6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Palm Sunday to Good Friday is 5 days. One Third of the combined narratives of the four Gospels describes the last week of Christ’s life, His death, and resurrection.

“What’s Good About Good Friday?”

John 12:12-19

John 19:16-22

This Sunday represents the beginning of Holy Week. Palm Sunday to Good Friday is 5 days. One Third of the combined narratives of the four Gospels describes the last week of Christ’s life, His death, and resurrection.

John 12:12-19 tells about the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

“The next day the huge crowd that had arrived for the Feast heard that Jesus was entering Jerusalem. They broke off palm branches and went out to meet him. And they cheered:


Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!

Yes! The King of Israel!

Jesus tll, a young donkey and rode it, just as the Scripture has it:

No fear, Daughter Zion:

See how your king comes,

riding a donkey’s colt.

The disciples didn’t notice the fulfillment of many Scriptures at the time, but after Jesus was glorified, they remembered that what was written about him matched what was done to him.

The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, was there giving eyewitness accounts. It was because they had spread the word of this latest God-sign that the crowd swelled to a welcoming parade. The Pharisees took one look and threw up their hands: ‘It’s out of control. The world’s in a stampede after him.’”

On Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday, Jesus was in the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Jesus was their honored guest. The family had prepared a feast in his honor. During the feast Mary anointed Jesus with a jar of perfume worth a small fortune – 300 days worth of wages.

The raising of Lazarus made a great impact on the city of Bethany and surrounding area. Eye witnesses of the raising of Lazarus spread the word about Jesus and the crowd gathered to lead him to Jerusalem to set up his kingly reign.

I. Jesus Came to Establish a Spiritual Kingdom

As the crowd paraded into Jerusalem they were ready to crown Jesus as their King. They were looking for an earthly King but Jesus did not turn out to be the King they were expecting. Jesus was not about an earthly kingdom. He was all about a heavenly kingdom.

The crowd was looking for a super hero and super star. Surely Jesus would set up an earthly reign and bring peace on earth at last.

As they entered Jerusalem the large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 21:8-9

Many people view Jesus like that crowd on Palm Sunday. They see Jesus as a super star facing the Devil. Jesus picks up the Devil like Superman and flings him out into outer space never to cause trouble again.

Others see Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a blazing white stallion and kicking up a cloud of dust along the road. As Jesus passed by, you could hear people say, “Who was that masked man?”

There were bad guys on the loose and Jesus had a job to do. Jesus rode into Jerusalem, quickly sized up the situation and captured the ring-leader Diablo, Satan, and threw him in jail.

The fact is, Jesus did not come as a superstar. Jesus did not ride into Jerusalem on a white stallion, an elegant horse fit for a king. He rode on a lowly donkey. The donkey was the least admired animal.

Jesus did not set up an earthly kingdom. Jesus said his kingship was not of this world. John 18:36 Jesus came as a humble servant on a mission of mercy to take on Himself the sins of the world and provide a way of salvation.

The acts of Jesus following the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem I’m sure surprised the people. On Monday, Jesus cleansed the temple. On Tuesday, Jesus gave teachings and parables describing the Kingdom of God. On Wednesday, Jesus spent a quiet day in Bethany. On Thursday, preparation was made for the Passover and the Lord’s Supper in the upper room. On Friday, Jesus stood trial before the Sanhedrin and then before Pilate in a Roman trial.

How do you view Jesus? Do you see Jesus as one who is so high and lifted up that he is beyond your reach? Do you see Jesus as one who owes you a favor? Do you see Jesus as a magical supernatural being? Do you believe when you are in pain or in need you wave your magic wand of prayer and Jesus, your personal genie, will make all your wishes come true.

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