Summary: Palm Sunday, Second Coming
Matthew 21:1-11 (READ)
Today, on "Palm Sunday," we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal ride into Jerusalem. It was such a joyful occasion. People cheered. They threw down their robes in front of Jesus in a show of honor. Children ran and played and laughed in the streets. Young and old waved palm branches and cried, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" For the disciples, it had to be the high point of their time with Jesus. No doubt, they had to be thinking, "This is it! This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for! The people are ready to make Jesus their King and we will reign and rule with him!"
Who could have ever dreamed that just a few short days later, the crowd would be crying out, "Crucify Him!" and agreeing to kill the man they had called their King on a Roman cross for crimes he did not commit. And Jesus let it happen, even though he was the Son of God. He willingly gave up his life so that you and I could be pardoned for our sins. He was, Paul said in Philippians 2:7-8 - "....in very nature God....but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!"
Jesus’ first ride didn’t last too long. It was a fleeting moment of glory on His way to the cross. The cheers turned to hateful cries. "If you are the Son of God, save yourself!" "He saved others, but he cannot save himself." And the man who was "king for a day" suffered and bled and died. It was all a part of a Master Plan. John 3:16-17. The Jewish people would not accept Jesus as their Messiah even though he fulfilled all of their prophecies about a suffering Savior who Isaiah said would, (Isaiah 53) "Be wounded for our transgression, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray. We have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
No, the first time Jesus rode, he rode into town as a suffering Savior, sent to redeem fallen man. He rode in but carried a cross out. He had a hero’s welcome but died a criminal’s death. But how many of you know that Jesus is going to ride again?!? The next time Jesus rides, he will fulfill Isaiah’s second set of prophecies concerning the Messiah. Isaiah 9:6-7 - "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. And he shall reign over the house of David forever...."
The next time Jesus rides, things will be quite different. He will no longer be a reluctant King riding on a donkey. He will come in the clouds with great glory as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - not as "king for the day," but as "King for all time and eternity." He’s coming on a white horse, carrying a sword. A crown on his head and fire in his eyes. And he’s coming to rule and reign! We’ve read the account of Jesus’ first ride. Now let’s read about "The Next Time Jesus Rides!"