Summary: Part 1 of 4 of the series, Roads of Passion. Jesus resolutely set his face towards Jerusalem and it was on the road the Jerusalem that we find the road of humility, the road of fulfillment, the road of obedience and the road of destiny
"The Jerusalem Road"
Matthew 21:1-11Read at beginning of Service:
Matthew 21:1-11 (NIV)
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 "Say to the Daughter of Zion, ’See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’" 6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!" 10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" 11 The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."
Today we begin a journey toward Easter, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The roads we will travel on will take us in different directions and locations but in the end they all lead to one destination and that is Jesus, God’s Son our Savior. This is not to say that all roads lead to heaven, as the world assumes and promotes. No, the roads lead to the One called Jesus. Some of these roads we will travel on in this series will be roads that Jesus himself along with his disciples trod. Some are roads that Jesus asks us to travel. These are roads of passion. You see, if there is one thing that characterizes the Easter event – it is the word passion! It was God’s passion for a lost mankind that brought Jesus to travel the journey to the cross and forward to the triumph of the resurrection. It is the disciples passion for the call placed on the lives by Christ that motivated and inspired their foray into the world as His witnesses following His ascension. And it is the same passion that Jesus would like us to have as we embark on the road He places us on. We begin our journey along the Roads of Passion with a walk down the Jerusalem road.
If you were given the opportunity to make a grand entrance on either a small frail looking donkey or a blazing white stallion, which would you choose?
The followers of Jesus I believe were assuming Jesus would break out of his meek and mild mood and finally make His grand entrance into Jerusalem on a blazing white stallion.
Sort of like the Lone Ranger. Jesus comes riding in on Silver who is kicking up dust. He comes to a standing stop, Jesus hops off Silver performs the necessary work of rapping up the bag guys (you know the devil). Then He jumps back onto Silver pulling the reigns having Silver rear in full gallantry and speeds off again with Silver kicking up dust and Jesus yelling "Hi Ho Silver, away!" as the William Tell Overture plays in the background. And someone left standing by the cross asks all the all important question, "Who was that masked man?"
I can see on your faces how much you would like that Jesus. We like the theatrics and the staged events to make us look good. Who wouldn’t follow a Jesus like that?
But the Jesus we read of today in the gospel of Matthew is not so easily followed. In His life were exhibited two reoccurring purposes.
To do the will of the Heavenly Father.
To fulfill the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah’s first coming.
With these two purposes He set His face to go to Jerusalem.
Luke 9:51 (NIV)
51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
He made His entrance on the Jerusalem road. It is the road less traveled, for it speaks of humility, fulfillment, obedience and destiny.
a road of humility
Matthew 21:1-3 (NIV)
1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."