Summary: Palm Sunday(C) - Christ Jesus, our Savior-King rides into Jerusalem in humility and with victory.
OUR SAVIOR-KING RIDES JERUSALEM
April 9, 2006 - PALM SUNDAY - Luke 19:28-40
On this Palm Sunday, we are in between, aren’t we? We are in between the six weeks of Lent where we looked closely at Jesus’ suffering for the sake of the sins of the world. We are in between his ultimate suffering on Good Friday. We are also in between the fact that next Sunday is Resurrection Sunday, Easter Sunday. In the past six weeks we heard Jesus speak words from the cross. Those six weeks went by quickly. Now we see Jesus here on Sunday, and in six days he is going to be raised up on the cross, to be put to death. The crowd who shouts out, “Hosanna,” on this Palm Sunday regards Christ as king. "Hosanna in the highest!" Those six days will go by a lot faster than six weeks. What a change from that crowd of praising him to that same crowd that says, "Crucify!" We are in between as we look at Jesus’ humanity and Jesus’ divinity, his glory. John wrote in his gospel: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Christ came in humility as the human son of Mary and Joseph. Yet by God’s grace we also see this Jesus as God’s Son; and we see his glory. We look at these familiar words before us this morning as we consider the fact that:
OUR SAVIOR-KING RIDES INTO JERUSALEM --
I. In humility; and,
II. With victory.
I. IN HUMILITY
Our text began by: "After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem." When you have the opportunity, check out Luke 19. At the very beginning you will see how Zacchaeus became a follower of Jesus. In the next verses right before our text Jesus taught about the parable of the ten minas, or the ten talents and how people were to be faithful with what that they were given. As the people were thinking about that, as the crowd talked about the meaning of that parable, Jesus goes to Jerusalem knowing full well exactly what was going to happen. From this time on until his crucifixion and his resurrection, what happens? "As he approached Bethpage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ’Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no on has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here, because the Lord has need of it.’"
Jesus’ disciples listen and go ahead, and they untie the colt. Jesus already gave the disciples the answer they were to give to the owners, because the owners come and say, "Why are you untying it?" The simple answer was, "The Lord has need of it." Not very powerful words we may think. But these words of Jesus are powerful enough so that the owner doesn’t stop them, powerful enough so that the owner doesn’t say to the authorities, "They are stealing my colt." This is the powerful word of God that caused them to realize the Lord has need of it.
What happens? "Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them." They untied the colt and brought it to Jesus and threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. In Mark it tells us, "The colt, the foal of a donkey." Matthew says the same thing. This wasn’t the usual transportation of a king. Donkeys were reserved for the servants and the poor people; and yet, we see our Savior-King riding into Jerusalem on this colt, this donkey, as a king; a king who comes in humility.
Our Second Lesson this morning from Philippians (2:5-11) has a clear picture of Jesus’ humility. Jesus gave up everything. He gave up heaven, lived here on earth so that we might inherit heaven. In humility Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, died and was buried. These steps of his humiliation go down as you may remember from confirmation class and the Apostles Creed. Jesus did it all for us. He did all of this riding into Jerusalem knowing that he wasn’t going to walk out on Friday. That Good Friday he was going to suffer the agony of the cross and the torturous death because of our sins. From Philippians comes this verse: "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:8). Not just death, but death on a cross, the worst way to die, long and agonizing. Jesus did all of this because of our sins.