going into Jerusalem. As a person from that era you are familiar with the culture, the history and the current political and religious framework.
Imagine this, try to get this image of Jesus of AD 30 in your mind:
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”
So, He’s not spectacular in stature or looks. Is He ordinary or even homely? We don’t know, but we do know that it was not His looks that attracted people to Him.
He was a Rabbi. Rabbis were well dressed, it was part of the image. Rabbis were also married as The first commandment of the 613 mtizvot (commandments) in the Torah is “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) and a Rabbi would have a home.
Jesus had none of these.