Summary: This Palm Sunday, let us welcome our King Jesus into our hearts if we have not done so yet. Otherwise, let us take this occasion to renew our pledge of allegiance. And let us look again into the King’s AUTHORITY, ADORATION, and ANGUISH.
Every year Christians around the world celebrate this event. It is called Palm Sunday because of the palm leaves (John 12:13, mentioned only by John) the people spread on His path. It is also called the “Triumphal Entry” although He was not received by the Jewish leaders as their rightful king.
I am curious about the extent of your understanding of this important event. Let’s take a pop quiz. If you think the following statements are true, raise your hand.
1. This event took place two weeks before the crucifixion.
2. The disciples understood the prophetic significance of this event (John 12:16, no).
3. The parade, especially the laying of garments and branches on the Lord’s path, had not been rehearsed because it was customary in that part of the world at that time of history to inaugurate a new king this way.
4. The colt (young donkey) scenario had been prearranged.
5. Only a few of His disciples participated in the parade (Matt. 21:9-10).
Our text talks about our King’s AUTHORITY, ADORATION, and ANGUISH.
THE KING’S AUTHORITY
First of all, a King has to have AUTHORITY. Our text talks, first of all, about our King’s Authority. I believe that the scene about the disciples and the colt was not pre-arranged as others think. I believe that it was one of those instances when our Lord exercised His omniscience as well as His authority (e.g., Matt. 9:4; Luke 11:17; John 1:48; 2:24-25)..
In our story, the owners (Luke 19:33) asked the disciples why they were untying the colt and they replied, “The Lord needs them” (the colt and its mother, Matt. 21:2-3). I find it amazing that the owners unquestioningly and unhesitatingly gave the donkeys.
Donkeys were work animals. Like machineries nowadays. They could get expensive. Usually one person just could not afford to buy one so it was common practice to have plurality of owners. And yet they gave them freely to the Lord.
I wonder how many of us recognize the authority of Jesus as our King to the point of surrendering whatever He asks of us.
Another demonstration of His authority is found in V.35 which says, “Then they brought it to Jesus, and after throwing their robes on the donkey.” According to V.30, “No one has ever sat” on this colt. This means that it was not domesticated. And yet it meekly allowed the Lord Jesus to ride on it. Uncomplainingly! What an authority! The waves obey Him. The fig tree wilted at His command.
Do you accept the King’s authority in your life? Do you submit to His will and plan in your life? Do you unquestioningly and unhesitating surrender to His Lordship?
THE KING’S ADORATION
A king must have authority. He must also have respect. Since our King deserves something higher than respect, let us call it ADORATION.
Our text says, “The whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice” (v.37). That must have been quite a parade. The disciples were happy. They were celebrating. And they showed it with their loud voice.
I am not a singer. And I am not emotional. I am reserve. So, how can I show my adoration to the King? John 4:24 that we should worship God in Spirit and in truth.
Worship is a prerogative of the Almighty. The Lord Jesus made quite a startling statement in v.40. He said, "I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out!" If those who should praise God fail to praise Him, even the things that do not have life and intelligence will render Him praise. The stones will praise Him. The mountains will praise Him. The stars will praise Him. We do Him no favor when we praise Him. We praise Him because He is our benevolent Creator, our gracious Savior, and our Lord and King.
THE KING’S ANGUISH
A king must have authority and adoration. Thirdly, a king must have passion. But passion that does not drive to action or active involvement is not passion. Because of His passion for the things He cared, our King was torn with ANGUISH.
First, in v.41, as He ascended the hill and Jerusalem filled the frame of His vision, His heart was suffocated with anguish and He wept. Isa. 53:3 calls Him a “a man of sorrow” because of His heart and consuming passion for the salvation of sinners.
Second, in v.45, “He went into the temple complex and began to throw out those who were selling.” This is another passion of the King. This was the second time He cleansed the temple. The first is recorded in John 2. In v.17 He quoted Psalm 69:9 which says, “Passion for your house burns within me” (NLB).