Summary: Mark 11-12 contains the triumphal entry and some of the events in Christ’s final week. His actions show that he came to establish the "Kingdom of the heart" and to raise his banner of love over us.
Palm Sunday CHCC: April 1, 2007
The Kingdom of the Heart
Today is often called “Palm Sunday.” It’s the day when we remember Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem … just 5 days before he would be crucified. Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem turned into a gigantic parade. Hundreds of people lined the sides of the road, shouting and singing. They gave him the “red carpet” treatment by laying their own cloaks and palm branches on the dirt path in front of him.
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem is full of historic precedence. Jesus intended to declare His Kingship by this act. In fact --- even though the background preparations aren’t explained --- it makes sense to conclude that Jesus made prior arrangements with a friend to provide a special colt that he could ride as he entered the City that day.
This was significant to the Crowds because they knew Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9: 9 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king [b] comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I don’t know about you, but when I picture a donkey I picture a comical animal, like a cartoon character. But in Jesus day this was a fitting animal for a King to ride. When a King went to War he rode a horse. When that same King returned in Peace he would ride a donkey to show that he returned in Peace.
The book of Revelation pictures Jesus riding a White Horse at his Second Coming. But in His first coming, Jesus entered Jerusalem in a humble and gentle manner … riding on a donkey. The crowds welcomed Jesus as their Messiah and King. They shouted out, Hosanna! Which literally means, Save us now! What they wanted to be saved from was the political rule of the Roman Empire. The cheering Crowds did not want a Peaceful King. They wanted Jesus to storm Jerusalem and lead a force that could defeat their Roman oppressors.
On the screen you see a famous photograph of Soldiers in World War II, raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi in Iwo Jima. Since this picture was published in 1945, it has become one of the most significant and familiar images of Wartime Victory. What the crowds wanted from Jesus was similar to what we see in this picture. They wanted Jesus to tear down the Roman Flag and raise the Jewish flag on the Mount of Jerusalem.
What Jesus actually did right after the Triumphal Entry must have confused and frustrated these cheering crowds --- because Jesus did not raise His flag over Jerusalem. In fact, Jesus WAS going to establish his Kingdom, but he was NOT going to raise His banner over any physical territory. Here’s what happened immediately after the Triumphal Entry: Mark 11:11 says, 11Jesus 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.
That’s kind of anti-climactic, isn’t it? Jesus enters Jerusalem at the head of a giant parade --- with applause and shouts echoing through the streets. The expectations are sky high! Everyone believes something BIG is about to happen! So… Jesus looks around for a few minutes --- then he turns to his disciples and says, It’s getting late, boys --- and he and his men wander off to find a place to spend the night.