Summary: This sermon is from Matthew 21:1-11. It contains some historical background information on the triumphal entry and reminds us that another triumphal entry will take place when Jesus returns again. However, the second time he will be coming in conquest o
The Triumphal Entry
If you have your Bibles open them to Matthew 21. We will take a three week break from Romans to prepare for the Easter season. The passage we are going to study today is known at the Triumphal Entry and is the beginning of what Christians call Holy Week. Holy Week is at the center of the Christian Faith. Holy Weeks consists of eight days that begin with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday. Two great events bracket Holy Week–the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday and the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday. Today as you know is Palm Sunday. And so let’s look as this passage in Matthew 21 that describes the first Palm Sunday.
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying 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. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away."
Jesus comes to Bethpage or Bethany the Friday before his death. In seven days time he will hanging on a cross. He celebrates the Sabbath in Bethany. It will be the last day of rest and worship before his passion. On Sunday he will enter Jerusalem the capital city of Israel. It’s Passover Time, one of the busiest times in the year. It was estimated that the normal population of Jerusalem was 20,000. Josephus a historian says that during Passover the population of Jerusalem could swell to 3 million people.
The Jews loved Passover because of the hope it offered. THE JEWS TREATED THIS AS IF IT WERE INDEPENDENCE DAY. It was a national day of Jewish pride. At Passover the Jews remembered the freedom of God’s people from the Egyptians. It also looked forward to the future freedom of the Jews. The people of God, the Jews, had been oppressed for a few hundred years. Under the Assyrians, under the Babylonians, under The Persians, under Alexander the Great & The Greeks, under split Greek rule, under corrupt Jewish leaders and now under the harsh rule of the Romans.
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.’ "
Why did Jesus instruct his disciples to secure a donkey? Seems strange. Well, he did it to fulfill prophecy. Zechariah the OT prophet had predicted 575 years early that the Messiah would enter Zion (Jerusalem) on a donkey.
You see, the general events of Jesus’ life from his virgin birth to his triumphal entry were prophesied in the Old Testament, thousands of years before their occurrence. The events of Holy Week were not an accident. They were intentional. These events are orchestrated by God.
The words of Zechariah’s prophecy tell us two specific facts about the Messiah. First, he will come as a gentle king riding on a donkey. Second, he will come as a righteous king bringing salvation to his people (Ray Pritchard)