Summary: Those who welcome Jesus as King must also learn to trust Him with their future.
Palm Sunday: Welcoming the King!
Intro: The account of what is often called the Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday is found in all four Gospels. It is in Matt. 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12. It is a very important event because Jesus gives a vivid illustration to show that He is Israel’s Messiah.
As we look at Israel’s history, we see that they had lost their freedom to live under God’s blessing as His special chosen people who would be a light to all other nations. Their disobedience and idolatry had brought God’s judgment on them. Therefore, the northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians in 722 B.C., and the southern tribe of Judah was conquered by the Babylonian empire around 586 B.C. Years later, Israel was dominated by the Persian Empire, then Alexander the Great’s Grecian Empire, and finally, during the time of the NT, Israel found themselves under the domination of the Roman Empire.
While going through all these years of oppression and captivity, Israel was looking and hoping for someone like King David to come and rescue them from the evil pagan governments they were under. By the time of Jesus there had been several false messiahs (or anointed ones) who claimed to be God’s chosen leader for the nation. Now, as people had seen Jesus heal the sick, feed the 5000 & the 4000, raise people from the dead, and do all kinds of miraculous works, they were filled with hope that maybe the real Messiah had finally come. They wanted Jesus to step up and use all of His wondrous powers to overthrow the Roman government and set up the kingdom of Israel as the powerful nation it had once been.
However, Jesus had other plans than setting up an earthly government. He did not come to overthrow the governments of the world. Rather, He came to save the world in a way that nobody was expecting.
With this background in mind, let’s take a look at what happened on that Palm Sunday, during the Feast of Passover, a few days before Jesus would die a gruesome death at the hands of people to whom He had given life and breath.
Prop: The main truth I want to leave with you today is this: Those who welcome Jesus as King must also learn to trust Him with the future.
Interrogative: How can we learn to trust Jesus with our future?
T.S.: The following traits of Jesus will help us learn to trust Him more.
I. The Meekness of the King (Read Matt. 21:1-11)
When I have read this passage in the past, I thought it seemed kind of strange that Jesus would send two of His disciples to take someone’s donkey, and then proceed to ride it into Jerusalem. What was this all about?
We must remember that Jesus often said things by His actions, and not only His words. Jesus was creating an illustration in the minds of the people that would help them understand who He really was. See, most Jews of the time knew the OT very well, and had memorized most or all of it. So, as they see Jesus enter Jerusalem on a donkey, some of them likely think of the Scripture in Zechariah 9:9 9 ”Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The people are so ready for the Messiah to come – the one who will be like King David. He will help them defeat all their enemies, and will restore Israel to its place of prominence in the world. However, they seemed to miss the fact that Jesus was coming gently and meekly, just as He described Himself in Matthew 11:28-30 28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Some of the people would not be happy when they found out that Jesus was not going to whup up on the Romans. However, the gentle, patient grace of God was being shown as Jesus prepared to go to the cross where He would bear the sins of the world.
The people’s response to His entrance on the donkey must have been pretty incredible, however. Apparently, what we see in verse 8 was a common sight as people journeyed to Jerusalem from far away to keep the Passover. When these pilgrims would enter the city, they were welcomed by the crowds who were already there.