Summary: The Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem for His last Passover day on earth is recorded in all four Gospels. This sermon is based on the account found in Luke 19. The main point of the sermon is that Jesus wept over the city and what it means to us.
Leading up to the Passover
When Jesus is entering into Jerusalem it is the time leading up to the annual Passover festival, the most important event in the Jewish year.
Journey like Rush Hour
Have you ever driven into a large city at rush hour in the morning?
When you’re an hour away, like heading from Machias to downtown Buffalo there is only a trickle of traffic. As you pass through the Yorkshire/Chaffee area you pickup up a few more. The same thing happens as you pass through Holland. Then you get onto the 400 and as you pass entrance ramp after entrance ramp more and more folks get added to the traffic. Eventually it is bumper to bumper traffic with everyone trying to get to work on time.
This is what it was like on the way to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast that year.
Who was in this Crowd?
Have you ever thought about the conglomeration of people who were represented in this situation going into Jerusalem for the Passover and the feast of the unleavened bread? Followers of Judaism from all over the Roman Empire and even further were coming to Jerusalem for the most holy day of the year.
This year the crowd was even larger because you had the great crowd of “fans” who were following Jesus to see what might happen at the festival as well!
So, who was in this gang?
You have the 12 disciples, of course
You have the dedicated disciples who were not in the 12 (Acts 1:21-22a NIV - “Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.”
(The unnamed, unnoticed, faithful followers of Jesus.)
You have the thrill seekers who have followed Jesus because He was “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
You have the Zealots who were looking for anyone who could be used to overthrow the Roman government. (Jesus was just too peaceful for them but if they could use Him to their advantage they would.)
You have the Jewish leadership, the Scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Priests, the Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin, the high Jewish council. This crowd was overwhelming anti-Jesus!
You also have Jewish leader believers who actually believe Jesus to be the Messiah!
And, of course, you have the Romans. They don’t want another uprising.
So leading up to this event we see that Jesus has performed many miracles; the blind see, the lame leap, the deaf hear, those sick for many years are healed even by touching the hem of His garment, thousands are fed with a few loaves of bread, even the dead are brought back to life!
Headed to His death
Jesus knows that He is headed for a terrible death on a cross.
Jews Hope He’s right!
The majority of the Jewish leadership hope that Jesus is right, they want Him dead!
Most of the crowd wants Him to be an earthly king.
Many just want to see more miracles and to get more free food.
Here Comes Jesus on a donkey
------ Insert into the story from Matthew 21:4-5 ------------------------------------
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “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.’”
------ Back to Luke 19 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
Riding Donkey Fulfills Scripture / Servant-like Act
King coming in peace
Act of humility
What’s this thing with the cloaks and branches?
Why did they spread their cloaks on the road before Jesus?
In other Gospel accounts we also see the crowd cutting down branches and laying them in the road.
This was to honor the One riding into the city.
It’s almost as if the people are saying, “We will support you even to the extent that you can ride on our backs. We are laying ourselves before you to serve you.”
Now the crowd starts shouting praises!
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
The Jews protest
Side note - Children still praising Jesus in the Temple courts
In Matthew we see that even after Jesus had entered Jerusalem and cleared out those who were using the Temple as a dishonest marketplace He was healing people and the children were still shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”
Imagine the response of the Jews!