Summary: Jesus rode into Jerusalem on this day was unique. It was a divine sign of His triumph, in at least 3 ways: His triumph over self, His triumph over situation, and His triumph over Satan.
Today marks the beginning of what we called the Passion Week, the week that Jesus was arrested, judged, tortured, and crucified and then rose from the dead.
• It is the most significant week of the Christian calendar.
• The Gospel writers - Matthew, Mark and Luke, devoted a full third of their Gospels just to this one week in the life of Jesus. John goes even further - over half of his Gospel addresses the events of this week.
Today is Palm Sunday, the first day of this Passion Week. It is the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem.
• He knew full well what was to happen, yet He was determined to go.
• The people were oblivious to what would happen. They happy to see Him, celebrating His arrival with palm branches and casting their garments on the road for Him.
• They were joyful most likely and ONLY “for all the miracles they had seen” (19:37).
• They do not understand the significant of this event. They were ignorant of what was to happen.
While they were happy, Jesus wept. He saw through their ignorance and foolishness. He saw through their sin and rebellion.
• While they cared little about God’s will, Jesus was determined to do the Father’s will. This journey was one He must take, for the salvation of your soul and mine.
• We see here LIFE at its best – the TRIUMPH OF LIFE – when one humble life, fully offered to God, accomplishes God’s will and giving Him the highest glory.
• The best thing you can do with your life is to offer it to God, to do His will and glorify His Name.
No wonder scholars named this passage, and rightly so, the TRIUMPHAL ENTRY - in all the four Gospels.
• To the sceptics, there wasn’t anything triumphant in all of this. “Rebuke your disciples!” the Pharisees said to Jesus (v.39). This whole thing was uncalled for.
Frankly it looked that way, from man’s perspective.
• It was nothing but the sight of an unarmed man riding on the back of a donkey, followed by His small group of disciples (mainly fishermen) and bystanders waving branches.
• It was far from being grand. In fact, it looked pathetic. There was no evidence of authority, no sign of victory, and no indication that He had won anything.
• In fact, if you consider the events that were to happen in the next few days, it would seem more like a failure - Jesus was defeated in the hands of His enemies.
Where is the triumph? Why do we call this a triumphal entry? Why did God inspire the writers to paint this picture as one of a TRIUMPH?
• It was so, to God… at least in 3 ways.
(1) TRIUMPH OVER SELF – SUBMISSION to God
The Father saw an obedient Son. Between fulfilling God’s will and gratifying self, Jesus chose to do the Father’s will.
• Despite the sacrifices He has to make, Jesus submitted fully to God. In a couple of day’s time He will accomplish the Father’s will. And God was pleased.
It was a triumph that was taking place within our Lord’s own heart – He submitted to God. It was a triumph over self.
• I believe all of his natural instinct would have cried out against this journey into Jerusalem, where opposition, danger, torture and death awaits him.
• All those instincts for safety, security, for self-protection must have warned Him against this.
• We saw His agonising prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane, and we know it wasn’t easy. It means pain and sacrifice.
Yet today, we read that He has chosen to enter Jerusalem. He knows that Jerusalem was where God wanted Him to be.
• Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we’ve seen that. Doing the Father’s will was paramount to Him. He wanted to do what the Father wants.
• JESUS said in John 10:18 “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Submission is not a dirty word. There is something glorious about submitting to God and doing God’s will.
• There was something triumphant about that man as He rode along on the back of the donkey. It was a triumph of God above self.
• That triumph has already taken place within His heart, unseen by the world, but fully known to the Father above.