Summary: We see the revelation of Jesus as the coming King. It involves both a false concept and the true concept of His coming. It’s a picture of how men have seen Jesus down through the centuries.
Tonight we see the revelation of Jesus as the coming King. It involves both a false concept and the true concept of His coming. It’s a picture of how men have seen Jesus down through the centuries. Tonight’s passage is the familiar passage of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
READ 12. If you remember from last week, Jesus was at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary had anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume. It was six days before the Passover celebration.
Now the crowds are gathering for the Passover. We might note the words “Great crowd”. People were swarming into Jerusalem for the Passover. Josephus, who was a noted Jewish historian of that day, estimated over 2 million people ewere involved in the Passover Feast.
It’s known that 256,000 lambs were slain at one Passover and that each lamb represented at least ten worshippers. This puts the number of people well over 2 million. So thousands were flooding in from all over the world to observe the Passover.
The mass of people and the necessary housing and food arrangements to handle such a mass of people can hardly be imagined. It was a carnival type atmosphere. That was the scene as the people gathered for the great Feast.
READ 13. Here we actually see the false concept of Christ. The false concept sees Jesus as an earthly Savior, One who is to bring utopia to earth for the people of God. This concept sees Jesus as the Conqueror, the Provider.
The false concept fails to see 2 things in understanding the Messiahship of Jesus.
1. It fails to see the demand of Christ. This is the demand to serve by reaching out to a world that is lost. It fails to see the demand of Christ for self-denial, the denial that demands the giving of all one is and has to meet the needs of the world.
2. Secondly, this concept fails to see the spiritual concern of Christ—His concern with bringing peace between man and God, His concern with man’s living a holy, righteous, and pure life in order to be acceptable to God.
“Many people” were involved in welcoming Jesus in the Triumphal scene. Many held the false concept of Jesus as the earthly King, the One who was to be sought in order to secure all the good things of this earth.
It says the people “went out” to welcome Jesus. They weren’t just sitting and waiting for Him to come. When they “heard” about Him, they actually went out to meet Him.
The people took palm branches to wave and lay before Him. They cried “Hosanna,” which means save now, or save, we pray. But these people shouting this, thinking of Jesus as an earthly conqueror, were doing so under false concept that if Jesus did what they expected Him to do, they could move about and do as they pleased with no Roman restrictions.
The people received Jesus as the political King and Messiah, but that’s a false concept of Christ. And that is really what happens today. People still have a false concept of Christ which sees Him as the One who gives us material blessings. What people fail to understand is that they must come to Jesus because they love Him, not because they can get something out of Him. They must come because of who He is, not because He blesses them with the possessions of this earth.
READ 14-15. Here we see the true concept of Christ. This was symbolized in the riding of the young colt or donkey. In ancient days the colt was a noble animal. It was used as a beast of service to carry the burdens of men, but more significantly, it was used by Kings and their emissaries. When they entered a city in peace, they rode a colt to symbolize their peaceful intentions. Of course this was quite different from a conquering King. When a King entered a city as a conqueror, he rode a stallion.
So Jesus was demonstrating two things for the people.
1. That He was unquestionably the promised King, the Savior of the people.
2. That He was not coming as the conquering King.
His mission wasn’t to come as a high official, in pomp and ceremony, or as a leader of an army to kill. So the people had to change their concept of the Messiah. He was coming as the Savior of Peace who had been sent to save all men. He was coming to show men that God is the God of love and reconciliation.
So the colt was a symbol of peace. Jesus came to bring peace.
The colt symbolized service. Jesus came upon the colt symbolizing that He came to serve men and to bear their burdens for them.