Summary: A look at why people at the Triumphal Entry thought Jesus was the Messiah and what that means for us.

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“That’s My King!”

Palm Sunday

April 9, 2006

Introduction: Today is commonly referred to as Palm Sunday. It is the day we traditionally recognize the arrival of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover celebration and ultimately for his death. Did you ever ask the question: “What is all the commotion about?” Why a celebration upon his arrival? Was there anything to celebrate knowing that in just a few days Jesus would be crucified?

Today we want to look at the events of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem not from simply an historic approach, but from an approach that asks the question “Is there anything to celebrate?”

I. The Entry

One of the great questions about this event in the life of Christ is where did the party come for? I mean, who started this whole deal where a huge crowd welcomes Jesus into the city?

The entry to Jerusalem is a significant event in the gospels. It is a story that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all record in their records of the life of Christ. Today, we are going to look at Mark’s account of the entry.

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ’Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ’The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’ “They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?" They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.” Mark 11:1-6 (NIV)

In the Old Testament world of Jesus, there are some amazing things that need to be noted about processions like this.

Triumphant processions of this kind were commonplace after a great battle had occurred. They were in honor of the triumph of a god and the triumph of a human king. Religion and warfare were intricately woven into the fabric of society. It was not only significant that your human king won the battle, but the representation was that your god had won the battle. There was in that time a five step sequence to the triumphal process.

1) A god battled against an enemy god. (Battle between God and the gods of Egypt.)

2) There was victory.

3) The victorious god was enthroned as king.

4) The people built the king a house. (Temple)

5) There was a banquet of celebration.

The procession was in essence a victory parade.

Jesus is going into the Holy City during the time of incredible celebration. It was the time of Passover and the Feast of Unleavend Bread. It is the time when the nation of Israel is celebrating the victory of Yahwah over the gods of Egypt.

Can you begin to see some images come to life? Are you beginning to think that maybe there is more going on here than you originally thought?

II. The Reaction

The people in Jerusalem respond in this incredible way. They literally take to the streets hailing Jesus as a conquering hero.

“When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!"

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.” Mark 11:7-11 (NIV)

1) Jesus enters like a king.

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech. 9:9 (NIV)

2) Jesus is viewed as the next Jewish king.

He is greeted with the same shouts of praise used in Jewish worship.

“O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.” Psalm 118:25-26 (NIV)

It is the same response given to other Jewish kings in scripture.

“They hurried and took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, "Jehu is king!" 2 Kings 9:13 (NIV)

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