Sermons

Summary: Who is this man riding upon the colt supposed to be...a political candidate or the Messiah?

PARADES HAVE LONG BEEN USED AS CELEBRATIONS OF GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS. IN AMERICAN HISTORY, THE GREATEST PARADES FOCUSED ON PEOPLE SUCH AS PILOT CHARLES LINDBERGH, THE APOLLO 11 ASTRONAUTS, WAR HEROES AND EVEN SPORTS CHAMPIONSHIP TEAMS.

TICKER-TAPE SHOWERS, MARCHING BANDS AND ADORING CROWDS MARKED THE CELEBRATIONS AS THE CELEBRITIES PASSED IN REVIEW.

BUT THE GREATEST PARADE OF ALL TIME WAS QUITE DIFFERENT. IT HAPPENED IN JERUSALEM 2,000 YEARS AGO. IT WAS A SIMPLE ONE-MAN DONKEY RIDE. INSTEAD OF TICKER TAPE, THE PARADE ROUTE WAS LINED WITH GARMENTS AND PALM BRANCHES.

PERHAPS THE MOST REMARKABLE ELEMENT OF JESUS’ RIDE INTO THE HOLY CITY WAS ITS PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE. JESUS’ TRIUMPHAL ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM HAD BEEN RECORDED LONG BEFORE IT EVEN HAPPENED.

IN ZECHARIAH 9:9, THE PROPHET DESCRIBED THE SCENE THAT WOULD UNFOLD MORE THAN 500 YEARS LATER. HE WROTE, “REJOICE GREATLY, O MY PEOPLE! SHOUT WITH JOY! FOR LOOK – YOUR KING IS COMING! HE IS THE RIGHTEOUS ONE, THE VICTOR! YET HE IS LOWLY, RIDING ON A DONKEY’S COLT.”

WHEN JESUS RODE THAT DONKEY INTO JERUSALEM, FULFILLING PROPHECY AS HE WENT, HE WAS GIVING US ONE MORE REASON TO SHOUT, "HOSANNA!"

HE INDEED WAS, AND IS, THE PROMISED MESSIAH…OR WAS HE? DID THIS THOUGHT EVEN CROSS THE MINDS OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO WERE CAUGHT UP IN A FRENZY OVER JESUS? ALTHOUGH THE PEOPLE MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN FOR SURE, THE PHARISEES DEFINITELY KNEW.

THE PHARISEES HAD BEEN DOING EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO SILENCE THE VOICES OF THOSE WHO DARED TO CRY “HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVID” BUT IT WAS TOO LATE. THE PHARISEES WERE POWERLESS THIS DAY!

JESUS HAS ENTERED THE CITY GATES OF JERUSALEM, HUMBLY SEATED UPON A LOWLY BEAST OF BURDEN. LIKE THE RUMBLE OF AN EARTHQUAKE THE CITY SHAKES AT ITS FOUNDATIONS WITH THE SHOUTS OF ACCLAMATION FOR THE MESSIANIC KING OF DAVID’S LINEAGE. IT IS NO SECRET ANY LONGER – JESUS CHRIST IS THE MESSIAH!

WITH PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED BEFORE THEIR EYES, THEIR MINDS DIDN’T GRASP THE FULL MEANING OF WHAT THIS FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE WAS REALLY ALL ABOUT. TO THEM THE MAN UPON THE COLT WAS JUST A MAN UPON A COLT. “WHO IS THIS,” THEY SHOUTED!

THEIR THOUGHTS CONCERNING THE MESSIANIC KING, THE SON OF DAVID, WERE DOMINATED BY IDEAS OF POWER, GLORY, VICTORY OF OVERTHROWING THE ROMAN AUTHORITIES AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NATIONAL AND POLITICAL KINGDOM.

LIKE BEING UNABLE TO SEE THE FOREST FOR ALL THE TREES, THE PEOPLE DIDN’T SEE THEIR MESSIAH-SAVIOR BECAUSE THEY WERE LOOKING FOR A MESSIAH-KING. A MIGHTY GOVERNMENTAL REPRESENTATIVE AND FEARLESS WARRIOR UPON A STALLION WITH THE THIRST FOR VICTORY.

INSTEAD, TO THEIR DISMAY AND CONFUSION THEY BEHELD A HUMBLE, SERVANT-LOOKING MAN, RIDING UPON A DONKEY’S COLT. THIS MEEK-LOOKING OUTWARD APPEARANCE STIRRED THE PEOPLE INTO A COMMOTION.

SOME WERE SHOUTING THE CRY OF “HOSANNA" WHICH MEANS "SAVE US NOW" BECAUSE THEY WANTED POLITICAL SALVATION FROM ROME. BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT JESUS MEANT!

JESUS WANTED TO OFFER THEM SPIRITUAL SALVATION. JESUS CAME RIDING ON A DONKEY AS IF TO SAY, "HERE I AM, THE LAMB OF GOD, ON MY WAY TO THE THRONE BY WAY OF THE CROSS. WILL YOU CHOOSE ME AS YOUR LAMB, AS YOUR SACRIFICE, AND THROUGH THAT SACRIFICE, AS YOUR KING?"

BUT UNFORTUNATELY, THE PEOPLE DIDN’T QUITE GET THAT MESSAGE. IN A FRENZY, PEOPLE BEGIN STRIPPING PALM BRANCHES OFF THE TREES AND THEN STARTED LAYING THEM IN THE PATHWAY AS JESUS RODE BY.

THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT POINT BECAUSE PALM BRANCHES WERE TO THE JEWS OF THAT DAY WHAT THE STARS AND STRIPES OF OUR FLAG MEANS TO US TODAY.

JUST LIKE WE WOULD WAVE OUR FLAG IN THE FESTIVE OCCASION OF THE FOURTH OF JULY, THE JEWS WAVED THEIR "FLAG" (PALM BRANCHES) SHOUTING "HOSANNA" BECAUSE THEY WANTED JESUS TO BE THEIR POLITICAL LEADER INSTEAD OF A SPIRITUAL SAVIOR.

BUT IT DOESN’T END THERE. DON’T FORGET THAT THERE WERE OTHERS IN THE CROWD THAT DAY THAT WERE ALSO SEEING IT FROM A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. OUT OF CONFUSION THESE PEOPLE SHOUTED THE QUESTION, “WHO IS THIS?” “WHO IS THIS MAN?”

WAS IT BECAUSE THESE INDIVIDUALS DID NOT KNOW WHO JESUS WAS? NO! THEY KNEW IT WAS JESUS BECAUSE THEY HEARD ABOUT ALL HIS TEACHINGS AND MIRACLES.

THEY WANTED AN EXPLANATION OF WHY THIS MAN NAMED JESUS HAS ENTERED THE CITY SO COURAGEOUSLY, RECEIVING AND ACCEPTING THE ACCOMPANYING CROWDS’ AFFIRMATION OF HIM AS THE MESSIANIC KING OF THE LINE OF DAVID.

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT HIM! WHO IS THIS? I ASK YOU – WHO IS THIS JESUS? JESUS ASKED “WHOM DO MEN SAY THAT I AM?” JESUS ASKED AGAIN, “BUT WHOM DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?” WHAT IS YOUR ANSWER?

WHO IS THIS MAN UPON THE COLT? THIS MAN IS JESUS THE CHRIST. THAT MEANS JESUS IS THE FORE-ORDAINED ONE, BEARING THE OFFICE, AND ACHIEVING THE WORK DESCRIBED IN PROPHECY.

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