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Summary: Through the events starting in Bethphage through the questioning of who Jesus was, we can see that every minute detail proclaimed that Jesus was indeed King and Messiah!

AS A COUNTRY, WE HAVE RECORD OF 44 LEADERS WHO HAVE TAKEN THE OATH OF OFFICE TO BE INAUGURATED AS PRESIDENT. PALM SUNDAY IS SIMILAR! WE RECOGNIZE THAT CHRIST’S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM IS LIKENED TO AN INAUGURATION, WHERE JESUS FULFILLS PROPHECY AND IS UNVEILED AS KING AND MESSIAH.

JESUS ENTERS THROUGH THE EASTERN GATE AS IF TO SAY MY ARRIVAL SIGNIFIES THAT THE OLD COVENANT OF MOSES HAS REACHED ITS CONCLUSION AND THE NEW COVENANT THAT WILL BE ESTABLISHED IN MY OWN BLOOD IS AT HAND.

AS WE REMEMBER THIS TRIUMPHANT ENTRY OF JESUS CHRIST, LET US REMEMBER ZECHARIAH 9:9, “REJOICE, O PEOPLE OF ZION! SHOUT IN TRIUMPH, O PEOPLE OF JERUSALEM! LOOK, YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU. HE IS RIGHTEOUS AND VICTORIOUS. YET HE IS HUMBLE, RIDING ON A DONKEY— RIDING ON A DONKEY’S COLT.”PROPHECY IS FULFILLED RIGHT BEFORE THEIR EYES!

THAT IS GOOD NEWS! HOWEVER, UP UNTIL THIS POINT, JESUS HAS ONLY OFFERED A GLIMPSE INTO WHO HE TRULY WAS WHILE AMONGST THE PEOPLE. HIS TIME HAD NOT COME AS WE SEE AT LEAST THIRTEEN REFERENCES IN THE GOSPELS WHERE JESUS STERNLY WARNED HIS DISCIPLES OR TOLD THOSE HE HAD HEALED, “DO NOT TELL ANYONE,” OR “DO NOT TELL ANYONE ABOUT ME.”IT WASN’T TIME! AT LEAST, NOT YET!

PALM SUNDAY, HOWEVER, IS THE MOMENT WHEN JESUS SAYS, “IT’S TIME!” THERE IS NO NEED TO HOLD BACK ANY FURTHER. THE TRUTH IS NOW REVEALED! PROPHECY IS FULFILLED! JESUS IS THE LONG-AWAITED MESSIAH AND OUR TRUE KING!

THAT IS WHY WE SHOUT WITH JOY AND CELEBRATE CHRIST THE KING WHO ENTERS INTO OUR “PERSONAL JERUSALEM,” OUR HEARTS, WHERE HE SAVES US FROM OUR SINS, OUR HUMANITY, OUR DARKNESS, AND OUR DEATH!

ST. AUGUSTINE EMPHASIZED THIS WHEN HE WROTE, “FOR CHRIST WAS NOT THE KING OF ISRAEL SO THAT HE MIGHT EXACT A TAX OR EQUIP AN ARMY WITH WEAPONRY AND VISIBLY VANQUISH AN ENEMY. HE WAS THE KING IN THAT HE RULES MINDS, IN THAT HE GIVES COUNSEL FOR ETERNITY, IN THAT HE LEADS INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE, HOPE AND LOVE.”

PALM SUNDAY IS A VERY INTRICATE DESIGN OF EVENTS WHERE EVERY DETAIL OF GOD’S PLAN PLAYS OUT PERFECTLY PIECE BY PIECE AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME….PASSOVER!

SO THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS BEGIN! JESUS ARRIVES IN BETHANY, WE ASSUME AT THE HOME OF MARY, MARTHA AND LAZARUS, TO HOLD OUT FOR A FEW DAYS IN PREPARATION.

WHILE THEY WAIT, JESUS SENDS OUT TWO DISCIPLES TO GET THE DONKEY FOR HIM TO RIDE INTO JERUSALEM. IN VERSES 2-3 JESUS GIVES THE INSTRUCTIONS, BUT ADDS THAT IF ANYONE SHOULD ASK, TELL THEM “THE LORD HAS NEED OF THEM.”

THE WORD “LORD” IS THE WORD “KYRIOS” WHICH IS A TERM USED FOR BOTH A PROPERTY OWNER OR MASTER, AS WELL AS THE PRIMARY NAME FOR GOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. THAT’S A CLUE! SO, BY SAYING THE “LORD HAS NEED” IS ACTUALLY SAYING THAT IF ANYONE OBJECTS, THE OWNER, GOD HIMSELF, NEEDS THE ANIMALS. HERE WE SEE THAT THIS WAS TRULY GOD’S PLAN ALL ALONG!

THEN, WE MUST ASK, WHY A DONKEY? HISTORY TELLS US THIS IS NOTHING NEW! RIDING A DONKEY FOR CEREMONIAL ENTRY INTO A CITY WAS AN ACT OF KINGSHIP. 1 KINGS 1:33-44, WE READ OF KING DAVID HAVING HIS SON, SOLOMON, ANOINTED AS THE NEXT KING. “AND THE KING SAID TO THEM, “TAKE WITH YOU THE SERVANTS OF YOUR LORD AND HAVE SOLOMON MY SON RIDE ON MY OWN MULE, AND BRING HIM DOWN TO GIHON. AND LET ZADOK THE PRIEST AND NATHAN THE PROPHET THERE ANOINT HIM KING OVER ISRAEL. THEN BLOW THE TRUMPET AND SAY, ‘LONG LIVE KING SOLOMON!’”

THE DONKEY IS A SIGN OF PEACE! THEREFORE, A MAN WHO RIDES A DONKEY COMES IN PEACE AND ISN’T LOOKING FOR WAR. ALSO, FROM A ROMAN INTERPRETATION, HE IS A KING WHO IS NOT LOOKING TO CONQUER NOR LOOKING TO REBEL AGAINST CAESAR!

THE PEACE JESUS SYMBOLIZES IS THE PEACE HE WISHES TO GIVE EACH OF US! JOHN 14:27, “I AM LEAVING YOU WITH A GIFT—PEACE OF MIND AND HEART. AND THE PEACE I GIVE IS A GIFT THE WORLD CANNOT GIVE. SO DON’T BE TROUBLED OR AFRAID.” THE DONKEY SYMBOLIZES PEACE AND THAT JESUS IS KING!

NEXT WE HAVE PALM BRANCHES AND PEOPLE SPREADING THEIR CLOTHING OUT ON THE ROAD! FIRST THE CLOTHING BEING LAID WAS THE EQUIVALENT OF OUR PRACTICE TODAY OF “ROLLING OUT THE RED CARPET.”

THE ACTION OF PUTTING YOUR GARMENTS IN THE ROADWAY WAS NOT ONLY A SIGN OF RESPECT FOR A KING, BUT ALLOWING THE KING TO STEP ON THEM WAS AN ACT OF SUBMISSION TO HIS AUTHORITY! THEY WERE PROCLAIMING JESUS AS KING AND SHOWING SIGNS OF SUBMITTING TO HIS KINGSHIP!

NOW, THE PALM BRANCHES WHICH SYMBOLIZED JEWISH NATIONALISM AND VICTORY! PALM BRANCHES WERE TO THE JEWS OF THAT DAY WHAT THE STARS AND STRIPES AND THE RED-WHITE-AND BLUE OF OUR FLAG SYMBOLIZES FOR US TODAY.

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