Summary: This is a Palm Sunday Sermon
Text: Matthew 21:1-11 Title: Roll Out the Red Carpet
Introduction: "Roll out the red carpet" refers to carpets and rugs being used in India several centuries ago: Sometimes carpets provided the actual architecture; for example, when they were used in the construction of portable tent compounds for military campaigns or royal visits. The layout of the Mughal palace was re-created in these tent compounds…free-standing textile screens, replaced red sandstone walls, and flower-covered carpets reproduced the gardens of the inner courtyards. The red color served to identify the emperor's tent, and luxurious textiles not only provided the comforts of home but also symbolically reminded envoys and visitors of the power and the wealth of their rulers." "Jahangir, Mughal emperor from 1605 to 1627, once paid a visit to his brother-in-law on New Year's Day. To celebrate the event, his brother-in-law carpeted the road between his house and the palace with gold brocades and rich velvets, so that the royal entourage would not have to touch the ground. Today we say "Roll out the red carpet" or "the red-carpet treatment" to indicate the conferring of honor and prestige." (Andrew Longhurst). All four of the Gospels tell of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem as the “red carpet was rolled out” for him (Mark 11.1–11; Luke 19.28–38; John 12.12–19), but they each do it in a way that differs from that of the other three.
I. The Plan (1-3)
• Plan - A scheme, program, or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective.
• God has always had a plan. He had a plan for the family, finances, humankind, and redemption. The enemy has always tried to thwart God’s plan.
• (1) Jesus sent the boys ahead them (he gave them instructions). How did Jesus know that the donkey and colt were there and he hadn’t gotten there? He’s God!
• (2) A donkey & colt tied up.
o (2) tied-bind; imprison; restrict; prohibit
o (2) untie-set free; loose from ropes or straps; set free; do way with; put an end to
o (3) the Lord has need of him…God has need of you!
II. The Prophecy (4-5)
• (4): The horse was the usual war animal, hence a symbol of power and might. The donkey, on the other hand, was draft animal, used to carry persons and goods. The garments and branches spread on the road form a carpet, so that the feet of the donkey don’t touch the soil or stones that ordinary people tread [red carpet treatment]. (from Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, Malina/Rohrbaugh)
• (5). In the ancient world when a king rode a horse, it symbolized war. When he rode a donkey, it symbolized peace. The passage in Zech. 9.9 cited in v. 5 indicates that for a king (essentially a military & power role) to ride on a donkey was ‘humble. The people missed the symbolism. They expected Him to lead a rebellion against Rome. This was in fulfillment of Zech. 9:9. Matthew omitted “just and having salvation” when he quoted Zechariah, because Christ will not come with justice and salvation (victory) for Israel until He returns in Rev. 19:11–21, riding a white horse.
III. The Parade (Participation) (6-11)
• (6) They obeyed – “to obey is better than to sacrifice”
o They were preparing for the King!
• (7-8) They gave - Cloaks/branches from a tree
o The garments and branches spread on the road form a carpet, so that the feet of the donkey don’t touch the soil or stones that ordinary people tread [red carpet treatment]. (from Social-Science Commentary on the Synoptic Gospels, Malina/Rohrbaugh)
• (9-11) They praised
o The people acclaimed Jesus as their King both by their words and their deeds. They shouted Hosanna (TEV “Praise”) represents a transliteration of the Hebrew expression meaning “Save us now!” or “Please save us!” But as the NIV footnote indicates, it had become “an exclamation of praise” used by the Israelites as a liturgical formula. They were quoting from Psalm 118:25–26, and this psalm is definitely messianic in character. Later that week, Jesus Himself would refer to this psalm and apply it to Himself (Ps. 118:22–23; Matt. 21:42).
o ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET – the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the great I am…, Jeremiah’s ladder, Ezekiel’s wheel, Solomon’s Rose of Sharon, Job’s horse pawing in the valley, (refer to “Who is Jesus?”
IV. Conclusion - Revelation 19:11-13 – “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 † His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”