Summary: Palm Sunday is a day of stark contrast. An all powerful King enters on a colt, is rebuked by sinners who think themselves saints, and weeps over the city that is about to join in his execution.
Dakota Community Church
April 1, 2012
King of Mercy
Today is Palm Sunday the day on the church calendar when we traditionally mark Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem beginning the final week of His life and leading up to the crucifixion on Good Friday followed by the glorious resurrection Easter Sunday morning.
This year we will use the gospel of Luke as our text:
After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
The day is marked by some incredible contrasts
1. Amazing insight vs great misunderstanding.
The amazing insight is that this Jesus really was the “king who comes in the Name of the LORD!”
Jesus is the “Son of David”
He is the branch that bears fruit from the stump of Jesse
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD— and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
Jesus is the long awaited Ruler of Israel, the Messiah who would come and establish David’s throne fulfilling all of God’s promises!
The misunderstanding came in that:
They were looking for a kingdom of this world - a piece of land with physical borders.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked.
They were looking for a king who would overpower their enemy - the Roman Empire
Jesus was about to crush the head of the serpent - our real enemy!
They were welcoming the Lion of Judah
Jesus was heading to the alter - the spotless sacrificial lamb.
As a result of this misunderstanding many of these same worshippers would be shouting “Crucify” in just a few days.
This presents an important point for us - We need to be certain our faith is hanging on Christ and not on some expected outcome of following Him.
HE IS THE POINT! HE IS THE WAY! - not us or our personal gain in Him.
What happens if we misunderstand and place our hope in financial prosperity or healing?
What happens if we think that we have done certain things - so now God is obligated to do certain things in return?