Summary: I wonder, is Jesus still weeping today? When He turns & looks into our lives, I wonder, will He weep once again because of what He sees? (*PowerPoint Available - #105. Also available, a much larger PP file with graphics & in Wide Screen format - #105W.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoint slides for this sermon are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #105. Available also, a much larger PP File containing graphics with Wide-screen format - Request #105W.)
I wish simply to remind you this morning of a familiar story from the Bible. It began early Sunday morning (Palm Sunday, we call it today) as Jesus was walking toward Jerusalem. He stops for a moment & sends 2 of his disciples into a nearby village to carry out a special errand. Here is how Luke 19:29-31 records that event:
"As He approached Bethphage & 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, & as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it & bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’" (Luke 19:29-31)
A. The 2 disciples must have wondered about what Jesus told them to do, because none of the Gospel accounts about the ministry of Christ ever mention Him riding any animal to get from one place to another.
He must have walked hundreds of miles up & down the land we now call the "Holy Land," but there is no mention of Him ever riding, except in a boat across the Sea of Galilee.
But now, He gives this unusual command to go into the village to get a colt that had never been ridden, & to bring it to Him. It must have seemed strange, indeed.
He even tells them the exact words they are to use should anyone question them. They are to say, "The Lord needs it." Was this prearranged? Did the owners know what Jesus was going to do? We don’t know.
B. It is obvious, though, that Jesus knew what He was going to face in the city of Jerusalem. So His decision to go into Jerusalem must have been one of the most difficult Jesus ever made.
And on top of that, to ride into the city on a colt, rather than to walk into it as He had often done before, must have been an even more difficult decision, because riding a colt into the city was a public declaration that He was a King.
Five hundred years earlier, the prophet Zechariah had proclaimed that fact when he wrote, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous & having salvation, gentle & riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
ILL. You see, in times of war conquerors would ride in chariots or upon prancing stallions.
But in times of peace, the king would ride a colt to symbolize that peace prevailed. So, for Jesus to ride into Jerusalem upon a colt is to declare that He is a King proclaiming peace.
Of course, this was the beginning of the great 8-day Passover Festival, when the Jews remembered God’s deliverance of their ancestors from Egyptian slavery. Jews from all over the world were gathering in Jerusalem to celebrate, & the city was filled to overflowing.
So obviously, Jesus wasn’t the only one coming to Jerusalem for the Passover.
Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, had already entered Jerusalem to occupy the Antonia Fortress & the Praetorium with a full complement of elite & battle-hardened Roman soldiers ever ready & willing to suppress any attempted uprising against Roman rule that might occur.
Herod Antipas, Tetrarch (King/ruler) of Galilee & Perea, the one who had imprisoned & beheaded John the Baptist, had also arrived with great pomp & ceremony, undoubtedly occupying the palace of his late father, Herod the Great.
Such power & pageantry the people were seeing that week - & then here comes Jesus fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah: “See, your king comes to you, righteous & having salvation, gentle & riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
For the crowds lining the road that day, Jesus riding a colt into the city was a public declaration that He was the promised King!
I. HOW WOULD THE PEOPLE RESPOND TO THAT?
How would the people respond to that? Would they recognize that His Kingdom was not of this world that it was a spiritual kingdom, & He was to be a spiritual King? Small chance, because He had been teaching them that for over 3 years, & still they had not learned that lesson.
A. Perhaps some of them would greet Him with laughter. Maybe they would be amused by what Jesus was doing. After all, it was a rather ridiculous picture. Here is a carpenter declaring Himself to be a King!