Summary: This is a sermon leading up to Easter. It looks at the road Jesus took to Jerusalem, and that the road is one of humility, fulfillment, obedience, and destiny. It challenges believers to take this same road for their life.
A Journey To and From Easter
The Jerusalem Road
As we begin our journey to and from Easter, we’ll be taking the same roads Jesus took and spoke about. They are the roads that led Him not only to His death, but also from His resurrection.
Although these roads go in different directions and to different locations, like Jerusalem, Emmaus and Damascus, they all end up at the same destination, and that is Jesus Christ. Today we’re going to be traveling on the Jerusalem’s road.
The Oscars were a couple weeks back and all the stars made their grand and glorious entrances. They didn’t come in old VW vans wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Instead they came in chuffer driven limousines dressed to the nines.
Given an opportunity to make a entrance, most would choose the grandeur style over that of mediocrity or poverty. We would choose the blazing white stallion over the small grey donkey. And it was such a grand entrance the disciples were hoping that Jesus would make into Jerusalem.
They were hoping for some grand entrance on a blazing white stallion, sort of like the Lone Ranger, with a cloud of dust and hearty “Hi O Silver.” They were hoping Jesus would come into Jerusalem and kick the bad guys out of town.
That’s the Jesus they wanted, and that’s the type of Jesus most want today. But Jesus entered Jerusalem differently, and upon a road that isn’t so easily followed. In fact, it’s a road that not many, if any, would choose for themselves. It’s a road that leads to the Father’s will and our destiny, which means that it’s a road that leads to death.
Jesus knew this, and said that same to His disciples.
“We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life.” (Matthew 20:18-19 NIV)
Yet even knowing the pain and suffering that was waiting, Jesus still went. There was a deep determination on Jesus’ part to travel this road to Jerusalem and to His death. We see this in Luke’s account.
“Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:51 NKJV)
In the same manner we have to set our faces and determine deep within ourselves to follow these roads that lead to and from our own Easters, to our own deaths and resurrections. But know this about these roads, they’ll also lead to a new and exciting life in Christ, and then eternal life with Him in heaven once this life is over.
It was the time for the Jewish Passover, one of the three feasts that God commanded the Jews to celebrate in Jerusalem. Passover to the Jews is king of life our feast of Thanksgiving. Passover is the Jewish celebration of thanksgiving for God’s mighty hand in delivering them from their Egyptian bondage and captivity.
At this time the people had heard of Jesus; heard of His great wisdom and how He had put to shame the religious leaders. They also heard of His healings and miracles. They heard how he had fed the five thousand with just a few fishes and a couple loaves of bread, and how He raised Lazarus from the dead, so they lined the streets crying out, “Hosanna to the son of David,” or “Messiah, save us now.”
But what the people wanted was diametrically opposed to what the Lord was doing. Jesus didn’t enter that day to set up His kingdom; rather it was to die to save the people, not from their Roman oppression, but to save them and deliver them from their captivity and bondage to sin and death.
And so the Jerusalem road for Jesus was the beginning of the end of His earthly life. And although it led to the Cross, it was also a road that would lead eventually to heaven with Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father.
And when we take this Jerusalem road, it will not only lead to our own deaths, that is, death to self, but it will also lead to our eternal destiny in heaven.
So, let’s take a look at this event.
Read Matthew 21:1-11
There are four things I see about this road that we need to understand as we take our own journey of faith, our own journey down this Jerusalem road.
The first thing we see about this road is that
1. It’s a Road of Humility
When we think of Jesus as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, we immediately think of Him coming in power and glory, in dazzling white garments and riding on a white horse. But that is not how He entered Jerusalem on that day.